New workforce alphabet soup, new bureaucracy, same stale policies
INDIANAPOLIS – What was once old is new again when it comes to Statehouse Republicans’ workforce development policies. Entering 2018 with no vision, Governor Eric Holcomb and Statehouse GOP appear to be dusting off the same policies relied upon by the previous two administrations.
Take for instance, the Employer Workforce Training Grant Fund, passed as a part of House Bill 1002 this session. If the concept sounds familiar, you might be remembering the Training Acceleration Grant Program, created to assist Hoosier businesses “build a more competitive workforce”…in 2006.
Or maybe it’s confusion around the 2013 Indiana Career Council stepping on the toes of the 2017 Education to Career Pathway Cabinet?
Who is ultimately responsible for workforce talent: the 2017 Secretary of Career Connections and Talent or the 2018 Secretary of Workforce Training?
One thing is for certain, these policies have left more than a million Hoosiers without the skills to compete. In 2005, the number of Indiana 25-64-year-olds with an associate degree or higher – an indicator of workforce preparedness – ranked 42nd nationally. That rank had just barely moved to 40th by 2015.
Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody questioned whether Holcomb and Statehouse Republicans had thought through their approach to upping Hoosiers’ educational attainment.
“You don’t build an airplane while you’re flying it and you certainly don’t build it from scrap parts,” said Zody. “But that’s exactly what Governor Holcomb is doing by relying on the same failed policies that have left one million Hoosiers without the skills to compete. Hoosiers expect a governor with a vision. Repackaging the same stale ideas won’t cut it.”