INDIANAPOLIS – State officials are using a throw-everything-at-it approach to workforce development this session – anchored by a new employer training grant.
House and Senate Republican leaders last week unveiled their approaches while Gov. Eric Holcomb has his own plan – part of which can be accomplished administratively.
That makes workforce development the phrase of the 2018 session even though some of the work will have to wait until next year.
“It's an issue of all hands on deck,” said Senate President Pro Tem David Long, of Fort Wayne. “This is an effort from top to bottom ... to get this right.”
It appears the issue will be in two main bills.
The first is House Bill 1002, which will introduce a new worker training grant under the Indiana Economic Development Corp. It will be given to employers rather than employees seeking to enhance their skills.
Although the structure will be put in place, there is no funding until the next budget.
The idea has percolated for several years, but critics say the state will simply be paying businesses to train their own employees.
Stephanie Wells, vice president of workforce development policy for the Indiana Manufacturers Association, said this is the best way to make sure the workforce development system aligns with the market.