- Despite the concerns of a group of lawmakers and some in the business community, Indiana approved a bill aimed at workforce development that would review existing initiatives and expand eligibility for grants, the Indianapolis Business Journal (IBJ) reports.
- The bill replaces the State Workforce Innovation Council with a new governor’s workforce cabinet. Proponents of the bill believe it will prep Hoosiers for high-demand, well-paid jobs quickly. By assessing the current programming and working with business to better align needs, they hope to make training more accessible for business and trainees, IBJ reports.
- Detractors of the bill believe it simply replaces one bureaucracy with another. Other proposals not adopted included tax credits to lure businesses to the state, creating a 5th year of high school and redirecting corporate tax revenue to pay for workforce training.
As the skills gap continues to threaten businesses, state and local governments are increasingly trying to meet training demand. The Indiana proposal is just one of a variety of programs aimed to help businesses meet their skilled staffing needs. The federal government is also getting involved, promoting apprentice programs via its new apprenticeship taskforce.
Tax credits, which can help employers shoulder the cost of training, are being considered, and private-public partnerships are emerging as educators and employers look for ways to better prepare students for todays’ vacancies and the jobs of the future.
It's likely these partnerships will continue as the skills gap forces employers to reconsider how and where they recruit skilled workers. Businesses are looking for, and finding, help from a variety of previously untapped resources, including libraries and local groups. Those employers that get creative and remain proactive are hoping to give themselves a competitive advantage in the war for talent.