- The Governor of Indiana recently announced that, with support from the Markle Foundation and Microsoft Philanthropies, the Colorado-based initiative Skillful will begin operations in Indiana. It will aim to help state residents upskill to meet digital skills demand. Skillful Indiana will bring together several organizations, including the Lumina Foundation, Purdue University and the Walmart Foundation.
- Skillful Indiana will target job seekers and employees to help improve their digital fluency, focusing on those with diverse backgrounds and experiences, particularly those without a four-year college degree, according to a statement. Skillful aims to help employers expand opportunities for workers and invest in skill building. The initiative will work with universities to anticipate business needs and advance skills-based credentialing.
- The initiative will also draw on the experiences of the Skillful State Network, a coalition of 20 U.S. governors. Skillful was originally announced in Colorado in February.
The Skillful model is one of many partnerships to bridge the gap between employers, educational institutions, local governments and other organizations to respond to skill gaps. Other such initiatives include those launched by Walmart and Google, and by Boeing and the National Science Foundation.
Skills-based hiring has taken recruiting by storm, shifting the marketplace as employers compete to maintain head count. Some of the largest players in the U.S. have changed their degree requirements in light of market conditions for example, to more accurately reflect skill needs. These changes provide an opening for workers to get a foot into the door at a top employer as they continue to upskill and enhance their own knowledge and value.
In the meantime, HR may want to take note of these trends, particularly when considering current and future operations in states participating in programs like Skillful. These programs may prove to be valuable sources for talent, as well as opportunities to promote an employer's values, culture and brand identity.