Business and Economics

Ellspermann: 60% Of Indiana Workforce With Post-Secondary Skills By 2025

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July 9, 2014 —

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana lieutenant governor said Tuesday that by the year 2025 the Pence administration expects that 60 percent of Indiana’s workforce will have post-secondary skills.

Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann kicked off the Workforce Development and Education Conference by presenting “A Strategic Plan to Transform Indiana’s Workforce.”

She listed five “strategies” to achieve the goal.

  • Work with the General Assembly to form a graduation grant to provide financial incentive to students attending post-secondary institutions.
  • Encourage Hoosiers with some college to return to school and finish their degrees.
  • Provide high school students with the opportunity to earn transferrable post-secondary credits and workforce credentials.
  • Ensure two-year colleges implement the best practices for on-time completion rates.
  • Increase the usage of prior learning assessments and competency-based education models for adult students.

“Hoosiers are smart people with a lot of learning,” Ellspermann said. “We need to increase the usage of that prior learning so we can give Hoosiers credit for what they already know.”

Ellsperman reiterated Gov. Mike Pence and said that “job creation is job one.” She said Indiana’s unemployment rate – the lowest among the state’s neighbors and under the national average – is proof that the Pence administration’s road map is working.

“The roadmap really becomes a reality,” Ellspermann said, “and a promise made becomes a promise kept.”

A panel of three national experts for workforce development weighed in with different theories to build the workforce in Indiana.

“Most people understand they have to further their skills and competency attainment to become upwardly mobile,” said Mason Bishop, principal at WorkED Consulting. Bishop is a national expert on employment and post-secondary education policy.

But, Josh Pryor, another panelist, said post-secondary education needs to focus on skills transferrable to the workforce to be successful.

“Employers tell us that the skills and abilities they need are not coming out of the college population,” said Pryor, a senior research scientist at Gallup. He said college students need “more internships that actively connect with what the students are learning in the classroom and what they are going to need when they get into an employer situation.”

Pryor said retention should be another focus to build the workforce in Indiana. He said if students leave the state for education, it is “not as likely” they will return to Indiana after graduation.

“If you want your best ad your brightest to stay in Indiana,” Pryor said, “use education in Indiana.”


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