This article underwritten by: Renetta DuBose
Pence Talks Jobs, Education To Realtors
The economic forecast for the Hoosier state might look positive, but Indiana Governor Mike Pence said there is a long road to recovery ahead. That’s the message the state chief delivered to a packed room of realtors. Gov. Pence praised salesmen and women for the rebound of the housing market. Home sales reached their best performance last year since 2007 and in June, single family home sales increased significantly in Northwest Indiana.
“That is a testament to an economy that is coming back and that is a testament to an industry that knows how to sell it,” said Gov. Pence.
The Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors took a break from their annual membership meeting to hear Indiana’s economic heartbeat. Gov. Pence, who heads to Japan next week on his first foreign trip as governor, told the group the Hoosier state leads 42 other states in job growth and the nation in manufacturing jobs.
“Our fiscal stability is our calling card when we’re talking to businesses that are thinking about growing here or thinking about coming,” Gov. Pence said.
The state’s unemployment rate is at eight percent. Governor Pence said he hopes to lower the number of Hoosiers out of work by creating better pathways to jobs straight out of high school.
“The last time I checked, one percent of Indiana’s high school graduates got a Core 40 with technical honors. In a state that is one of the leading manufacturing states in the United States of America, that’s just not good enough,” Pence said.
Pence plans to implement two new laws, the Indiana Career Council and Regional Works Councils. The Career Council looks at the full range of workforce education while the Regional Works Councils establishes working groups around the state. Those groups will bring business leaders and educators together to help students obtain courses and skills needed to obtain associate degrees or industry certifications on graduation day.
“Giving young people the opportunity to get that training in high school instead of saying we’re going to keep moving you toward a college preparatory high school degree and if you want to go to work, then you need to go get a community college degree after that. I want to merge those things together and create more effective pathways,” Pence said.
The governor also touted Indiana has the lowest taxes in the Midwest and that infrastructure is being funded locally for the first time in decades.