Northeast Indiana Chamber Outlines PrioritiesPosted: Updated:
The Regional Chamber of Northeast Indiana is calling on the Indiana General Assembly to consider a proposal providing grant funds for universities that help former students complete degrees. The chamber's list of legislative priorities also includes tax credits for medical device manufacturers.
December 3, 2014
Fort Wayne, Ind. -- The Regional Chamber of Northeast Indiana today released a list of 13 legislative priorities for the 2015 Indiana General Assembly.
The Regional Chamber represents businesses and communities in a 10-county region of Northeast Indiana, focusing exclusively on state legislation and policies that impact the workforce, infrastructure and helping Hoosiers compete in a global economy.
Among the proposals approved by the Regional Chamber's membership is creation of Last-Mile College Completion Grants. The goal is to incentivize institutions of higher education to seek out and work with former students who have completed at least 60% of their degree, developing personalized plans that lead to finishing the "last mile" of their education. Schools would receive grant funds upon graduation.
"By 2018 it is estimated 60 percent of jobs will require degrees or credentials, and we want Hoosier 'near-completers' to be ready for the best-paying jobs," said Vince Buchanan, Regional Chamber executive director. "Northeast Indiana's take-home pay is nearly 20% below the national average. Last-mile grants would help change that by growing a skilled workforce. It's a win-win for residents and the local economy."
Other priorities include state tax credits for Hoosier medical device manufacturers to offset the new "Obamacare" federal taxes on their products, and establishing guidelines for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management that allow businesses to operate within clearly defined policies approved by state lawmakers.
Buchanan says the Regional Chamber's members and several of Northeast Indiana's elected representatives are working together to present a clear message to the General Assembly. "Our annual priority list is how the 10 counties of Northeast Indiana come together and speak to the Statehouse with one voice. We're sending a clear message about what is most important for the growth of Northeast Indiana."
ABOUT THE REGIONAL CHAMBER OF NORTHEAST INDIANA
The Regional Chamber is a membership organization of more than 85 businesses from the 10-county Northeast Indiana region. Through advocacy and collaboration, the Regional Chamber promotes policies that yield a limitless future in Northeast Indiana on the strength of 21st century talent, world-class infrastructure, and a business climate that fosters investment, growth and success.
Source: Regional Chamber of Northeast Indiana