The Indiana Career Council has approved a strategic plan designed to align the state's education, training and economic initiatives to streamline work force development efforts. The plan includes funding to help students finish degrees or train Indiana's “priority employment sectors.” The organization will submit the plan to the General Assembly.

June 16, 2014

News Release

Indianapolis, Ind. — The Indiana Career Council today adopted a formal strategic plan to provide guidance to the Indiana General Assembly regarding alignment of the state's education, business and workforce development sectors to better address the state's resource and activities to ensure the workforce is prepared to meet the needs of the business community.

“The strategic plan adopted today by the Indiana Career Council casts a vision for transforming Indiana’s workforce from secondary education to adult workforce,” said Governor Pence. “I am grateful to the Career Council for their tireless efforts and invaluable contribution to Indiana’s future, and I look forward to further discussing this plan with members of the Indiana General Assembly in the weeks and months to come.”

Entitled, “Align, Engage, Advance: A Strategic Plan to Transform Indiana’s Workforce,” the plan focuses on three organizing pillars of transformation: 1) system alignment, 2) worker- and student-centric services, and 3) demand-driven programs and investments.

• System alignment seeks to better integrate system players from all educational partners—K-12 career and technical training, industry certification and post-secondary institutions—with high-demand career paths.

• Worker- and student-centric services seek to align programs around the individual, rather than around institutions, providing an infinite number of programs and options;

• Demand-driven programs and investments seek to allocate resources based on the needs of future employers and employees. The Council has identified more than $650 million in state and federal education and training dollars in Indiana—in addition to K-12 education. Early sector analysis show higher skill levels are necessary for businesses and individuals to succeed.

Additional goals of the Council include embedding career education components across K-12 and post-secondary learning as earlier exposure can help students and adults make the connection between identifying career pathways and workforce success.

The Career Council has also embraced a goal of getting 60 percent of Hoosiers to have post-secondary knowledge, skills and credentials by 2025, a broad goal the Council hopes will be adopted by all entities involved in this type of work. At the regional level, the state’s eleven Works Councils are engaging employers on specific skills and credentials.

For employers, the Council also will be challenging businesses to add 10,000 new work-and-learn experiences, such as internships, externships and cooperative education/apprenticeship opportunities. Outreach efforts will include existing state and federal support from the Employment Aid Readiness Network (EARN), the federal Workforce Investment Act, and the Indiana InternNet.

The Council's next steps include streamlining the entire workforce development system to deliver more focused consolidated services; develop service delivery maps; and create governance structure. The Council will make recommendations to the General Assembly by October. The overall goals include working with the Department of Workforce Development (DWD), the Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA), the Commission for Higher Education (CHE), and Ivy Tech to find ways to combine resources to better serve the populations they have in common.

The Career Council will also be advocating a “return to learn” program which would fund completion efforts for students to finish a degree or quality workforce credential in areas that are tied to Indiana's priority employment sectors.

Completion of the state's Return on Investment study of CTE programs, passed by the 2014 legislature, is anticipated by August 2014, with input and conclusions also for consideration by the Council’s future recommendations.

The plan, due to the General Assembly on July 1, was presented ahead of schedule. Copies to all 150 legislators will be distributed tomorrow, following the Career Council's approval vote today. The plan will be posted online on the Career Council’s homepage:

Chaired by Governor Mike Pence, the Career Council was created by a unanimous vote during the 2013 General Assembly to focus on coordination of various participants in the education, jobs skills development and career training system, and to match education and skills training with the jobs market.

More than 40 meetings, and more than 500 man hours were invested in the creation of the plan by the Career Council and its task force members. Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann, who chaired the Program Alignment and Talent Development task force, facilitated six meetings held around the state to gather input and feedback on the discussion draft issued by the task forces. More than 200 participants provided information, including local business owners, educators, work force development officials and community members.

Source: Indiana Career Council

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