The Indiana Chamber of Commerce has launched an online platform to help job seekers with educational and job training opportunities throughout the state. The Talent Resource Navigator was established with a $2.5 million investment from Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc. The platform, which is free for users, is designed to connect individuals and employers with a set of talent development resources based on their specific needs.
During a virtual news conference Tuesday, Chamber President and CEO Kevin Brinegar said Indiana needs a stronger and deeper talent pool.
“Currently, there are twice as many job openings in Indiana as there are job seekers, and our workforce participation rate remains below pre-pandemic levels,” said Chamber CEO Kevin Brinegar. “The only way Indiana is going to reach its economic potential and compete effectively in this talent-driven economy is to lift up the educational attainment and workforce skills of its citizenry.”
The navigator is being managed by the Institute for Workforce Excellence, the charitable nonprofit arm of the Indiana Chamber focused on helping employers attract and retain top talent.
Todd Hurst, executive director of the institute, says Indiana is fortunate to have many programs addressing talent and workforce development created over the last decade.
“In the midst of all these programs and partners, it can be difficult as an individual or an employer to understand what I’m eligible for, where to find it, and how to move forward with those programs to really impact my community,” said Hurst.
Hurst says the platform aims to collect and organize the broad range of talent development programs throughout the state, tailored for individuals or employers to efficiently find resources that can address their needs, such as career coaching or state-funded programs.
The navigator also features live technical assistance for users to help them find what they need.
At launch, the platform has nearly 550 resources available to find, but the chamber is encouraging providers to add any programs they may have to reach more Hoosiers.
“We believe that there are well over 1,000 resources that exist out there that we have begun to identify and we think would be useful within this platform, again, calling forth the need for having a platform like this,” said Hurst. “These are a lot of programs. It’s difficult to understand what all of these do and the audiences they serve.”
Hurst says one of the key programmatic features of the platform is the ability to separate resources by industry, such as manufacturing, construction or IT.
“[It’s] a really unique and novel feature that we think addresses a challenge for someone who doesn’t really even understand what’s available to them or what’s out there. They don’t know exactly what they’re looking for, but they know where their pain points are. This eases that process.”
The chamber says the navigator will continue to evolve as more users join the platform. Hurst says they are currently working on adding functionality to connect individuals with providers that can help address challenges for job seekers such as transportation and childcare.
You can learn more about the Talent Resource Navigator by clicking here.