Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann says the work force in Indiana is a primary reason for her interest in potentially becoming the next president of Ivy Tech Community College. She says the big challenge in the state is to prepare workers to fill incoming higher-wage jobs.
Ellspermann tells Inside INdiana Business the state needs to retain the talent it has and develop the skills of Hoosiers who could play a bigger role in the work force. She says Indiana is attracting higher-wage jobs and those employers tell the state they workers who can fill them.
"As we look at that big challenge before us, it is an area where Indiana can lead the nation and we can make sure that Hoosiers have those great opportunities and Ivy Tech is our biggest institution for those middle skills jobs, for those credentials, for those two-year degrees and making sure that Hoosiers have those opportunities to take high-wage jobs," says Ellspermann.
Ellspermann says she is "open to the conversation" regarding the position at Ivy Tech. She said she spoke with Governor Mike Pence and the two of them agree on the importance of the work force challenge and her qualifications to face it.
Ellspermann is no stranger to post-secondary education. She was the founding director of the Center Applied Research and Economic Development at the University of Southern Indiana. She also serves as vice chair of the Indiana Career Council, which leads the state’s work force development, education and training initiatives.
The Ivy Tech Board of Trustees has formed a search committee to select the replacement for outgoing president Tom Snyder. Board Vice President Michael Dora will chair the committee which consists of six other members. There will also be an advisory committee consisting of representatives form Ivy Tech’s 14 administrative regions and a higher education search consulting firm, R. William Funk and Associates, assisting with the search.
Snyder announced his retirement earlier this year, saying he would step down in 2016. He was named to President Barack Obama’s College Promise Advisory Board, which will be responsible for developing free community college models and recruiting other higher education institutions to join the effort.
Ellspermann says talent is key.