Governor Eric Holcomb says his legislative and administrative priorities for 2018 will place an even heavier emphasis on work force. Holcomb’s Next Level Agenda includes five "pillars" focusing on jobs, economic growth, the opioid crisis, infrastructure and government service. During an address Wednesday morning at the Indiana Statehouse, Holcomb said "we are going to be the ones, I predict — Hoosiers — to crack the work force shortage code."
Holcomb’s agenda announcement was paired Wednesday with details from the Indiana Economic Development Corp. about a year it says will finish in record territory. The IEDC says, with one month remaining in 2017, businesses have committed to creating a record 28,846 jobs with average wages higher than any other year since the IEDC was launched in 2005. The state says 270 companies have announced expansions or locations in Indiana this year.
Holcomb further detailed the pillars of his agenda, which are:
- 1. Cultivate a strong and diverse economy. To continue cultivating a strong and diverse economy, Gov. Holcomb’s 2018 agenda focuses on attracting new talent, supporting our growing tech sector, preparing for next generation technologies and opportunities, and encouraging sustainable regional development.
- 2. Maintain and build the state’s infrastructure. After advancing an historic long-term road funding plan in 2017, Gov. Holcomb’s 2018 agenda focuses on better managing the state’s water resources, expanding our global economic presence with a fourth port, and improving broadband access, speed and affordability where it’s needed most.
- 3. Develop a 21st Century skilled and ready workforce. The 2018 action items outlined in Gov. Holcomb’s education and workforce plan were created with three guiding principles in mind:
- Provide every Hoosier child an effective baseline education infused with skills and attributes that prepare them for life after high school.
- Ensure students graduate from high school set on a pathway that prepares them for college, career training or a quality job.
- Connect working-age adults to education and training that leads them directly to employment aligned with industry needs. To accomplish these goals, the state will build the framework for the new system through the Governor’s Education to Career Pathway Cabinet, enabling plans, resources and operations to be locally determined and managed.
- 4. Attack the Drug Epidemic. Gov. Holcomb’s agenda continues Indiana’s attack on the opioid epidemic by strengthening enforcement, expanding recovery options and making it easier for Hoosiers to locate and access treatment. Additionally, the 2018 Next Level Agenda calls for improved reporting and monitoring as well as a stronger focus on programs that help reduce infant mortality rates in our state.
- 5. Deliver Great Government Service. Great government service remains the cornerstone of Gov. Holcomb’s Next Level Agenda. With that in mind, Indiana will continue its history of strong financial management and maintain healthy reserves in 2018. The agenda also calls for a new parental leave policy for state employees, streamlined and simplified processes for citizens to interact with state government, and better outcomes from large-scale IT projects to improve state government service.
"This is not just about a record number of job commitments that are coming our way, this to me, as I look out into the horizon is really about a record of opportunity that stands before us," Holcomb said.
The governor will visit Lafayette, Sellersburg, Jasper, Fort Wayne and Elkhart this week to further discuss his Next Level Agenda for 2018.