Governor Eric Holcomb has appointed 13 members to the newly-created Governor’s Workforce Cabinet. The group will assess and potentially realign workforce development programs and services in the state.

The cabinet will also be responsible for developing the state’s first career coaching and navigation program, while also assessing career and technical education outcomes. Last month, Holcomb sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta seeking a waiver allowing the cabinet to fill the federally-required role of a state workforce development board.

"We have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country and tens of thousands of unfilled jobs across the state," Holcomb said in a news release. "Now is the time to move beyond planning and strategy and take urgent action to help more Hoosiers learn the skills they need to secure great jobs. This cabinet brings together the right people with the right mission to accomplish our goals."

The governor’s new appointees include:

• Jená Bellezza (Crown Point), vice president of strategic partnerships and branding for the Indiana Parenting Institute
• Amy Brown (Elkhart), vice president of Flexible Concepts Inc.
• Jason Ells (Indianapolis), senior vice president of Custom Concrete
• Christine Ernst (Indianapolis), president of Trans-Plants Inc.
• Mark Kara (Hobart), assistant to the coordinator for Local 150 Operating Engineers
• Paul Perkins (Jeffersonville), president of Amatrol Inc.
• Brad Rhorer (Lafayette), senior manager of Subaru of Indiana
• Rebecca Schroeder (Albion), president of Whiteshire Hamroc
• Bob Stutz (Indianapolis), CEO of Salesforce Marketing Cloud
• Alan Taylor (New Albany), director of career and technical education for Prosser Career Education Center
• Tony Vespa (Indianapolis), founder of Vespa Group
• Bruce Watson (Fort Wayne), director of facilities for Fort Wayne Metals
• Maurice Coates Jr. (Evansville), president of CK United

The new appointees will join other cabinet members outlined in state statute, including:

• Governor’s Workforce Cabinet Chairman Danny Lopez
• Secretary of Career Connections and Talent Blair Milo
• Indiana Department of Workforce Development Commissioner Fred Payne
• Indiana Higher Education Commissioner Teresa Lubbers
•Indiana Economic Development Corporation President Elaine Bedel
• Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Jennifer McCormick
• Ivy Tech Community College President Sue Ellspermann
• Vincennes University President Chuck Johnson

The cabinet will meet every other month, though specific meeting dates have not yet been determined.

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