The president of the Indiana Manufacturers Association says the skills gap remains "the number one issue" facing employers statewide. Manufacturing accounts for more than 30 percent of the state’s Gross Domestic Product, the highest of any state, but Brian Burton says companies have to "go where the workers are" if they want to grow. Burton is calling for an "employer-driven" solution to better align the needs of the work force with available training. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business Television, Burton said the problem cannot be solved "if you don’t talk to employers."
He says two-year institutions in the state such as Ivy Tech Community College and Vincennes University are pushing resources to the "demand side" of career paths science, technology, engineering and math industries have available. "More effort has got to take place to have an employer-driven system," he said, highlighting the association’s discussion with legislators.
Burton says manufacturing growth in the state is being driven down by issues related to the work force and getting employers, educators, industry players and legislators on the same page is key.