News of employers establishing or expanding their operations in Indiana is a regular headline in the news across our state. These announcements also come with a promise of high-paying jobs for workers who are ready to take on a new challenge. For some, this means skilling up to advance in their careers. Our state continues to lead the nation in auto manufacturing, an industry that employs thousands of Hoosiers.
With more consumers opting for more environmentally friendly car options, we know more electric vehicles will be hitting car lots across the country. Indiana’s auto manufacturing sector must stand ready to pivot operations and prepare its workforce in order to keep up with the growing demand. To address this upcoming shift, a new Electric Vehicle Product Commission will take a deep dive into how our automakers and workforce can adapt to this evolving market.
This session, lawmakers established the Electric Vehicle Product Commission, which will evaluate Indiana’s production capability and current workforce skills to develop electric vehicles. This group is also responsible for identifying training needs and infrastructure improvements, and helping our state’s automotive industry transition to utilizing the technology required for electric car production. This commission will also be charged with determining how the industry can build upon its existing infrastructure to meet demand.
Indiana is competing against the world to capitalize on this emerging industry, and we have the infrastructure to make that happen. General Motors, which employs more than 6,400 people at its five facilities across the state, announced during the last Super Bowl it plans to have 30 new electric vehicle options for consumers by 2025. This deadline is rapidly approaching, and Indiana needs to be ready for new production requirements.
In a regular vehicle, the transmission serves as the heart of the car and requires specialized training to manufacture and assemble. The Electric Vehicle Product Commission will have to identify what it will take to skill-up auto workers in order to build electric motors. Indiana is home to more than a dozen car plants across our state and this group will examine how manufacturers can build upon this foundation to start producing more electric vehicles and components. By recognizing these factors early, Indiana can be in a better position to attract and retain higher-paying jobs. The United Autoworkers Union, Stellantis North America, Indiana Chamber of Commerce, General Motors, Zef Energy and Battery Innovation Center all supported the creation of this new commission, and their input will be critical as Indiana takes steps to continue leading the nation in automotive manufacturing.
Creating this commission is a proactive step in addressing the shift in consumer demand we know is coming. By taking a look at how Indiana can adapt, we can maintain thousands of high-paying jobs for Hoosiers while also leading the nation in implementing this exciting technology. For more information about this commission, visit iga.in.gov.
State Rep. Mike Karickhoff (R-Kokomo) represents House District 30, which includes portions of Grant and Howard counties.