The state is looking to the private sector for the next leader of the Department of Workforce Development. Fred Payne, who currently serves as chief administrator for Greensburg-based Honda Manufacturing of Indiana LLC, will take over as DWD commissioner December 12.
Payne will succeed Steve Braun, who resigned in August to run for the 4th Congressional District. Braun is vying to fill the seat that will be vacated by Todd Rokita, who plans to run for Joe Donnelly’s (D-Ind.) U.S. Senate post next year.
Governor Eric Holcomb says Payne’s experience in the corporate world "has given him a clear perspective of employer workforce demands. Further, he has experience driving change and eliciting results in a large organization, which will be a big advantage working with an agency the size and scope of the DWD." He was hired by HMIN in 2008 as an employment and labor issues attorney and has risen to become general counsel, secretary and corporate affairs and administration manager.
He previously served as managing attorney for the Wessels and Pautsch P.C. Indiana office. He says "I am up to the challenge of leading a department that plays a vital role in our state’s future success. I look forward to working with Gov. Holcomb and Secretary Milo to continue to build upon our workforce system to better meet the needs of Indiana employers and job seekers by helping match qualified Hoosiers with the high-demand jobs available today."