The recently-launched Skillful Indiana program has named its first leader. William Turner, who previously led education and development efforts for Indianapolis-based Allison Transmission Holdings Inc., will serve as executive director. 

Turner also serves as chair of the EmployIndy Workforce Development Board. Skillful says, in his new role, Turner will lead the program's efforts to engage employers, educators, policymakers, and workforce development organization "to create a labor market in which skills are valued, and more people can easily access the information and education they need to secure good jobs." 

"Bill’s unmatched blend of private sector leadership and public service contributions to Indiana’s workforce development, plus his personal passion for helping Hoosiers succeed, makes him a natural fit to lead Skillful Indiana as Executive Director," said Beth Cobert, chief executive officer of Skillful. "He understands the needs of employers and skilled workers and is deeply connected to the larger workforce development community across Indiana."

Additionally, Governor Eric Holcomb and Skillful Indiana have launched the Skillful Governor's Coaching Corp. The group aims to bring together coaches from workforce centers, post-secondary education and training institutions, high schools, staffing and nonprofit organizations to learn skills-based approaches to career coaching, hone their leadership skills, and build a supportive cohort to serve jobs seekers throughout the state more effectively.

"I am proud of Indiana’s talented career development professionals who play a pivotal role in our workforce and education communities," Holcomb said in a news release. "With Skillful Indiana launching the Skillful Governor’s Coaching Corps, Hoosiers will have access to career coaches who will offer new tools, resources and training opportunities so job seekers can flourish in a changing economy."

The first cohort will include 35 participants who will also form "action teams" to develop solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing Indiana's workforce. Skillful says when the program is complete, the teams will present their recommendations to the Governor's Workforce Cabinet.

Skillful Indiana launched in October in an effort to help workers partner with companies to identify skills they already have and find better pathways to internal or external training programs to fill the gaps.