Focus group talks jobs and the economy following Indiana State of the State Address

Hoosiers say they want to see the governor's plan for growing the state economy and creating jobs.

Posted: Jan. 10, 2018 10:11 PM
Updated: Jan. 10, 2018 10:54 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Hoosiers say they want to see the governor's plan for growing the state economy and creating jobs.

News 10 reported on Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb's annual address Tuesday night. You can see that coverage here.

A small focus group watched the address from WTHI as it happened live in Indianapolis. Members of that group say they were not surprised the governor spent roughly half his speech talking in some way about jobs and the economy. However, they do have questions about how he plans to reach the goals he listed and how Terre Haute fits into his vision.

Republican Governor Eric Holcomb says the state's "greatest challenge" is too many Hoosiers lack the skills they need for jobs open right now and jobs that could open tomorrow.

Members of the focus group agree that it is an important topic but they say they're not sure the governor's plan goes far enough.

For example, 475,000 adults in the state do not have a high school diploma. Holcomb set a goal to help 30,000 of them get a better job.

One person from the group says that's a fine idea but questions what help the other 445,000 will get to find work. 

The focus group also asked: If there are so may jobs unfilled right now because no one can do them, what good will it do to reach the governor's next goal of bringing 35,000 new jobs to the state?

Missy Burton says, "What is the plan to create them, what is the plan to ensure we have the workforce that is educated for those as well?"

Holcomb did not mention Terre Haute in his address and the focus group agreed they were not surprised.

They talked about the city's potential and why it is up to the people to move Terre Haute forward.

Dwayne Malone says, "How do we get these individuals who are graduating and going to school to invest and stay in Terre Haute? Is Terre Haute one of those segments where part of that thirty-five thousand jobs will be created?"

The economy was not the only topic in the address. You can hear more from the focus group on the topic of opioids Thursday night on WTHI.

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