TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Hoosier lawmakers are attacking unemployment with education. This week the Indiana House of Representatives passed a bill that creates a state career council to meet the needs of employers by preparing Hoosiers to be their workers.
Indiana's unemployment rate sits at 8.2 percent. At rate which would seem high, except that there are three counties right in our backyard that all have unemployment rates above nine percent: Vigo, Clay, and Sullivan.
Neither has made any significant movement in months, but state officials say many companies have openings.
So what's the problem?
"There's a significant gap there between the skills of the persons needing jobs and the skills that are needed to fill advanced manufacturing jobs," Ann Valentine, Ivy Tech's Chancellor locally said.
That's exactly the gap lawmakers are setting out to close this year.
This week a bill creating the Indiana career council passed in the House. The bill combines the state's education and job training forces with the key players in the state's job market.
The council will work together to find out what jobs are hiring, what skill levels are needed, and how they can best fill the needs of industry with the Hoosier workforce.
Locally, that something that Ivy Tech said they already do in our area.
"We have a sales force and account executives that go out and meet with corporations locally on a nearly daily basis and are making calls and working very closely with a number of industries in this region to help them solve their workforce gaps," Valentine explained.
That's why one of the primary players on the career council will be the state wide president of Ivy Tech community colleges.
"So we can continue discussing how to carefully allocate scarce resources to help vault the Indiana economic development even further," Valentine explained.
Indiana is now fighting unemployment with education.
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