Chamber’s New Workforce Development Report Keys In On Existing Problems

We released our new workforce development report, Recommended Policies and Practices for Advancing Indiana’s System of Adult Education and Workforce Training, at a press conference today. Here is the skinny on the findings, which ultimately suggest the state use existing monies, not new, to fund workforce training:

These adults in need of education and training are currently faced with a maze of more than 20 different programs from at least four different providers: the Indiana Department of Education, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration and Ivy Tech Community College. The path the adult learner takes is as much a result of chance encounters as guided by state policy, according to NCHEMS (National Center for Higher Education Management Systems).

“Given our state’s current economic climate and unemployment rates, it’s imperative that we focus on effectively retraining workers sooner rather than later. The Daniels administration has made marked improvements in many areas of state government with its performance measurement approach,” surmises Indiana Chamber President Kevin Brinegar.  “We encourage the governor to now turn the state’s full attention to workforce development and how those programs can better serve the many Hoosiers in need of that assistance.  The measures detailed in this report provide a strong starting point…"

Brinegar emphasizes there is no proposal in this report for new monies.  Instead, the report calls for more strategic use of existing federal funding, and Brinegar advocates the reallocation of unused resources already dedicated to workforce development.

“There is approximately $10 million in funds that employers paid through taxes to the TAG (Training Acceleration Grant) program that was left on the table at the end of 2008.  We believe that money should still be used for what it was intended – workforce training – in one form or another.  The Indiana Chamber is calling on legislators to make sure Hoosiers needing skills enhancements see these dollars,” he stresses.

Read a full summary of the report here, and view the complete 24-page PDF document here.