Key Workforce Development Legislation Still a Work-in-Progress

In the Indiana General Assembly, both House Bill 1002 and Senate Bill 50 have been significantly amended in ways that we support, but also in ways that give us some concern. We have strong support for the thoughtful and deliberate work on the study by the Legislative Service Agency of all workforce programs. It is extremely thorough and we look forward to the results of each year’s report and presentation. We also support the language regarding the Next Level Jobs Employer Training Grant program. The career and technical education (CTE) student information portal for local employers is a prime example of a creative model without having to spend extra capital. And we also support expanding the Employment Aid Readiness Network (EARN) Indiana program to include part-time students.

We hope to continue the conversation on the makeup of the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet in conference committee and have some questions as to how this will work in conjunction with the State Workforce Innovation Council (SWIC), a similar existing cabinet that is required to have its membership be 50% employers. We appreciate the language in the bill allowing the Indiana Chamber to be consulted with on a gubernatorial appointment for a business leader to the panel; however, we question why we cannot simply utilize the SWIC.

If we are tied to the idea of creating a new cabinet, we feel strongly that we should have more employer voices at the table, plus give the Indiana Chamber a seat as well. The Chamber’s place on the cabinet would provide historical knowledge on workforce issues, representing the voices of thousands of members and investors throughout the state and providing consistency when we have a new Governor who would make the majority of the appointees (be they employers or agency heads).

In close, though these bills are better and moving in the right direction, they still need work. The Chamber will continue to advocate for strong policies throughout conference committee.

The Holidays are Here — So Start Networking!

Sure, there’s nothing wrong with reciting famous lines from "A Christmas Story" at holiday parties. Or declaring that you’ve just tasted the world’s best Eggnog. But, don’t forget to add a little business talk to the mix by networking.

A national business consultant offers several tips for putting a networking twist on your holiday celebrations. Here are a few:

  • Have a plan of action before you go. Find out who will be attending the event. Do some research online or on social networking sites like LinkedIn to learn about attendees. Pick five people with whom you definitely want to speak while you are there, and don’t avoid the big names. 
  • Let them do the talking (you ask the questions!)
  • Be prepared to pitch yourself in 15 seconds. Think about what’s unique about what you have done. Be sure that whomever you speak with will still remember you at the end of the night.
  • The party may end, but your connection shouldn’t. Cement your connections by creating a database that allows you to keep track of all the connections you’ve made. Include interesting or remarkable things people said or that you learned so you can refer back to them in later conversations. And be sure to use social media to keep in touch.