Indiana announces workforce initiative partnership that includes Microsoft

Gov. Eric Holcomb (file image)
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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - Governor Eric Holcomb, Microsoft and the Markle Foundations announced the launch of Skillful Indiana Thursday morning.

Skillful Indiana is a philanthropic effort that brings investment, training, tools and innovative methods to bolster Indiana’s workforce development agenda, according to a media release from the Governor's Office.

Indiana is projecting the need for 1-million skilled workers to fill open jobs over the next decade. Skillful is dedicated to enabling all Americans – particularly those without a four-year college degree – to secure good jobs in a changing economy, and Skillful Indiana will work with Indiana businesses and the state's educational community to equip Hoosiers with skills to contribute in a digital economy,

In addition to the Markle Foundation and Microsoft Philanthropies, Skillful also involves Walmart, the Lumina Foundation, Purdue University and Purdue Extension with the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet to create better pathways to good jobs for Hoosiers.

Skillful Indiana is based on a successful model established by Skillful in Colorado as well as those shared within the Skillful State Network, which is a coalition of 20 governors, including Holcomb, but tailored to Indiana’s unique strengths and opportunities.

Even with Indiana’s unemployment at historic lows and businesses growing, the need exists for talented people to support that growth. “Adding Skillful to the Hoosier state is a game-changer when it comes to skilling up our workforce,” Gov. Holcomb said in a prepared statement. “Here in Indiana, we’ve built a strong pro-growth business climate and have a fully-funded infrastructure plan, but we also need to ensure every Hoosier is prepared for this ever-changing economy while attracting more people to fill the jobs of tomorrow. Skillful Indiana will serve as a force multiplier—strengthening and building upon workforce efforts already underway to connect people with the skills they need for high-wage, high-demand jobs.”

Skillful Indiana plans to work with employers to expand opportunities for people of diverse backgrounds and deepen their talent pool of qualified candidates by helping them to recruit and hire with a focus on skills, as well as encouraging employers to invest in skill building for their employees on the job, at colleges or online.

In addition, Skillful will work with the education community to anticipate and respond to economic shifts.

Organizations such as WorkOne, Purdue Extensions and local non-profits that provide career coaches will also get support.