Indiana created one of the most promising and inviting business climates in the country. By lowering state taxes and removing burdensome regulations, we attracted nearly 30,000 job commitments in 2017 alone. Now, we need to ensure Hoosiers can fill those positions. Indiana currently invests $1 billion each year in 30 different workforce development programs across nine state agencies, yet employers still struggle to find qualified workers to fill high-demand, high-wage jobs.

Strengthening Indiana’s workforce and continuing to grow the state’s economy are top priorities for House Republicans this session. House Bill 1002, authored by State Rep. Todd Huston, aims to revamp the state’s workforce programs and funding by using return-on-investment metrics to determine which programs are successful and where improvements are needed. Identifying where our programs overlap will help streamline efforts to make the system more efficient and beneficial to Hoosier jobseekers and employers.

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development would also have two employees at each WorkOne center, which connects Hoosier employers and jobseekers with state resources, to inform local school officials and students of available grants and programs. Career and technical education students would have the opportunity to opt into a database, which would help connect them with employers and open positions in their communities.

If you are a job seeker or a Hoosier business looking to hire, you can visit www.NextLevelJobs.org. This resource connects Indiana employers with qualified workers and offers training resources to those looking to skill up.

Continuing efforts to attract, retain and train more workers in high-demand fields will help increase Hoosiers’ wages and grow the economy.