2018-04-11 / Front Page

Holcomb creates office to expand work-based learning for more Hoosiers in more industries

Gov. Eric J. Holcomb recently signed an executive order creating an Office of Apprenticeships & Work- Based Learning to help more people skill-up for good paying jobs with Indiana companies. The new state office will work to double the number of Hoosiers who participate in apprenticeships or other work-based learning programs by 2020 and will expand these valuable opportunities for both students and working adult Hoosiers in a more diverse range of industry sectors.

“With more than 80,000 open jobs around the state, we can’t wait for students to get out of school to fill them. We need to skill-up working adults as quickly as possible,” Gov. Holcomb said. “That’s why expanding opportunities for working adults, in particular, is so critical— because they need to ability to work and earn money while they learn the skills they need to enter a new career in a high-wage, high-demand field. This office makes this possible.”

The governor signed the executive order at Terre Haute-based Stark Industries, a hightech CNC machining company that has made workforce development a priority. The company provides internships and other work-based learning opportunities for students and working adults.

“For several years now, Stark Industries has been proactively working with K-12 school districts, three different colleges and universities, and our local Work One office to put together several work-and-learn opportunities for both students and adults. The work and learn model simply works,” said Jeff Stark, CEO of Stark Industries. “We believe the added structure at the state level for apprenticeships and work-based learning will help companies like Stark overcome their shortages of human capital. That’s positive for both our company’s growth and our local economy.”

To boost apprenticeship programs for working adults, the Office of Apprenticeship & Work-Based Learning will work with the U.S. Department of Labor to enhance and expand federally approved apprenticeships. Beyond apprenticeships, the office will work closely with Indiana businesses and education providers to build more relevant work-based learning programs in emerging industries for a more diverse population of Hoosiers.

Finally, the office will work to better communicate and connect Hoosiers with apprenticeships and work-based learning opportunities around the state.

“As I travel around the state talking with Indiana businesses, I hear from many of them that finding skilled employees is a top concern to sustain and grow their companies,” Gov. Holcomb said. “This new office will create more work-based experiences that align industry needs with relevant skills training— with the ultimate goal of getting more Hoosiers into good jobs right now while preparing young people for tomorrow’s economy.”

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