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Pence, Coats, German diplomat tout jobs alliance

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German Ambassador Peter Ammon and two top Indiana leaders spent Monday touting international skills training they say will help fill well-paying and vacant jobs in the state.

Indiana and German leaders are focusing on training Indiana residents to fill the skills gap between available work and unemployed Hoosiers. Ammon, U.S. Sen. Dan Coats and Gov. Mike Pence told university and business leaders gathered at Ivy Tech in Indianapolis about their joint efforts.

Germany's top diplomat in the U.S. told the crowd that improving supply chains internationally through synchronizing operations, including training, promotes economic growth in both countries. He said not every student is meant to obtain a PhD or other advanced degrees.

"I'm afraid that here, but also in Germany, there is a trend toward uber-academization," Ammon said. "It's simply true that not everybody can become a neurosurgeon, or a lawyer, or a financial wizard. Manufacturing requires different skills."

Pence has spent much of his first year in office focusing on ways to change how Indiana students and workers are trained. He said Monday he will announced new appointments to the Indiana Career Council, a panel charged with identifying what training is needed to fill vacant jobs.

While the state lagged in that area over the last few years, Indiana universities and local high schools were acting on their own to train students for advanced manufacturing jobs, Pence said. The governor said Indiana is now getting in the game with those schools as well institutions like Ivy Tech to help train students and re-train adults.

"We all know unemployment is too high in Indiana. And it's been too high for too long," he said. "What people don't realize is that we have a quarter million Hoosiers that are out of work, but there are literally tens of thousands of jobs in Indiana that are going unfilled today because employers can't find men and women with the background and the training to be able to fill those jobs."

The career council won bipartisan support during the 2013 legislative session and is expected to spend the rest of the year studying the issue before reporting back to lawmakers and Pence with potential solutions.

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  1. How much you wanna bet, that 70% of the jobs created there (after construction) are minimum wage? And Harvey is correct, the vast majority of residents in this project will drive to their jobs, and to think otherwise, is like Harvey says, a pipe dream. Someone working at a restaurant or retail store will not be able to afford living there. What ever happened to people who wanted to build buildings, paying for it themselves? Not a fan of these tax deals.

  2. Uh, no GeorgeP. The project is supposed to bring on 1,000 jobs and those people along with the people that will be living in the new residential will be driving to their jobs. The walkable stuff is a pipe dream. Besides, walkable is defined as having all daily necessities within 1/2 mile. That's not the case here. Never will be.

  3. Brad is on to something there. The merger of the Formula E and IndyCar Series would give IndyCar access to International markets and Formula E access the Indianapolis 500, not to mention some other events in the USA. Maybe after 2016 but before the new Dallara is rolled out for 2018. This give IndyCar two more seasons to run the DW12 and Formula E to get charged up, pun intended. Then shock the racing world, pun intended, but making the 101st Indianapolis 500 a stellar, groundbreaking event: The first all-electric Indy 500, and use that platform to promote the future of the sport.

  4. No, HarveyF, the exact opposite. Greater density and closeness to retail and everyday necessities reduces traffic. When one has to drive miles for necessities, all those cars are on the roads for many miles. When reasonable density is built, low rise in this case, in the middle of a thriving retail area, one has to drive far less, actually reducing the number of cars on the road.

  5. The Indy Star announced today the appointment of a new Beverage Reporter! So instead of insightful reports on Indy pro sports and Indiana college teams, you now get to read stories about the 432nd new brewery open or some obscure Hoosier winery winning a county fair blue ribbon. Yep, that's the coverage we Star readers crave. Not.

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