Gov. Mike Pence applauded Tuesday a group of business and state leaders who will spend the coming months investigating how to employ more Hoosiers.
Pence announced his appointments to the Indiana Career Council from the floor of manufacturer Hurco Cos. Inc. in Indianapolis. He said the group would hold its first meeting by the end of the month and have a preliminary report ready for the General Assembly by the end of the year.
The panel is tasked with identifying available jobs, determining which skills are needed to fill them and analyzing where the state is spending job-training money, and likely realigning those efforts.
"I have every confidence that Indiana will be the national leader in recognizing that all honest work is honorable work, we're going to say yes to all the career pathways in the state of Indiana that will be right for our people, right for our economy and will make Indiana known everywhere as the state that works," Pence said.
The governor appointed former Cummins Inc. president Joe Loughrey, Indiana University Health executive Neil Pickett, Indiana Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 697 official Dan Waldrop and BWI Contractors President Gary Hobbs to the council.
The governor also announced a trio of Statehouse heavyweights would be added as his advisers to the group: Indiana Chamber of Commerce President Kevin Brinegar, Indiana Manufacturer's Association President Pat Kiely and Associated Builders and Contractors President J.R. Gaylor.
The council was created with bipartisan support by lawmakers earlier this year and tasked with examining how to fill the so-called skills gap between available jobs and unemployed residents. Top legislative Republicans and Democrats drafted and shepherded the measure through the General Assembly earlier this year, but were not at Tuesday's event.
Pence pushed a separate jobs effort this year, creating nine regional works councils, which will focus on aligning training at Indiana schools with available jobs. He said Tuesday more information about the regional councils would be released soon.
The first meeting of the career council is scheduled for July 29.