Ballard education deputy leaving to head up workforce initiative

Jason Kloth, who was appointed by Mayor Greg Ballard as Indianapolis’ first deputy mayor for education, will leave on Friday to lead a workforce development effort being launched by the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership.

The new initiative will work with higher education institutions, industry groups and state government to identify any gaps in skills needed by employers or in training programs offered.

The Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, or CICP, was formed by the chief executives of central Indiana’s largest companies, universities and foundations. It has launched such organizations as BioCrossroads

Two existing organizations supported by CICP, TechPoint and Conexus Indiana, already try to develop Indiana’s workforce for the technology, manufacturing and logistics industries. But the new initiative led by Kloth would involve more industries and a wider array of skills, said David Johnson, CEO of CICP.

“Through many discussions with our corporate members, we know that an additional focus across a wider expanse of both industries and skill levels here in central Indiana is imperative for our region to move forward,” he said in a written statement. “Jason’s background, passion and innovative thinking make him uniquely qualified to lead this important new collaborative effort.”

Kloth, 34, took the helm of Ballard’s Office of Education Innovation in early 2012. Since then, the number of charter schools the mayor oversees has grown from 22 to 38. Kloth also helped craft Public Law 1321, which gave more incentives for Indianapolis Public Schools to collaborate with charter schools. That legislation was extended statewide by state lawmakers this year. He also helped design and negotiate for a $50 million pre-school program that will pay for about 1,300 low-income children in Marion County to attend preschool each year.

“During my tenure, I developed a deeper understanding of the challenges our community faces,” Kloth said in a written statement. “At the forefront of these challenges is the need to ensure we have an adequately prepared workforce that meets employers' needs and strengthens our economy.”

Before the Ballard administration, Kloth worked for New York-based Teach for America in various positions, including opening its Indianapolis operation. Kloth earned a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Illinois.

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