Honda executive to lead Indiana workforce development agency

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A longtime executive with Honda's southeastern Indiana auto assembly plant has been tapped to lead the state's Department of Workforce Development.

Gov. Eric Holcomb announced Tuesday that Fred Payne will become commissioner on Dec. 12 at the state agency that oversees Indiana's workforce development efforts.

Payne is currently chief administrator for Honda Manufacturing of Indiana, which builds the CR-V sport utility vehicle and the Honda Civic at a 2,500-worker plant in Greensburg, about 50 miles southeast of Indianapolis. Payne has been with the Honda division since 2008.

The governor said Payne's corporate experience at Honda has given him "a clear perspective of employer workforce demands."

As chief administrator for HMIN, Payne has led the company’s business division, overseeing corporate affairs, information services and administrative functions—along with serving as company secretary and compliance officer. Payne joined HMIN in 2008 as an attorney focusing on employment and labor issues. In 2011 became general counsel, secretary, and corporate affairs and administration manager.

Prior to working for HMIN, Payne was managing attorney for the Indiana office of Wessels and Pautsch P.C.

Payne succeeds Steve Braun, who stepped down in August after three years in the job. Braun's key initiative was a $3.6 million data system designed to predict demand in Indiana for about 800 occupations.

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