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UPDATE: Governor signs Indiana workforce development bills

March 21, 2018

Gov. Eric Holcomb has signed workforce development legislation that he believes will help Indiana tackle its shortage of trained workers.

The two bills signed Wednesday were among the priorities for Holcomb and Republican lawmakers.

The measures will create a new 21-member board called the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet to oversee the state's job-training programs, while broadening eligibility requirements for some worker training grants.

However, Holcomb's plan will require a waiver from the U.S. Department of Labor so the state can continue receiving $49 million in federal funding. The board Holcomb sought doesn't meet federal requirements.

Holcomb said his administration has been in communication with the Labor Department and will request the waiver by the end of this week.

Democrats maintain the workforce bills don't actually do much. They compared the effort to rearranging deck furniture.

Also on Wednesday, Holcomb said he appointed his current deputy chief of staff, Danny Lopez, to be chairman of the Workforce Cabinet. Lopez will begin the new role immediately.

Cris Johnston, director for KSM Consulting, was named to succeed Lopez as deputy chief of staff, starting May 7.

Johnston has led KSM Consulting's organizational improvement practice since 2013. Prior to that, he served eight years under then-Gov. Mitch Daniels—first as the executive director of the Office of Management and Budget’s Division of Government Efficiency and, later, as a deputy chief of staff to Daniels.

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