Rep. Spartz speaks with central Indiana business leaders during the roundtable. Photos provided
Rep. Spartz speaks with central Indiana business leaders during the roundtable. Photos provided
U.S. Congresswoman Victoria Spartz (R-Ind.) hosted a roundtable discussion at the Ivy Tech Community College Hamilton County campus yesterday afternoon with education and workforce development providers and central Indiana business leaders.
During the roundtable, employers highlighted the significant challenges they are having in filling job openings, while applauding some of the successful public-private partnerships that are underway to address the situation, such as the state’s focus on work-based learning and adult education.
“The federal government has to stop incentivizing people not to work. Employers continue to express their frustrations with labor shortages and how the recent COVID relief bill added more perverse incentives for people not to work,” said Rep. Spartz. “I appreciate the Region 5 Workforce Development Board and Ivy Tech Community College for hosting the productive roundtable discussion.”
More than two dozen business leaders, representing health care, manufacturing, construction, and technology industries, participated in the discussion. Representatives from the Hinds Career Center, which provide adult basic education services, the Excel Center in Noblesville, Ivy Tech Community College, and Indiana’s Office of Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeship were in attendance and highlighted their efforts to bridge Indiana’s skills gap and attract more workers to the state.
While our state’s unemployment rate has recovered to 3.9% and is the best in the Midwest, Indiana’s private sector employment is still currently 118,200 below its December 2019 peak. There are approximately that many job openings currently available to Hoosiers as businesses struggle to find qualified workers willing to fill vacancies.
The House Education and Labor Committee, on which Congresswoman Spartz is a member, will look into these issues as it holds hearings on the reauthorization of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. This legislation will provide federal funding for workforce development, training, and education programs.