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Indiana Manufacturers Want More Say in State's Job Training Efforts

IMA: Changes to workforce development this year don't go far enough.

INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana manufacturers want legislators to rethink the state's job training programs in next year's session.

A law passed this year seeks to streamline several different training programs, and the state has began offering free tuition for certificates in some high-demand areas. But the Indiana Manufacturers Association says those efforts didn't go far enough. Companies say they want more input in what skills are being taught.

The Manufacturers Association says with low unemployment and slow population growth, the pool of potential workers is small to begin with. And, they say too many of those don't have training that matches the available jobs.

Indiana Manufacturers Association president Brian Burton says companies have high-paying jobs they can't fill, and the gap is expected to grow as more baby boomers retire. The state has said it's working to identify high-need areas and plan training programs accordingly, but Burton says business should play a more direct role.

Burton says most vocational ed students are learning skills which don't match up with manufacturing. And Hillenbrand CEO Joe Raver says many potential workers don't apply for those jobs because they're picturing the factories of a half-century ago.

(Photo by Eric Berman/WIBC)

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