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Job Training Push Includes Introducing Students to Employers -- and Vice Versa

Holcomb: Businesses need to start thinking early about filling future openings

(INDIANAPOLIS) - Indiana's new workforce Cabinet hopes to match workers with in-demand jobs. But Governor Holcomb says part of the task ahead is marketing.

Holcomb's talked often about needing to "grow our own" workers to fill a projected million openings created by economic growth and baby-boomer retirements. He told an IUPUI policy forum that needs to be a community project, and says some communities are getting the message. He recalls going to a Logansport High School basketball game earlier this year and discovering a job fair going on in the practice gym next door, with the basketball helping to draw students and parents to the event. Many of those students, he says, walked out with job offers.

Holcomb says businesses need to start thinking that early about the jobs they'll eventually need to fill -- or earlier. He says on last fall's trade mission to Japan, he encountered class after class of fifth graders visiting factories and trying their hands at things like laser welding. The goal, he says, is to help students understand early what careers are out there, and the way technology has transformed them.

And Holcomb says that community effort shouldn't be limited to individual cities. He says the state needs to build regionally -- that's how would-be investors are likely to look at it.

(Photo: boarding1now/Thinkstock)


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