More bureaucracy and the same stale policies define Holcomb’s stumbling approach
INDIANAPOLIS – At his second State of the State speech, Governor Eric Holcomb claimed Indiana didn’t have “a day to waste” on workforce development. Three months later, business allies are unloading on what they describe as “inaction” and “no substantive change” on the issue this session. Holcomb was criticized for entering the 2018 session without a vision. That analysis is proving true on what Holcomb described as “the defining issue of the decade”.
From The Indianapolis Business Journal: House, Senate agree on workforce changes, but critics say they don’t go far enough
“The Indiana Manufacturers Association is disappointed that the governor and General Assembly appear poised to make no substantive change on workforce again this year,” said Brian Burton, president and CEO of the Indiana Manufacturers Association, in a written statement to IBJ. “Our members are telling us that a lack of skilled workers is the number one barrier to continued growth in Indiana.
“Other states are making bold moves in this arena and our members have noticed Indiana’s inaction—we need Indiana to step up and send a message to the employer community that their concerns are important and that they intend to make the system employer-driven now.”
Frustration and confusion described the reactions to Holcomb and Statehouse Republicans’ bureaucratic workforce policies. The creation of a new board, “The Governor’s Workforce Cabinet” constitutes the majority of their work. If this all sounds familiar to you, you’re not alone. The Workforce Cabinet, not to be confused with the 2017 Education to Career Pathways Cabinet or the 2013 Indiana Career Council, will replace the existing State Workforce Innovation Council and is a lesson in bureaucracy.
How any of Holcomb’s initiatives will benefit the 1 million Hoosiers without the skills to compete is unknown and is an absolute failure according to Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody.
“Governor Holcomb is relying on a back to the future workforce approach punctuated by the same stale policies and fueled by more bureaucracy,” said Zody. “More of the same won’t cut it. It hasn’t worked for a decade and it won’t work now. The business community is rightfully frustrated and Holcomb is looking like a junior varsity policymaker. All the stakeholders were poised for action. The bases were loaded here and Holcomb couldn’t even step up to bat. The 1 million Hoosiers without the skills to compete just want a shot at earning a good living. Without a vision, Holcomb wasted a golden opportunity. Hoosiers deserve a governor with bold ideas prepared to implement them. Holcomb is still learning there’s no warm up lap in governing. Hoosiers don’t have a day to waste.”