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Indiana Report Card Released Based On Economic Plan

Indiana Chamber of Commerce President Kevin Brinegar says improving the state’s workforce is Indiana’s biggest area of need.

Indianapolis

Photo: Dan Goldblatt/WFIU News

Brinegar says the quality of our workforce is going to determine how well Indiana performs, how prosperous residents are.

Indiana Vision 2025, developed by the state Chamber, identifies four core drivers for economic development: an attractive business climate, superior infrastructure, a dynamic and creative culture and outstanding talent.

Chamber President Kevin Brinegar says the quality of the state’s workforce will make or break Indiana’s economic success but adds the state lags the nation. He says the Chamber’s goal – which matches that of the state Commission for Higher Education – is for 60 percent of Hoosiers to have some post-secondary credential – whether a degree or certificate – by 2025.

“Whether we’ll get there or not, I’m not sure, but by focusing on that goal we’ll get a lot closer to achieving it than if we just kept lumping on down the road,” he says.

And while Brinegar says the state’s business and regulatory climate is an area of strength, serious concerns remain about the state’s obesity and smoking rates. While the General Assembly passed a limited public smoking ban last year, Brinegar says there’s more work to be done, such as changing a law prohibiting companies from charging smokers more for health insurance than non-smokers.

“Perhaps we need to look at that and say, ‘Okay, you can work here, we’ll provide health insurance, but if you smoke, you’re going to pay a larger share of the total health care bill.”

Brinegar says he’s glad to see much of Indiana Vision 2025 line up with the governor’s Roadmap for Indiana, Mike Pence’s primary campaign and governing document.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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