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Lt. Gov. Says Workforce Issues Emerging In Indiana

Indiana is beginning to grapple with new problems in developing and maintaining an adequate workforce, particularly in the life sciences sector.

bioscience

Photo: IITA Image Library (flickr)

Officials say these problems have not yet received much attention from the state’s many workforce development efforts.

Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann says one of the issues Indiana businesses face is retention; young employees are leaving companies to work in other states three to five years after graduating.

She says the state is only beginning to study the problem, but improving Hoosier communities needs to be part of the solution.

“What role should communities play in that and how do we do that more assertively?  It’s not just bike trails; it’s all the things that make a community a great place to be,” Ellspermann says.

She says the other issue is a lack of ‘soft skills’ – things such as showing up for work on time and taking instruction well.

“We used to learn those at home, with our chores; we learned it on the farm. We learned it in our summer jobs.”

Ellspermann says fixing that issue is particularly challenging because it’s not the job of schools or government to instill those skills. She says it’s something in which Hoosier families and parents need to be more involved.

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