Forbes magazine recently dropped Indiana from 29th to 34th in a ranking of the best states for business and careers.
Other organizations and publications have recently valued Indiana’s business climate much higher. State Chamber of Commerce president Kevin Brinegar says that is because the Forbes ranking incorporates broader and more subjective criteria.
Though the state’s business costs and regulatory environment were ranked favorably, Indiana did not do well when it came to its labor supply. That measure largely incorporated high school and college attainment. Brinegar says that is something he knows needs to improve.
“The biggest challenge facing Indiana long-term is not property taxes. It’s not immigration. It’s not gay marriage,” he says. “It’s the quality of our workforce.
Brinegar says the business community needs to support the education sector in a number of ways, which includes pushing the government to channel its resources wisely.
“Investing for tomorrow rather than putting any unnecessary amounts of resources into today and yesterday’s problems, when we think about the welfare, social services and correctional systems,” he says.
Brinegar says businesses also need to continue fostering relationships with K-12 education and bolstering the state’s community college system.