The Indiana General Assembly works diligently each year to implement policies that will help fill open jobs and encourage businesses to grow or locate in our state, and we continue to see positive results.
For example, our state’s unemployment rate has remained below the national average for four consecutive years, and with a rate of 3.2 percent for March, we continue to have the lowest rate among our neighboring states.
In addition, companies continue to relocate or expand in our state. For example, auto-part manufacturer ElringKlinger announced plans in March to establish a new facility in Fort Wayne, creating up to 150 new jobs by 2022, and the information technology company Infosys recently announced it will build its new technology hub in Indianapolis, creating 3,000 new jobs. Plus, Chief Executive Magazine, Area Development Magazine and Site Selection Magazine recently ranked Indiana in the top 10 states for doing business.
Indiana’s strong economy is also attractive to small businesses and entrepreneurs. In fact, the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council’s “Small Business Policy Index 2018” ranked Indiana the eighth most entrepreneur-friendly state in the nation. Right now, there are nearly 500,000 small businesses in Indiana that employ more than 1.2 million Hoosiers.
Our state’s economy is flourishing, but we can still make improvements. One of our biggest long-term challenges is a skills gap between available jobs and workers. For example, nearly one-third of Indiana employers responded to a survey conducted by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce saying they felt that filling an open position is their biggest challenge. Nearly half of the employers reported that they left an open job unfilled in 2017 due to lack of qualified candidates.
To help shrink this gap, my colleagues and I passed Senate Enrolled Act 50 during the 2018 session, which establishes the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet. This 21-person cabinet, which replaces a 43-member State Workforce Innovation Council, will streamline oversight of Indiana’s workforce development programs and help Hoosiers find job training so they can fill open positions.
I am proud of the work we have done in the General Assembly to maintain a strong economy, and with this measure in place, I hope to see our economy continue to thrive in the future.
As always, if you have any questions, comments or concerns regarding this or other topics, contact my office by phone at 800-382-9467 or by email at Senator.Long@iga.in.gov.
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