INDIANAPOLIS –Governor Holcomb has said workforce development is the issue of the decade. The numbers are in and, as a result of his small-bore policies, it’s set to be the issue of the next three or four decades, too. New numbers reveal a Holcomb administration underperforming its own modest targets and an approach that won’t make significant improvements to Indiana’s under-skilled workforce for decades.
From the Times of Northwest Indiana Holcomb falling short on two of his five ‘big goals’ for Indiana workforce development
“According to the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet, just 14,970 adults with some college credits had re-enrolled by the end of September in programs that put them on course toward eventually completing a post-secondary credential or college degree.
“That’s about 60 percent of the governor’s target to re-enroll this year at least 25,000 of the estimated 700,000 Hoosiers who began college or another accredited post-secondary program but never finished it.
“Likewise, as of Nov. 29, state records show there were 26,419 Hoosiers enrolled in adult basic education programs working toward earning a high school diploma or equivalency certificate.
“That was less than the 30,000 individuals, out of some 475,000 Indiana residents lacking a high school diploma, that Holcomb said he wanted to help “obtain the education and skills they need to get a better job.”
Some back-of-the-envelope arithmetic reveals just how slowly Holcomb is turning the battleship. At the current rate of 14,970 adults per year, and assuming they are just one year from completing a program, Holcomb is on pace to see all 700,000 Hoosiers obtain post-secondary credentials by 2065. It’ll be just 17 years until every Hoosier in need of adult basic education earns their high school degree under the same assumptions.
The glacial pace by which Governor Holcomb is attacking Indiana’s workforce development crisis is proof positive to Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody that the first-term governor just doesn’t have a bold vision.
“For working Hoosiers counting on Governor Holcomb’s programs to earn the skills they need to compete in the 21st century economy, one piece of advice: don’t hold your breath,” said Zody. “Employers demand a skilled workforce. For decades, Indiana Republicans have failed to invest in Hoosiers and Holcomb started in a deep hole. But his incremental approach is like digging with a spoon. Holcomb is telling working Hoosiers who want a good job and to earn decent wages, they’re just going to have to wait.”