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An evaluation completed earlier this year of the state’s Strategic Skills Initiative found that the design and structure of the SSI process employed in each of the eleven workforce regions was both comprehensive and focused.
The evaluation was the subject of a session held at the Strategic Skills Initiative summit last month in Indianapolis. U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao was the keynote speaker at the forum, which attracted more than 225 workforce and economic development officials, industry representatives and educators. The evaluation also found:
The first year of the Strategic Skills Initiative has resulted in more than 2300 individuals participating in local training programs. More than 1100 have received scholarships or tuition assistance, 561 have already completed their training program, with 494 receiving some form of certification or credential. Already, 40 individuals have been placed in “in-demand” occupations.
For the full SSI evaluation report, go here.
For Secretary Chao’s speech, go here.Study: Indiana employers ill-prepared for aging workforce
Though Indiana employers recognize that their workforce is getting older, few are taking concrete steps to manage the transition as the baby boom generation begins to reach retirement age, according to a new report from the University of Indianapolis Center for Aging & Community.
In the final phase of its two-part study, Gray Matters: Opportunities and Challenges for Indiana’s Aging Workforce, the center surveyed employers about their understanding of the ongoing demographic shift, any preparations they are making to deal with the changes, and their perceptions about employee loss and its impact on their operations. Responses were gathered from more than 400 businesses and other organizations around the state, each with 50 or more employees. Four key themes arose from the data:
To access the full report, go here.Gary receives Dept of Labor youth grant
The city of Gary has received a $491,666 grant from the U.S. Dept of Labor to better connect young people who have dropped out of high school to alternative learning opportunities. Under the program, efforts will engage youth in career preparation and encouraging them to pursue post-secondary education.
The Center of Workforce Innovations is serving as project manager and fiscal agent on behalf of the Regional Workforce Board and the city of Gary.State continues training project at state corrections facilities
The Department of Workforce Development is expanding and upgrading several technical education programs provided to inmates at several Indiana correctional facilities. Training available under the program, which is funded through the federal Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, includes computer repair, AUTO CAD, several automotive programs, culinary arts, and building trades. The training is available at correctional facilities in Plainfield, Westville, Rockville, and Pendleton.Disability Program Coordinator named
Elaina Freeman has been named Senior Navigator for the state’s Disability Program Navigator, which provides seamless and comprehensive services to persons with disabilities at Indiana’s WorkOne Centers. The Navigator project is an initiative of the U.S. Dept of Labor to assist people with disabilities in accessing and navigating the complex provisions of various employment and training programs.
As senior navigator, Freeman will provide support to the State Lead Navigator at the Department of Workforce Development, and will serve as a resource, problem solver, change agent and relationship builder for staff, employers and the disabled community. Freeman is an employee at River Valley Resources, Inc., which is the Regional Operator for workforce services in the 8 counties of Indiana Region 5 (surrounding Indianapolis) and the Workforce Investment Act Service Provider for the 10 counties of Indiana Region 9 in the southeastern and south central part of the state.