INDIANAPOLIS | Gov. Mike Pence finally made his appointments to the Indiana Career Council Tuesday, nearly three months after signing the law creating the industry-led worker training review panel during a lavish Statehouse ceremony.
The 16-member council is tasked with coordinating the state's public and private educational and job training programs to match the current and future needs of businesses, and work to eliminate the "skills gap" that blocks many of the 262,800 unemployed Hoosiers from obtaining open jobs.
"There are thousands of jobs available in the state of Indiana today that go unfilled because men and women in Indiana who are looking for work lack the background and skills necessary to fill those positions," Pence said.
The council, which will host its first meeting July 29, is required by law to submit an inventory of the state's career and job training programs to the Legislature by Aug. 1.
The Republican governor said his staff already has been working to compile the training program list and should easily meet that deadline.
The delay in making appointments was due to funding for the Career Council not starting until July 1, Pence said. Council members are unpaid.
Two members of the new council hail from Northwest Indiana: Dan Waldrop, of Hobart, business manager for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 697, picked by Pence to represent organized labor; and state Sen. Frank Mrvan, D-Hammond, selected by Senate Democrats.
Other Pence-appointed council members are: Joseph Loughrey, of Indianapolis, former president of Cummins Inc., representing manufacturing; Gary Hobbs, of Indianapolis, president of the development and construction management company BWI, representing business; and Neil Pickett, of Carmel, executive director of policy, planning and outreach at IU Health, representing the life sciences industry.
The remaining council members include Pence, Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann and representatives of various state agencies and educational institutions.