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The Indiana Statehouse in Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana employers and educators must work together to identify the needs in today's changing work place and develop student-centered education pathways.

That's what Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers shared in her annual State of Higher Education Address at the Indiana Statehouse on Monday afternoon.

"The State of Higher Education is strong," Lubbers said, addressing an audience of educators, lawmakers and business leaders.

In the seventh annual address, Lubbers detailed her own parents' personal work histories finding success with their high school diplomas, but noted how in today's workforce, things have changed with disruption in technology and automation industries leading to a shift in educational needs.

"The more education workers have, the safer they are to job loss to innovation," Lubbers said.

The commissioner outlined differences in higher education students, ranging from the 18-year-old student attending classes right out of high school to the 30-something parent balancing a family and career while seeking extended professional credentials.

Lubbers drew attention to the need to provide engaging educational opportunities for career and technological education in high school and celebrated the successes of high school students in achieving a greater number of early college credits, outlined in the commission's recent College Readiness Report.

She made note of Gov. Eric Holcomb's Next Level Jobs initiative and priorities to prepare high school students for work force and educational opportunities after graduation through career pathways.

"We have an obligation to better align what they learn with their career goals," Lubbers said.

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Education Reporter

Carley Lanich covers education in Lake County and throughout the Region. She comes to Northwest Indiana from Indianapolis and is an IU-Bloomington grad.