Indiana’s Next Level Jobs initiative gains more partners, resources to help Hoosiers open doors to better-paying careers • Northwest Indiana Business Magazine

Indiana’s Next Level Jobs initiative gains more partners, resources to help Hoosiers open doors to better-paying careers

Indiana’s Next Level Jobs initiative has gained more partners and resources to connect people to the skills they need to land better-paying jobs.

Skillful Indiana, which will work to assist people—particularly individuals without a four-year college degree—to land a good job in a changing economy.

The launch of Skillful Indiana brings together the Markle Foundation, Microsoft Philanthropies, LinkedIn, Walmart, Lumina Foundation, Purdue University and Purdue Extension with the Gov. Eric Holcomb’s Workforce Cabinet and local workforce development boards to create better pathways to good jobs for Hoosiers. Skillful Indiana will work with Indiana businesses and the state’s educational community to equip Hoosiers with marketable skills for the digital economy.

“Adding Skillful to the Hoosier state is a game-changer when it comes to skilling up our workforce,” Holcomb said. “Here in Indiana, we’ve built a strong pro-growth business climate and have a fully- funded infrastructure plan, but we also need to ensure every Hoosier is prepared for this ever- changing economy while attracting more people to fill the jobs of tomorrow. Skillful Indiana will serve as a force multiplier—strengthening and building upon workforce efforts already underway to connect people with the skills they need for high-wage, high-demand jobs.”

Skillful was launched in Colorado. Skillful engages employers, educators, policymakers and workforce development organizations to create a labor market where skills are valued, and people can more easily access the information and education they need to secure good jobs. Skillful, with its partner Microsoft, selected Indiana for expansion because the organization believed Indiana had the elements needed for the program including support from the governor’s office and Indiana’s workforce ecosystem.

“We are incredibly impressed with the extraordinary work going on in Indiana,” said Beth Cobert, Skillful CEO. “With Skillful Indiana, we see a tremendous opportunity to bring additional resources, national partners and road-tested programming to contribute to the exciting things happening here.”

Skillful will bring to Indiana innovations developed in Colorado, as well as those shared within the Skillful State Network, a coalition of 20 governors, including Holcomb, who have made innovation in workforce development a state priority.

Skillful Indiana will focus on accelerating a skills-based labor market through the following:

  • Working with employers to expand opportunities for people of diverse backgrounds and deepen their talent pool of qualified candidates by helping them to recruit and hire with a focus on skills, as well as encouraging employers to invest in skill building for their employees on the job, at colleges or online.
  • Working with Indiana’s higher education community so that all are better able to anticipate economic shifts and be responsive to them, as well as supporting the advancement of skills-based credential and data platforms.
  • Investing in the professional development of career coaches at organizations like WorkOne, Purdue Extension and local nonprofits so that they are better equipped to connect Hoosiers to effective training opportunities and quality jobs.
  • Applying data-driven insights and technology tools toward its efforts so that the same technologies disrupting the economy are put to use in adapting to it. For example, online tools to create skills-based job postings and to assess the skills of job applicants.


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