Governor Mike Pence this week unveiled a map of the 11 regions for the Indiana Works Councils, councils which he said will bring educators and employers together to evaluate and develop career and technical education that meets the demands of employers in each region. The Indiana Works Councils were created with the passage of Senate Enrolled Act 465, which the governor signed into law on April 15.
Ron Gifford of the Starke County Economic Development Foundation told WKVI that he is pleased with the way the regions have been mapped out.
“Any surprise was a pleasant one because for the most part the regions follow exactly as regions are drawn for other state agencies like the Department of Workforce Development, as an example,” said Gifford.
However, while the regions have been mapped out favorably, Gifford said he still has some concerns over who will be on the councils, information which has yet to be announced.
“What we still don’t know yet is what the make-up of those councils will be and what people are going to be actually sitting on those particular councils for each of the regions,” Gifford said.
Each council is responsible for preparing and submitting a comprehensive evaluation of the available career, technical and vocational education opportunities for high school students in its region to the governor and the education roundtable by Nov.1.
Gifford said he is hopeful that the councils will see the SCILL Center and its programs as a shining example of workforce skills development.
“Their role basically is to go out and survey what programs are already out there to help develop workforce skills, and we certainly have two or three of those types of programs already in place at SCILL, and so we would hope that they would see that we have those programs, look at the results that those programs have generated, and say, ‘This is what we ought to be doing,’” Gifford explained.
Starke County is grouped in the same region as neighboring counties Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Newton, Jasper and Pulaski. For a full map, click here.