The Indiana governor’s staff cabinet recommends new programs

Indiana lawmakers should consider a number of programs to help employers find much-needed workers, including increasing funding for education, making it easier for immigrants to work in the state, and simplifying the process of removing criminal records to lower levels level, according to the governor’s staff cabinet.

The list of 30 recommendations the cabinet released on Friday follows several alarming reports this year about the declining number of Hoosiers pursuing higher education and the increasing number of jobs requiring those credentials.

“The governor will consider these in preparing his agenda, and we will communicate this to the legislature,” said Whitney Ertel, executive director of the governor’s cabinet of staff.

The General Assembly meets in January and can develop proposals for the implementation of these recommendations. The staff cabinet includes two lawmakers: Rep. Bob Behning and Senator Jeff Raatz. They are both leaders on education issues among state legislatures.

Earlier this month, two nonprofits released data on the city and state’s labor crisis, warning that these problems will exacerbate income inequality, racial disparities and social problems.

For jobs that don’t typically require a degree, managers in Indiana posted about 126,000 jobs in a month in 2022, compared to the 155,000 people hired for those jobs, data shows. On the other hand, managers advertised around 119,000 jobs that usually require a degree and hired only 39,000.

In June, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education reported that the state’s college enrollment rate fell to its lowest level in recent history.