In one last demonstration of the unprecedented bipartisan cooperation that
forged the legislation, Governor Mike Pence, Indiana House Democratic Leader
Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City, and Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma,
R-Indianapolis, appeared together Monday to give final approval to a
proposal designed to reduce the skills gap facing Hoosier workers looking
for more and better-paying jobs.
Joined by Pelath, Bosma and other legislative leaders, Pence signed into law
House Enrolled Act 1002, which creates the Indiana Career Council, a
16-member panel led by the governor that will help develop a strategic plan
to improve the state’s education, job skills development, and career
“With Indiana’s unemployment rate staying above eight percent, the time had
come for all parties to join forces to look at the individual components of
our workforce development and job training systems and find a way to do
things better,” Pelath said. “The most important thing about this council is
that it will make every effort to emphasize the role that a highly educated
workforce can have in improving our economy, both now and into the future,”
The council will analyze education and skills training currently offered
across the state, match those efforts with the current and future needs of
Indiana’s job market, then make recommendations for improvements to be
implemented in future years.
From the start of this session, HEA 1002 has been a bipartisan product.
Bosma and Pelath led the bill through the House, while Indiana Senate
President Pro Tempore David Long, R-Fort Wayne, and Senate Democratic Leader
Tim Lanan, D-Anderson, guided the proposal through that chamber.
Pelath drew a sharp contrast between the cooperation that led to passage of
HEA 1002 and the actions of the federal government in Washington.
“The reason that Washington is broken is that people there don’t know how to
accomplish the things they do agree on,” Pelath said. “Here in Indiana, we
do realize that we have the right to advocate hard for what we believe in
and offer criticisms whenever we can, but we also understand that we cannot
fight and yell so much that we cannot hear each other when we do agree.”
“We owe it to the people of Indiana to come together on the things that
really matter and that make the lives of Hoosiers better,” he concluded.
The legislation takes effect immediately.