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Indiana’s economic future requires a bold vision for an integrated approach in education and workforce development, which will serve Hoosier children and adults more effectively. In August 2013, Governor Mike Pence issued an Executive Order to establish the Center for Education & Career Innovation, bringing together the staff and budgets of four state entities already under the Governor’s authority.
Building on his “Roadmap” commitments to education and workforce development, Governor Pence worked with the General Assembly to implement key priorities such as the Indiana Career Council and the Indiana Works Councils—both of which received unanimous, bipartisan legislative support.
The Center’s mission is to improve learning outcomes for Hoosier students and adult workers by: (1) aligning statewide efforts to connect the education and workforce training pipeline with the needs of Indiana’s employers, and (2) supporting the expansion of innovative and highly effective education and career development initiatives. The Center is nationally unique in addressing the entire spectrum of education and career preparation, from pre-kindergarten through higher education and beyond.
Through collaborations with the Department of Education, Commission for Higher Education and Department of Workforce Development, in addition to other state and external partners, the Center is part of a growing national focus by governors and legislative leadership to integrate state efforts in education and workforce to deliver significantly improved outcomes.
According to the Indiana Business Research Center, 65% of jobs created this decade will require post-secondary skills and credentials. Indiana needs to make substantial strides over a short period of time in order to meet this requirement. In Indiana today:
Equally important is how the state is deploying its existing assets and efforts. Indiana directs more than 59% of the state budget and more than 30 federal and state funding sources across five different agencies toward education and workforce training. Funding decisions are typically made by function or department, and are rarely coordinated across agencies. The Center seeks to better align these resource allocation efforts, and to support innovative solutions that will have a positive impact on our state’s learning and employment outcomes.
Indiana has made strong education and career preparation gains over the past five years. High school graduation rates are up, ISTEP+ scores have increased, and Indiana ranked second among states as measured by growth in NAEP scores. In addition, Education Week ranked Indiana first in the nation for its K-12 standards, assessments and accountability system. Indiana also garners wide national attention for education innovations in K-12, higher education, adult education and workforce development.
However, despite this progress, there is much more our state must accomplish in order to ensure every child and adult is provided with the opportunity to succeed in life and in a career. The Center was created to build upon Indiana’s recent successes and ensure the state coordinates its efforts more intentionally to benefit a greater number of Hoosier families and communities.
The Center provides staffing and support for the Education Roundtable, State Board of Education, Indiana Career Council and the Indiana Works Councils. Current Center-supported initiatives include strategic planning efforts across early learning, K-12, higher education and career preparation, led by the Career Council and the State Board of Education. The completion of these planning efforts by July 2014 will enable the state to adopt a coordinated strategy and set of priority objectives and metrics across the entire education pipeline.
Stakeholder input is critical to these strategic planning efforts. Input is being gathered from the 11 regional Works Councils, as well as from education, industry, non-profit, public sector and economic development leadership from around the state.