The Indiana Chamber of Commerce is urging the gubernatorial candidates to prioritize its policy positions going into November’s election and beyond. The first policies relate to education and the workforce…where Chamber officials describe the current situation as “bleak.”
In a recent Chamber survey of employers, 45 percent of respondents report having unfilled positions due to a lack of qualified applicants.
WGU Indiana chancellor Allison Barber – also a Chamber board member – says candidates for governor need to prioritize increasing the percentage of Hoosiers with post-secondary credentials.
“Our state is 45th in the country of people with college degrees. 45th. That’s bleak when you talk about outstanding talent,” Barber says.
Another high priority is increasing access to pre-kindergarten education. Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Gregg calls for universal pre-k. Chamber Vice President Caryl Auslander says the state shouldn’t go that far yet.
“It’s important that we build capacity of quality providers so that we can then place low-income children first and then continue on from there,” Auslander says.
The Chamber suggests expanding the current five-county pre-k pilot program.