A seven-county region of northwest Indiana was designated a “21st Century Talent Region” by the state. It’s the eighth region to be recognized for having local groups work together on a shared workforce development agenda.
Northwest Indiana leaders hope to stem a projected shrinking population – and therefore workforce – by 2025. Part of their strategy is to develop workers from within the region by nearly doubling the number of residents with post-secondary education.
A lot of that effort will be focused on internships and apprenticeships for high school students.
Teresa Lubbers is chair of the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet and leads the Commission for Higher Education. She said the region will also look to promote adult education, which is crucial to the state’s goal of getting more trained workers.
“We simply don’t have enough people in the pipeline, going from high school to post-secondary education, to meet that goal,” she said. “That really speaks to all the efforts we're making to bring adults back.”
Including the northwest Indiana counties, 47 of Indiana’s 92 counties are now designated talent regions with more expected in the future.