- III. Operational Planning Elements
The Unified or Combined State Plan must include an Operational Planning Elements section that supports the State’s strategy and the system-wide vision described in Section II(c) above. Unless otherwise noted, all Operational Planning Elements apply to Combined State Plan partner programs included in the plan as well as to core programs. This section must include—
- a. State Strategy Implementation
The Unified or Combined State Plan must include–
- a. State Strategy Implementation
III. a. 1. State Board Functions
Describe how the State board will implement its functions under section 101(d) of WIOA (i.e., provide a description of Board operational structures and decision making processes to ensure such functions are carried out).
Describe how the State board will implement its functions under section 101(d) of WIOA (i.e. provide a description of Board operational structures and decision making processes to ensure such functions are carried out).
During the 2018 legislative session, Governor Holcomb designed a new approach to the State Workforce Board, which the Indiana General Assembly codified as the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet (GWC) under Indiana Code § 4-3-27-3. On June 7, 2018, for Program Years 2018 through 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor granted Indiana a waiver regarding the State Workforce Development Board (SWDB) membership requirements in WIOA Sec. 101(b)(1) and (c). This waiver allowed for the GWC, as codified, to serve as the SWDB. This new approach brought state agencies in education, social services, and workforce development together with key employers and postsecondary institutions with the authority to drive focused impact on the talent development system. The GWC sits directly under the Governor’s Office and reports accordingly. The Governor appoints the members of the GWC for a two-year term. Legislative representatives are chosen by the Speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives and President Pro Tempore of the Senate, respectively, and serve as non-voting members. The GWC serves as an overall policymaker and advisor to the Governor regarding workforce development and is specifically charged with creating a plan for a statewide vision to connect education, workforce, social services, corrections, and economic development initiatives under Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and other federal acts.
The GWC fosters crucial employer-driven initiatives that are central to an ever-changing economy while analyzing and initiating important connections to the education system. Indiana continues to have one of the nation’s lowest unemployment rates, as well as a labor participation rate above the national average, emphasizing the significance of serving Hoosiers who connect with the workforce system through an impactful, human-centered approach. The Governor appoints the Chairperson of the Cabinet, selecting a leader with extensive experience and insightful knowledge regarding the correlation between education and the workforce system. The Executive Director provides the GWC with workforce and education policy expertise and assistance. The Executive Director, along with staff, execute the daily operations and initiatives of the GWC. It also performs other duties directed by the Governor and legislature.
In 2019, the GWC adopted a strategic Mission, Vision, Goals, and Guiding Principles.
Mission: The mission of the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet is to address current and future education and employment needs of both individuals and employers, strengthen Indiana’s economy by integrating and aligning state and federal resources, and ensure a talent-driven education and workforce system.
Vision: The vision of the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet is to create a talent system that provides all Hoosiers equitable opportunities for lifelong learning and increased personal economic mobility, as well as provides employers the talent to grow and diversify their workforce.
Goals: Every Hoosier will be aware of career opportunities that exist, have equal access to quality credentials and skills necessary for those opportunities, and employers will have access to the talent necessary for them to continue to grow and locate in Indiana.
- Increase the attainment of quality credentials beyond a high school diploma so that at least 60% of Hoosiers have a quality credential by 2025.
- Increase engagement between employers and the talent development system so skills gaps are being identified and addressed in a more responsive way.
Guiding Principles: The Governor’s Workforce Cabinet is committed to:
- Ensuring quality pathways for all Hoosiers that provide opportunities for career advancement, personal prosperity, and well-being.
- Partnering with Indiana employers and education and training providers to close skill gaps and meet emerging talent needs.
- Strengthening Indiana’s economy by aligning programs and funding to meet current and future workforce needs.
The GWC initiates policy recommendations that can improve the synchronization across the entire workforce and social services systems, while also providing an overarching, independent perspective on how Indiana is meeting its workforce goals, as well as communicates with the Department of Workforce Development and other agencies regarding operational delivery.
Under Indiana Code § 20-19-2-19, the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet was granted authority to receive, distribute, and account for all funds received for career and technical education under the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Act (20 U.S.C 2301 et seq.). This shift streamlined a program scattered across three agencies under one entity. The GWC oversees the Perkins administrative team and directs the redesign of career-technical education (CTE) to align with the state’s new graduation requirements, Graduation Pathways, to prepare students for a successful transition to employment and postsecondary options. The GWC prepared recommendations on ways to improve CTE programs to the legislature in October of 2018. It is currently holding discussions with principals, CTE directors, postsecondary faculty, and other stakeholders to discuss the updates to CTE, with input from those involved daily.
The GWC was designated to serve as the state advisory body required under these federal laws:
- The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 under 29 U.S.C. 3101 et seq., including reauthorizations of WIOA.
- The Wagner-Peyser Act under 29 U.S.C. 49 et seq.
- The Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006 under 20 U.S.C. 2301 et seq.
- The Adult Education and Family Literacy Act under 20 U.S.C. 9201 et seq.
The GWC reviews services and use of funds and resources under applicable state and federal programs.
The GWC administers local career coaching grants created through legislation under Indiana Code § 4-3-27-16. The career coaching grant fund was established for the purpose of providing grants to an eligible entity to implement programs. The eligible entity can be a group of local employers, educators, community leaders, or an industry credentialing organization certified under IC 20-47-6 for the purpose specified in IC 20-47-6-10(a)(2). It may award grants to an eligible entity to establish or implement a career coaching model. The GWC will review the grants to learn from and share best practices around career coaching from local level partners connecting to student and adult learners on a daily basis.
The GWC also administers the Workforce Diploma Reimbursement Program (Indiana Code 22-4.1-27), which offers an opportunity for eligible program providers to deliver Hoosiers over the age of twenty-two with outcomes-driven instruction within the adult education space. Through offerings, such as employability skills, career pathways, coursework, and certifications, which lead to a workforce diploma, eligible program providers will afford life-changing opportunities to those who seek to better their lives. The services offered to Hoosiers include developing employability skills and career and technical education skills, obtaining a high school diploma, providing remedial coursework in literacy and numeracy; preparing for industry-recognized credentials, and offering career placement services. The GWC approves program providers for this new grant.
During its first year, the GWC created taskforces to tackle the duties assigned by the legislature, which included reviewing workforce funding, college and career funding, and CTE and creating a model for career coaching and navigation. These taskforces presented recommendations to the GWC in October of 2018. In 2019, the GWC created new committees to advise the GWC on the development and implementation of the State Strategic Workforce Plan. These committees are approved by the GWC, which has the authority through the bylaws to create or dissolve committees in order to accomplish the state board functions as required under section 101(d) of WIOA. The current committees consist of Cabinet members and other stakeholders and are staffed by the Cabinet staff. The Policy Committee meets at least once a month to discuss ongoing needs of the Cabinet. The Industry Committee, which also deliberates the future of work, the Constituent Support Committee, and the State Strategic Plan Committee are all committees that advised the development of the Combined Plan and will continue beyond the Plan’s submission to evaluate progress. The Youth Committee meets quarterly on various matters. The GWC has created stronger engagement with local government and local workforce boards than ever before. It works with the Department of Workforce Development, communicating regularly, to support and supply best practices and technical assistance to the local workforce boards to elevate the importance of their success to the whole workforce system. Full Cabinet meetings occur every other month and at times every month in order to provide consistent and actionable response to necessary decisions. A majority of the GWC voting is considered a quorum. Staff of the GWC provide information and agenda items to members at regular meetings and to the Policy Committee, as appropriate. All meetings of the Cabinet abide by the Open Door Law.