As prepared for delivery:
Lt. Governor Ellspermann, President Pro Tempore Long, Speaker Bosma, Senator Lanane, Representative Pelath, distinguished guests, friends and students
Thank you all for joining us to celebrate the signing of these tandem bills, SB 465 and HB 1002, each of which passed with unanimous support. Together, they will make Indiana a national leader in career and technical education workforce readiness.
SB 465 creates regional Indiana Works Councils that will bring educators and employers together to evaluate and develop career and technical education that meets the demands of employers in each region. I'd like to thank the bill's authors: Senators Dennis Kruse, Jim Buck, Scott Schneider, Carlin Yoder and John Broden, and sponsors: Representatives Bob Behning, Rhonda Rhoads, Vern Smith and Greg Porter for their leadership.
HB 1002 creates the Indiana Career Council, a 15-member board that will increase coordination among those who work on the state's education, job skills development and career training system.
I commend the leaders of all four caucuses for their leadership of this bill. Speaker Brian Bosma and Minority Leader Scott Pelath authored the bill in the House, and President Pro Tempore David Long and Minority Leader Tim Lanane sponsored the bill in the Senate.
They were joined by Representatives Steven Braun and Ben Smaltz and Senators Brent Steele and Ed Charbonneau. I thank all of them for their efforts to move this issue to the forefront of this legislative session.
These two bills are jobs bills. They will bring to Indiana a renewed focus on career and technical education that will give students more pathways to success and will attract and retain the employers that drive our economy.
All honest work is honorable work, and our schools should work just as well for our kids who want to get a job as they do for our kids who want to get a college degree. Every student deserves the same opportunity for success, whether they want to go to college or start their career right out of high school.
The steps we are taking today to create new career and technical education opportunities will serve several key priorities for the state.
We will increase our graduation rates by providing a clear path for success for all of our students, in high school and beyond.
We will increase private sector employment across Indiana.
We will help build a highly qualified workforce that will serve employers well and will be a selling point to attract new investment in our state.
We look to the Indiana Works Councils to evaluate the career, technical and vocational education opportunities for high school students in that region.
Then, the Councils will work to increase internship and apprenticeship opportunities, to ensure students are learning from qualified instructors, and to create ways for students to earn an industry certification or be on a career pathway to a high-wage, high-demand job while still in high school.
When Hoosier students graduate from our high schools, we want their diploma to have immediate currency in the workplace.
This regional approach helps do that in a way that best meets employers' needs.
At the same time, the Indiana Career Council will ensure that the state's efforts in education, job skills development and career training are coordinated and meet the current and future needs of the jobs market.
Employers already tell us they are drawn to Indiana because of our people -- people who work hard and do things the right way. This concentrated effort to target the state's programs and ensure that Indiana's workforce has the skills employers need will make our state even more competitive for new jobs.
Career and technical education can provide our students with a pathway to success. It can launch entrepreneurs, give kids a reason to finish high school, and create a well-qualified workforce that will encourage businesses to build here and grow here.
I applaud the General Assembly for their work on these bills. I am proud to sign them and move Indiana to the forefront of career and technical education and workforce readiness nationwide.