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HOOSIERS AT WORK – JOB 1: Communities grow with partnership

Story from Expansion Solutions Magazine, posted July/Aug 2018

Over the next decade, Indiana estimates the state will need to fill more than one million jobs. In a state with an unemployment rate lower than the national average, finding employees for high-demand jobs may seem like looking for a needle in a haystack.

Two workforce development programs in Southern Indiana are working to change that. Employers need workers and workers need employers. “When we can coordinate programs to create awareness of careers in industries and businesses, everyone wins,” said Jackie Hill, Workforce Director at the Jackson County Industrial Development Corporation (JCIDC). “In a tight labor market, those partnerships bring results,” she added.

Shance Sizemore, CEO of the Lawrence County Growth Council, agrees.

“Any company that moves into an area, no matter what part of the country you are in, looks at the quality of the workforce as essential in their decision-making process.”

“Partnerships flourish when connections are made,” Hill said. “An informal discussion with four major employers, school superintendents and the JCIDC in 1998 laid the groundwork for Jackson County’s workforce development efforts to flourish. Activities create awareness and awareness creates opportunity,” Hill added.

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