Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

October 18, 2013

Works councils begin to meet

The Batesville Herald-Tribune

---- — The first regional meetings of the newly-created Indiana Works Councils are scheduled for kickoffs in the coming weeks around the state. The councils, proposed by Gov. Mike Pence and established unanimously by the 2013 General Assembly, are charged with reviewing current career and technical education curriculums and outcomes.

Comprised of local business, industry, education and workforce development leaders, the goal of the councils is to offer innovative solutions to better align local employer needs and high school students’ preparation for successfully entering career or postsecondary education. The 11 council regions mirror Indiana’s congressional district lines.

Region 9, led by Chris Lowery, will meet Oct. 25 from 10 a.m.-noon in the Batesville Community School Corp. Administration Building conference room.

“Every student in every high school should be prepared with the right education and training to successfully and seamlessly enter either into a career or pursue postsecondary studies,” said Pence. “We have a tremendous opportunity to reinvigorate career and technical education today.”

The initial works council sessions will review the purpose and vision for the works council and begin their evaluation of the regional career and technical education data for their individual regions. The councils are also legislatively charged to draft a strategic plan for the region, propose vocational and technical alternatives to meet industry needs, leverage partnerships and to share their recommendations with the Indiana Career Council.

Work of the councils remain a hot topic, as the govenor discussed their creation nationally with NBC’s Andrea Mitchell Oct. 7 during a live panel for NBC’s “Education Nation,” and enhancing workforce development was a key topic during his recent trade mission to Japan.