On the most recent (i) on Economic Development, Tim Cook and Katie Culp joined Gerry Dick to discuss how the workforce shortage is impacting Indiana’s ability to bring new economic development projects to the state.
Just how big is the workforce shortage issue? “It’s huge, and it’s national. When you look at the national unemployment rate, virtually everyone who wants a job has one,” Culp states.
The fact that Indiana isn’t alone in this challenge doesn’t make it any less daunting. The state, local communities, and even employers themselves are being forced to come up with innovative ways to address the problem. For example, Cook shares that many KSM Location Advisors clients, especially in the technology industry, cover 100 percent of their employees’ healthcare. He notes that these types of investments are necessary to compete for workers.
Cook and Culp also break down a multitude of government-crafted initiatives in Indiana designed to attack the workforce shortage head-on, including Shelby County’s Advantage Shelby County, Marion County’s Indy Achieves, and Indiana’s NextLevel Jobs. These efforts, combined with employers’ willingness to better incentivize, will help carry Indiana’s reputation for having a great workforce into the near future. But much uncertainty remains about the longer-term outlook.
“If this were an easy problem to solve, someone would’ve come up with the solution by now,” says Culp.
Catch (i) on Economic Development each month on insideindianabusiness.com, or get the show delivered straight to your inbox by subscribing to the KSM Location Advisors blog at ksmlocationadvisors.com/blog.