(INDIANAPOLIS) – Indiana is one of ten states to join the just-launched SkillSPAN, the first nationwide network of non-partisan organizations working together to drive workforce policy wins in over twenty-five states over the next five years.
SkillSPAN – which stands for Skills State Policy Advocacy Network – will bring together policy organizations, workforce advocates, community colleges, businesses, unions, and others focused on advancing state policies that support workers who want training for good, family-supporting jobs and help local businesses grow a skilled workforce.
In Indiana, the Indiana Institute for Working Families will serve as the SkillSPAN lead organization and will continue its convening of the Indiana Skills2Compete Coalition, co-chaired by Institute Director, Jessica Fraser, and Representative Ed Clere (R-New Albany).
“Indiana’s coalition is a broad-based coalition of advocates, workforce practitioners, policymakers, and agency officials who have come together to lift up the needs of Hoosier adults who lack skills,” said Representative Clere.
“Support from SkillsSPAN will allow the Institute to continue convening coalition members, as well as providing research and technical assistance on best practices in workforce development from across the network,” Ms. Fraser added.
An initiative of National Skills Coalition, SkillSPAN aims to amplify the voices of organizations like the Institute and their partners in state capitals across the country in order to move workforce policies across a number of states. Some of these policies include: making financial aid available to working people; protecting funding for skills training programs; and expanding apprenticeship programs, particularly for low-income working adults and out-of-school youth.
“In every statehouse, policymakers can support training that expands economic opportunities for workers and their families,” said Brooke DeRenzis, State Policy and Network Director at National Skills Coalition. “SkillSPAN partners will help by equipping state leaders with innovative workforce development policies.”
National Skills Coalition is a broad-based coalition of employers, unions, education and training providers, and public officials working toward a vision of an America that grows its economy by investing in its people so that every worker and every industry has the skills to compete and prosper.
The Indiana Institute for Working Families – a program of the Indiana Community Action Association (INCAA) – conducts research and promotes public policies to help Hoosier families achieve and maintain economic self-sufficiency. The Institute is the only statewide program in Indiana that combines research and policy analysis on federal and state legislation, public policies, and programs impacting low-income working families. The Institute achieves its work through advocacy and education, and through national, statewide, and community partnerships. The Institute was founded in 2004.