IN governor prioritizes education reform, job resource accessibility
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb has laid out his priorities for his last year in office.
During the Republican governor's eighth year leading the state, his biggest push is to expand educational opportunities. Specifically, he hopes to raise awareness of existing resources and ease access to early childhood learning.
Holcomb will need lawmakers' help to accomplish some of his ideas. He hopes to improve salaries for early-childhood educators, lower the minimum caregiver age for infants and toddlers from 21 to 18 years old, and his 2024 vision focuses on improving reading proficiency and literacy.
"So more people can participate in the workforce, and that means more access to programs like On My Way Pre-K, and making sure that we're Kindergarten Ready and the Imagination Library," Holcomb explained.
The governor vowed to spend whatever it takes to help children master reading, which he said will widen their prospects and opportunities when they become adults and enter the workforce. He laid out a blueprint designed to improve the framework in five categories.
In addition to education, he wants to rally efforts to improve the state's economic and workforce development, community development, good government and public health.
Holcomb also unveiled in his speech the creation of the "One Stop to Start" program, to help Hoosiers connect with existing workforce and job-related training programs and resources.
"So, if someone says, 'I keep hearing about all this capital investment, keep hearing about all these new, high-paying jobs, but what does it mean to me?' we're going to get the word out that we can help you skill up for the jobs that are there right now," Holcomb continued.
Holcomb did not overlook the state's aging population, highlighting a 10-year plan to improve services and support for residents who face complex mental and behavioral health challenges.