Chamber Offers Bountiful Training Options

Amidst the falling leaves and football games, take time to update your skills with a variety of education and training opportunities from the Indiana Chamber in October.

One of the leading events is the 2017 Indiana Environmental Conference on October 23-24 at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Indianapolis. The event takes place in partnership with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) and is presented by Plews Shadley Racher & Braun, LLP.

Ellen Ketterson, Ph.D., Indiana University distinguished professor of biology, will give the opening keynote presentation on the university’s Grand Challenge initiative, a $55 million investment to help Hoosiers become prepared for environmental change.

IDEM attorneys Nancy King and Beth Admire will open the second day’s program by discussing the restoration of the Grand Calumet River. Sen. Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso) and Jim McGoff of the Indiana Finance Authority will deliver an update on water legislation during a closing luncheon keynote presentation.

Breakout sessions on a variety of topics will take place both days; an expo runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 23.

The Gold sponsor is Bose McKinney & Evans LLP. Silver sponsors are Air Quality Services, Ice Miller LLP, Roberts Environmental Services, Taft Law and Trinity Consultants.

Register for the conference online or call (800) 824-6885.

Three other training opportunities focus on human resources and safety:

 

New Training Grants for Employers Now Available

The Indiana Chamber has been strongly encouraging our state government leaders to take bold action to address Indiana’s current and future workforce needs – a significant concern for many of our members.

We’re pleased to see Gov. Holcomb’s recent rollout of the Next Level Jobs initiative, which will help to further ensure employees have the skills needed to compete in the 21st century workforce.

What does this mean for your business?

Employer Training Grants are available! Employers in high-demand business sectors can be reimbursed up to $2,500 for each new employee that is trained, hired and retained for six months.

• Your employees can also take advantage of Workforce Ready Grants and access free education opportunities to help sharpen their skill set for the changing workforce.

Let us know if you need assistance in navigating these opportunities.

Education Interim Study Committee and Graduation Pathways Panel Get Going

The Education Interim Study Committee will have three meetings this year on the following dates and subjects:

• August 30 – Eligibility of an undocumented student brought to the United States as a minor (aka, “Dreamer”) to pay the resident tuition rate that is determined by a state educational institution
• September 28 –  New teacher induction programs
• October 25 – Federal Every Student Succeeds Act

The Indiana Chamber will be covering these hearings and will report pertinent information to our membership.

Separately, the Graduation Pathways Panel has already completed two of its eight meetings scheduled before November 1, 2017. As background, the panel was developed as a part of House Bill 1003, which created the new statewide assessment platform to replace ISTEP, now called ILEARN. In addition to installing a new test, the law introduces the idea of pathways for graduation, or other opportunities for students to graduate besides passage of an end-of-course assessment. The law suggests that pathways MAY include options like passing the SAT/ACT or ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery); earning an industry certification; earning AP, dual credit or International Baccalaureate credits; or any other pathway as determined by the panel.

The Chamber’s Caryl Auslander, vice president of education and workforce, was appointed to the task force to provide a voice for Hoosier employers and to underscore that employers have a direct stake in the skills that Indiana students may graduate with.

The first meeting set goals and standards for the panel, and the discussion centered around these questions: How do we establish graduation pathways rigorous enough to create an educated and talented workforce and how can we best align this with what our business and higher education communities need?

The second meeting, which took place this week, featured students and collaborators as invited guests and attempted to answer the following questions:

• How do we establish graduation pathways that allow every student to find success after high school?
• How do you define “success?”
• What are some gaps/deficiencies students experience in their preparation for college and careers? And how would you address those?
• What do you think meaningful and valuable pathways are? What is the best way high schools can set students up to be successful in higher education or business?

Making recommendations for pathways will be a difficult process, but we are grateful that the employer community can be represented on the panel. We will reiterate to other stakeholders the importance of having rigorous pathways that provide currency for the students post-graduation so that they can achieve further education, or meet skills gaps in the workforce. We look forward to further meetings and collaboration over the next few weeks.

Changes to Graduation Requirements Imminent

ISTEP will soon change into ILEARN, per House Enrolled Act 1003 which was signed into law this spring. However, an important part of the legislation is often overlooked. There will soon be changes to graduation requirements; instead of having end-of-course assessments be counted as the graduation exam, graduation pathways will be determined by the State Board of Education (SBOE). These options could include:

  • passing end-of-course assessments;
  • SAT or ACT scores;
  • Armed Services Vocational Aptitude exams;
  • industry-recognized credential; or
  • earning of advanced placement, international baccalaureate or dual credits.

Obviously, employer input is key to ensuring that these graduation pathways have currency for students/future employees. Governor Holcomb has appointed the Chamber’s Caryl Auslander, vice president of education and workforce development, to sit on the Graduation Pathways Panel along with representation from the SBOE, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Commission for Higher Education, Department of Workforce Development and chairs of the House and Senate education committees.

This panel will meet in late summer/early fall; we will keep you updated on the process.

Indiana Chamber-Ball State Study: Student Performance Suffers in Smaller Districts

School corporation size has a direct impact on student achievement. And more than half of Indiana school corporations are too small to produce the most effective outcomes, according to research commissioned by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce Foundation and conducted by the Ball State University Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER).

Numerous earlier studies, both nationally and by CBER, found that school corporations with fewer than 2,000 students are not able to operate at optimal efficiency to maximize resources going into the classroom. This new study – School Corporation Size & Student Performance: Evidence from Indiana – (full report and Appendix available at www.indianachamber.com/education) also documents significantly poorer academic performance, on average, for students from these smaller corporations. Comprehensive analysis and modeling reveals the following improved outcomes if school corporations contain between 2,000 and 2,999 students:

  • SAT test scores (+20.5 points)
  • Advanced Placement (AP) pass rates (+14.9%)
  • Eighth-grade ISTEP scores (+5%)
  • Algebra and biology end of course assessment (ECA) pass rates (+4%)

“This is not about closing buildings or eliminating schools,” says Indiana Chamber President and CEO Kevin Brinegar. “It’s about reducing per-pupil administrative costs to put more money into classrooms, increasing pay for deserving teachers, making more STEM classes available and, most importantly, helping ensure the best possible student outcomes.

“That will drive per capita income and is especially critical for smaller communities,” he continues. “Greater student achievement is the biggest thing we can do for rural economic development and those local residents.”

In 2014, 154 of Indiana’s 289 school corporations had total enrollments of less than 2,000 students. Eighty-five of those corporations experienced enrollment declines of 100 or more students between 2006 and 2014.

Only 21 of Indiana’s 92 counties have a single school corporation. Twenty-two counties have three corporations, 19 have two corporations and 13 have four corporations. The most corporations in a single county are 16 in Lake County and 11 in Marion County.

“With today’s fierce competition for talent, too many young people in our state are suffering due to inadequate preparation for postsecondary education or the workforce,” Brinegar adds. “The data show smaller corporations are getting smaller. In many instances, it’s already too difficult for them to overcome the challenges of limited resources.”

Ball State researchers took into account demographic and socioeconomic factors. For example, the average SAT score of 949.5 in the smallest corporations (between 240 and 999 students) compares to a 989.8 average in corporations with between 2,000 and 2,999 students. Even when economic differences between corporations are factored in, that 40-point raw gap remains at more than 20.5 points.

AP course offerings are one indicator of preparation for higher education, with higher-level math and science courses often a pre-requisite for pursuing STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) majors. Corporations with fewer than 1,000 students offered an average of 2.69 AP courses with enrollment of 8.53 students in 2015. That compares to 5.95 offerings and 22.26 students for corporations with between 2,000 and 2,999 students and even more courses and student participants in larger school districts.

The research reveals “94% of Indiana’s small school corporations (fewer than 2,000 students) are contiguous with another small corporation.”

North Central Parke Community School Corp. was created in 2013 by the merger of the Rockville and Turkey Run school districts. Parke County continues to lose population and district enrollment for the most recent school year was only 1,200. In April, the school board voted to combine (within two years) into one high school and one middle school.

“It’s hard to operate a comprehensive academic program” with so few students, district superintendent Tom Rohr said at the time of the most recent vote. “That’s really … a driving force. Our teachers have gotten behind this. They are saying, ‘Let’s do what is best for kids.’”

IU Kelley School of Business at IUPUI Seeks Companies to Partner with Student Teams

I-Core students present their semester-long project to Kelley professors and company representatives.

The following is a release from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business in Indianapolis:

When digital recording provider Word Systems, Inc. sought to find new ways to use a certain type of software, they enlisted undergraduate students from the Kelley School of Business at IUPUI.

“We wanted to explore other applications for our iRecord software, which is currently used by law enforcement agencies when they conduct interviews during investigations,” explained Christy Walchle, vice president at Word Systems, which distributes and markets the iRecord software. “We’ve never explored other applications for the product before, and we realized these student teams could give us insight we may not have considered.”

Junior-level students enrolled in Kelley’s Integrative Core (I-Core) Program helped the company identify innovative uses for its product and how it could expand to different markets.

“The students brought in a lot of great ideas that we’d never thought of before,” said Walchle. “This experience allowed us to think outside the box. You come to a point in business when you think you know everything about a certain product or application. When the Kelley students and professors ask you questions you may not have asked yourself, you realize what you don’t know. It puts us back in the classroom, as well.”

It was a similar experience for IMMI, a Westfield-based company that designs, tests and manufactures advanced safety systems like seatbelts for school buses.

“As a global company based here in central Indiana, IMMI is thrilled to partner with the Kelley School at IUPUI to grow and develop the region’s next generation of business leaders,” said Julie Cooley, director of corporate marketing and communications at IMMI.

IMMI worked with student teams during the fall 2016 semester, and company representatives have already signed up to participate in I-Core again this fall.

“When we give the students real-world scenarios to work through, not only do we help them, but they also help us,” said Cooley. “I-Core is a tremendous program because it’s mutually beneficial. The Kelley students at IUPUI are extremely engaged and are delightful to work alongside.”

Guiding future business leaders: Sign up today

The Kelley School of Business at IUPUI is again looking for central Indiana businesses to partner with undergraduate student teams for its renowned I-Core Program.

I-Core is a distinguishing component of the Kelley bachelor’s degree program. Junior-level students take a set of four integrated classes—marketing, finance, supply chain management and team dynamics and leadership—during a single semester.

Kelley students say I-Core is one of the most meaningful experiences of their Kelley careers—a rite of passage toward understanding the business world and the value of teamwork.

Company representatives say the program provides insights into future opportunities, and it allows them to think about products and services in ways they may not have before.

Students may consider new goods or services, providing a feasibility study of the new product and market. They will determine if return on investment justifies risk and capital investment.

“I recommend this to any company looking to expand its current market or explore new ways of growing business,” added Walchle. “It was rewarding to give back to these business students and guide them through this process.”

“I was impressed with the level of engagement I had with students,” said Mike Patterson, vice president of strategy at Rook Security. “Throughout the semester, they communicated with me regularly as they considered new ways to market two of our newest products.”

“Students give you a new and modern perspective,” explained Daniel Reyzman, BS’10, MBA’15, senior manager, tax product at First Advantage Tax Consulting Services, LLC. “Participating in this program allowed us to build rapport with future business leaders. I believe if you can contribute to students’ growth and learning, you’re contributing to our future as a business—and the future of our economy here in central Indiana, as well.”

How to get involved

Please request and complete an application if you’d like your business to be involved.

Any for-profit organization can apply. The ideal company for I-Core is an S Corporation, C Corporation or LLC that has been operating for three to five years and has shown an operating profit for at least one year.

Several teams of undergraduate students (directed by a Kelley professor) will meet with company representatives to establish projects that work to benefit the company. Students conduct research, analyze findings and provide a recommendation at the end of the semester. This provides companies with a diversity of ideas and perspectives.

Company representatives are asked to participate in an on-campus meeting to talk about the company’s current business and provide background information to help student analysis.

If you would like more information on this program, or to request an application, contact Teresa Bennett at tkbennet@iupui.edu or at (317) 278-9173.

College Pays Off Despite Recession

Those who graduated from college in 2008 often say it wasn’t the best time to be entering the working world. As graduates were searching for those first jobs, the economy was shedding them and the world was plunging into recession. If those prospects weren’t dire enough, many of those graduates were also carrying debt from student loans.

Those millennials, however unlucky, fared better than their non-college-educated counterparts, though.

A new longitudinal study from the National Center for Education Statistics – the primary collector of student data on the federal level – found these results by taking a sample of students who were high school sophomores in the 2001-02 academic year and tracking them through 2012. The nationally representative sample was measured for a variety of factors – co-habiting, marriage, unemployment, underemployment, student debt carried – but the economic breakdown in those categories between those who attained a postsecondary degree and those who didn’t is especially telling.

Even though the timing of graduating might not have been ideal, attaining a four-year degree was still a good economic move for these millennials, on average, according to the report, which attempted to control for outside factors in its economic modeling. Put simply, even in the face of a recession, going to college still paid off.

“Individuals with less education had higher unemployment rates, while those with more education had higher employment rates and were more likely to be working full-time,” the report stated.

By 2012, 78% of those who had earned a bachelor’s degree were working more than 35 hours a week. Eleven percent were working fewer than 35 hours, 5% were unemployed and 6% were out of the labor force.

Of the members of the cohort who only had high school degrees, 64% were employed 35 hours or more a week, with 12% working fewer than 35 hours – similar to the number of those with a bachelor’s degree – and 14% and 10% were unemployed and out of the labor force, respectively.

In addition to employment, earning power was also differentiated along educational lines. Those surveyed who had a bachelor’s degree earned, on average, $17 an hour. Those surveyed with a high school diploma earned, on average, $13.

The study notes that it’s still early to be drawing overly expansive conclusions from its data.

“It is important to note that this section only addresses cohort members’ early career and labor market outcomes,” it reads. “At age 25-26, many individuals are just starting their careers; some are still enrolled in undergraduate or graduate studies; and others will return to school for additional training later in their careers.”

Still, as the study notes, early labor data is often correlated with later outcomes.

Report: Competency Focus Mostly on Adults

Three states considered bills that would have enacted competency-based education policies in 2016 and five considered such bills in 2017, according to a new report from the Education Commission of the States.

A number of states (including New Hampshire) and districts (including Chicago) are using or contemplating competency-based learning in K-12 schools. A group of prestigious private high schools recently began pushing for colleges to accept competency-based high school transcripts, which highlight students’ skills and accomplishments instead of more-traditional grades.

But the state legislatures seem to mostly be contemplating how to use competency-based education to serve adults. Lexi Anderson, the report’s author, notes that states’ competency-based education bills mostly target the growing population of people over 25 who are enrolled in postsecondary education.

“[C]ompetency-based education serves to award credit/degrees to students for meeting specific skill competencies agreed upon by faculty, industry leaders, and workforce representatives,” she writes. “This innovative delivery model could create greater access to postsecondary education for returning adults, low-income students, and working adults needing additional skills.”

Chamber Unveils Podcast: EchoChamber is Now Live!

EchoChamber is a new informal discussion with Indiana leaders in business, education, technology, politics and much more. We’ll begin with the following three outstanding guests in as many weeks before reverting to a biweekly format:

  • Jamie Merisotis, president and CEO of the Lumina Foundation and one of the foremost minds in the world on education and workforce policy and initiatives
  • Lee Hamilton, an 17-term U.S. representative who remains a thoughtful voice on state, national and global issues
  • Graham Richard, the innovative one-time Fort Wayne mayor who is now guiding efforts at a national organization called Advanced Energy Economy

Subscribe at iTunes, GooglePlay or wherever you get your podcasts to be notified about the latest interview.

Government Book Getting August Update

Here Is Your Indiana Government: 2017-18 Edition is the most comprehensive guide to governance in the Hoosier state. Since its development in 1942, this book has been used by communities and hundreds of thousands of students (from sixth grade to college level) to learn about Indiana and how Hoosiers govern themselves. A variety of local government and agency updates will be included in the new edition.

Topics include:

  • Interesting facts about Indiana (demographics, state song, motto, origin of county names, notable natives, etc.)
  • Historical highlights of Indiana government development
  • State government (explanation of its departments/agencies and their functions, updated budget information, contact information including phone numbers and web addresses)
  • County government (origins of the counties, the elective county administrative officials and their function, council function, powers of the counties, services)
  • Cities and towns (creation, city classifications, incorporated towns, municipal government, public works)
  • Township government (divisions, schools, boards)

Here Is Your Indiana Government is sponsored by Questa Education Foundation and will ship in August.

Large quantity discount pricing is available as follows:

  • 1 to 9 copies: $21.50 each
  • 10 to 25 copies: $14.50 each
  • 26 to 50 copies: $12.00 each
  • 51 to 75 copies: $10.50 each
  • 76 to 100 copies: $9.50 each
  • 101 or more: $9.00 each

Call (800) 824-6885 with questions or if you’re interested in purchasing the book as an ePub (online edition).