VIDEO: Brinegar Explains School Corporation Size Study

Indiana Chamber President and CEO Kevin Brinegar discusses the recent study from Ball State University’s Center for Business and Economic Research: “School Corporation Size & Student Performance: Evidence from Indiana,” commissioned by the Indiana Chamber Foundation.

Workforce Survey: Business Input Needed

The greatest asset of any business is its people. Unfortunately, many organization are facing challenges in workforce and talent development efforts. The Indiana Chamber seeks to provide assistance through various policy and program efforts.

Currently, the Indiana Chamber Foundation’s 10th annual survey of Indiana employers is taking place. Hundreds of human resources professionals and company leaders have already shared their insights on skills shortages, training needs, incentives and more.

The Chamber Foundation is partnering with Walker, an Indiana-based customer experience consulting firm. The survey sponsor is WGU Indiana. Check out its brief video on “Why We’re Different”:

Among the recent trends: Companies that left Indiana jobs unfilled in 2015 due to under-qualified applicants increased to 45% – compared to 43% and 39%, respectively, for the prior two years.

In addition, 27% of respondents identified filling their workforce and meeting talent needs as ­­their biggest challenge. Another 49% categorized the talent needs as “challenging but not their biggest challenge.” The 76% total exceeds the numbers for 2015 (74%; 24% biggest challenge) and 2014 (72%; 20% biggest challenge).

View more on the 2016 results. If you have not received the survey from Walker and are interested in participating or learning more, contact Shelley Huffman at or (317) 264-7548.

Wise Up! Older Workers Have the Right Stuff

A new initiative from the Indiana Chamber Foundation that was released today has a cool name (Workforce Wise) and an intriguing logo (check it out on the report or web site). Even better — and on a much more substantive level — it includes very pertinent information to help address a growing workforce challenge.

That challenge is not new — the aging workforce. But this compilation of prior research, newly commissioned studies and additional input is comprehensive and looks at ways to turn the challenges into opportunities. You can read the official language in the press release and report. Here’s my view on key takeaways:

  • Employers, don’t lose your greatest asset (people who know how your organization works) because you weren’t prepared. Be flexibile, figure out ways to make it work for you and these key employees and you won’t be sorry
  • Employees, your job is to learn new skills and also adjust to changing circumstances (most of you are willing, and employers and educators are there to help)
  • Communities have a big stake here. People who continue to contrbute on the job and in society in general are far preferred to those who are shut out and primarily become users of public resources

A number of people put in a lot of good work to make this report possible. It’s one of those projects that can — and will — have a lasting impact. Invest a little time in the 32 pages, including informative charts. It will be worth the effort.  

Foundation’s Workforce Wise on the Way

The Indiana Chamber has a foundation. No, it’s not a foundation that provides grants and resources to needy organizations. But it is providing valuable information for all Hoosiers in the form of long-term public policy research that often is used to improve the business climate for Indiana companies and their employees.

Need a few examples:

  • Indiana INTERNnet evolved from a foundation study that clearly identified Indiana’s loss of talented young people and established increasing internship possibilities as one of the tools to reverse that trend. Employers and students have been benefitting from the program for the past eight years.
  • Ready Indiana was a product of foundation research into the state’s existing workforce and what is needed to help those employees adapt to jobs in today’s and tomorrow’s economy. Ready Indiana helps match company training needs with appropriate providers and resources.
  • State tax and education policies have emanated from the research, and today’s strong push for local government reform owes part of its recent beginnings to the Indiana Project for Efficient Local Government study in 2004.

What’s next? Look for Workforce Wise — an in-depth look at the aging population and its impacts on the workforce, communities and economic development — in the coming months.

Check out some of the past Chamber Foundation studies and reports.