September 2017 SWIC Update

By Rob Moore, IAACE President and SWIC Representative

At the Youth Committee, which met prior to the SWIC meeting, we approved twenty-five Work Ethic Certification proposals by school corporations and consortia of school corporations. I’d like to note that the Elkhart Community School Corporation became the first DWD-funded adult education program to apply to implement the Governor’s Work Ethic Certification initiative for its students! The proposal asked for a few deviations from the standard criteria for awarding the certification, and provided a well-versed justification for doing so. And for that reason, the application was put on hold, pending the formation of a subcommittee that can propose ideas for how the standard criteria can be adapted to adult education and juvenile corrections programs. {Rob’s Note: Thanks to Elkhart for prompting the SWIC to include adult education students in this important initiative!}

At that same Youth Committee meeting, we learned that the Indiana Department Corrections is partnering with the Department of Workforce Development for the Hoosier Initiative for Re-Entry services ( for the students residing at its juvenile facilities. The idea is to encourage juveniles who are released to experience a smooth transition to training and employment services at their local WorkOne offices. The initiative is being piloted at the Logansport Juvenile Correctional Facility. {Rob’s Note: Since many of these juveniles land in as students in our adult education programs, we should be aware that they might be receiving additional supports from HIRE that will help them with training and employment. And we’ll want to make sure our adult education directors meet their local HIRE coordinators to make them aware of how we can serve their customers.}

After the taskforces and committees met, the SWIC met as a whole.

*We heard a report from the Youth Committee with the news I already mentioned above. In addition, JAG is expanding to 21 additional school corporations and 2 campuses of Ivy Tech this year.

*We approved a resolution to extend the work of SWIC’s Work & Learn Taskforce to September 13. This task force supports SWIC in providing strategic direction for the growth of apprenticeships and other work-based learning opportunities. We also approved a resolution to extend the work of SWIC’s Future of Work Taskforce to May 19, 2017. This task force supports SWIC in providing recommendations that will strengthen Indiana’s workforce development and education efforts so that we are effectively preparing Hoosiers for future jobs as they are affected by automation and innovation.

*We heard a report on the Career Counseling Taskforce on the Indiana Career Explorer 8th Grade Pilot Program. Fifteen schools received professional development and curriculum development monies to engage teachers, 8th grade students, and parents in using Indiana Career Explorer to support students in developing career and graduation plans. This pilot program has a goal of enabling 70% of students will show growth in academic skills and career knowledge as measured by pre- and post-assessments. {Rob’s note: our adult education programs are required to have our students complete the ICE assessments within the first 12 hours of instruction, so this pilot should demonstrate the value of ICE to our programs’ performance, especially if it’s actually used as a career planning tool with our students beyond simply completing the 3 assessments.}

*We heard a report from SWIC’s Sector Strategies Committee. DWD is conducting SkillUp regional employer convening meetings in response to 86 Letters of Interest received. RFPs will be issued later this Fall. Committee is exploring the nature of sector partnerships already in existence and developing an asset map. The committee is noting differences between sector partnerships and innovation networks. Committee is also studying what metrics can be developed to measure the effectiveness of sector partnerships in terms of process and impact.

*We heard an update about Next Level Jobs from CHE Commissioner Teresa Lubbers and DWD Interim Commissioner Gina Ashley. Information is at Next Level Jobs is actually a combination of two new grant programs designed to put Hoosiers to work in high demand, high wage jobs as quickly as possible. The Workforce Ready Grant, created earlier this year by the Indiana General Assembly, will skill up adults to jobs in high demand industries. The Employer Training Grant, developed by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, will help offset the costs employers assume when they train new employees in high demand industries. Applications for both grant programs are available at {Rob’s Note: Our adult education programs need to be aware of this funding as a service to our adult education students. And if anyone applies for the program and lacks a high school credential, a referral is made to the local adult education program!}

*We heard a report about the Hoosier Initiative for Re-Entry (HIRE) program by Chad Carter, DWD’s director of workforce programs, and John Nally, DOC’s director of education and IAACE member. HIRE is a partnership between the Department of Workforce Development and the Department of Corrections to help individuals who have been incarcerated become employed after released. Fifteen thousand prison inmates are released annually in Indiana. IDOC’s recidivism rate is 35.8%, and a high percentage are unemployed at arrest. HIRE coordinators in each region support former offenders in obtaining and retaining jobs through employability training and supportive and foster partnerships with businesses to employ them. Program data show that the recidivism rate for HIRE customers was 32% in Year One and projected to dip into the teens in Year Three, potentially saving the State about $50 million.