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Governor Holcomb says labor shortage is top 2018 priority

(WNDU)
Published: Nov. 10, 2017 at 5:51 PM EST
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Elkhart is still the RV capital of the world but when it came time for one of its largest manufacturers to expand—they left town to do it.

According to a November 1st announcement, Forest River has plans to spend $2.9 million expanding in Butler, Indiana in DeKalb County where “the workforce has not been depleted.” A state press release also quotes Forest River P.R. Director Mike Stump as saying “it just made sense for us to step outside the Elkhart-Goshen region,” to carry out plans that will create 125 new jobs.

“It's a wakeup call for the State of Indiana, for America,” commented Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb.

While Forest River still managed to find a piece of Indiana that was populated enough to meet its needs, Governor Holcomb told an audience in Elkhart today that attacking the statewide labor shortage is his top priority for 2018.

“350,000 Hoosiers that don't have a high school diploma right now, we need to fix that: talked about 700,000 plus Hoosiers who started some kind of higher education, college and then dropped out. We’re going to skill those folks up. 27,000 Hoosiers in our prison system, in our penal system and we need to make sure we're skilling those folks up so they're not involved in this revolving door process in our penal system.”

The governor also promised to become a high profile military recruiter next year in targeting soldiers who are about to complete their military service.

“We’ll be reaching out to veterans all over the country as they get closer to satisfying their service, we want them to grow their final and deep roots in the State of Indiana. These are some of the most skilled-up and trained, trustworthy, don't need a lot of oversight individuals in the world and we want to start attracting more and more of them to Indiana. We've got some home ownership programs that we think will go a long, long, way to attract more of that talent,” Governor Holcomb said.

Holcomb will also work to open up Hoosier highways to autonomous vehicles and fight to make the firefly the state insect, at the urging of some school children downstate.