International Economic Development Council Works To Address Workforce Issues

Oct 15, 2019

The International Economic Development Conference in Indianapolis this week aims to help attendees address workforce issues.

Gov. Eric Holcomb pointed to an increase in foreign investment in Indiana and says it is due in part to the state’s strong economic situation.

“We’ve got very low debt, record revenue,” says Holcomb. “So we’re–should a downturn, should slowed growth ever come back, we want to be prepared for that. We’re subscribers of ‘fix the roof while the sun is shining.’ And so we’re one of the most recession resilient states in the nation.”

Holcomb’s remarks come at a time some economists warn of an upcoming recession.

And while many still worry about losing jobs to automation, D.C.-based think tank New America President and CEO Anne-Marie Slaughter says she’s more concerned about the increased costs of necessities for American workers. 

“We’ve moved from a world of good manufacturing jobs to bad service jobs or much less well-paid service jobs,” says Slaughter. “We’ve moved to a world where consumer goods are far cheaper over the last couple of decades, but many of life’s necessities – education, healthcare, housing, childcare. Childcare for two kids costs more than the costs of rent in all 50 states. Those life necessities have gotten far more expensive.”

She says it's good government invests in roads and other public infrastructure, but she pushes them to invest in what she calls an infrastructure of care as well.

“We have to have the infrastructure that allows us to actually provide for our children and our old people, and that makes care jobs actually jobs where you can earn a living,” says Slaughter.

The four-day conference draws in hundreds of professionals to discuss community advancement.

Contact Samantha at shorton@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @SamHorton5.