Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of going to Indiana, for the kick-off of the Skillful Governor’s Coaching Corps, in partnership with Governor Eric Holcomb’s Workforce Cabinet. 35 exceptional career coaches from all across the state were selected for the Corps, a signature initiative of Skillful Indiana. It is designed to strengthen their ability to connect Hoosiers to good jobs and educational and training opportunities.
Bill Turner, executive director of Skillful Indiana, and I greeted 35 of Indiana’s best career coaches who had converged on Indianapolis for the program’s first retreat. Together, we outlined how the eight-month program will provide leadership development, a chance to connect with peers, and training on new tools and resources to help Hoosiers navigate the seismic changes in the labor market and connect them to good jobs. Participants were also divided into six Action Teams; each will explore Indiana workforce challenges, and present their findings and recommendations to state workforce leaders at the end of the program.
The Skillful Governor’s Coaching Corps in Indiana is modeled on Colorado’s Corps, which is currently in its second year. The Indiana Corps will follow much of Colorado’s curriculum; the biggest difference is that the Indiana Corps will go through Brené Brown’s “Dare to Lead” curriculum, which helps develop skills essential to effective leadership.
During the retreat, Governor Holcomb graciously invited all of us to the Governor’s Residence for lunch, where he congratulated the Corps members and emphasized the importance of career coaches in today’s rapidly changing economy:
“There’s a lot of profuse praise that needs to be showered on this group. You’re taking what you’re passionate about and applying it to one of our state’s greatest needs,” he said. “This challenge, skilling up our workforce, is the single biggest issue that will determine where we’re going to be in 10, 15 years.”
Governor Holcomb and his team understand the challenges and opportunities that our rapidly evolving economy brings and are eager to future-proof Indiana’s workforce. His administration also recognizes the critical support and guidance career coaches provide Hoosiers as they adjust to the rapid pace of change that demands constant upskilling, lifelong learning, and awareness of emerging industries.
The support and encouragement career coaches provide, paired with today’s digital resources, can go a long way in helping Hoosiers recognize the skills they have, the training they may need and the opportunities within their reach.
Think back to your own career. I’m sure you can easily think of someone, or many people, who gave you that kind word, piece of advice, or that push you needed to advance. I myself feel indebted to the countless people who helped me grow over the course of my career. The Skillful Governor’s Coaching Corps members are providing that same support to over 3,500 individuals each month. They are prepared to serve anyone who walks into their doors. That’s a huge amount of skill each coach holds in their back pocket – and an incredible responsibility.
The Skillful Governor’s Coaching Corps members represent 27 organizations including public workforce centers, nonprofits, adult education providers, vocational rehabilitation, high schools, community colleges, and more. These organizations are providing critical services to their communities and we are so excited to partner with them to do this work and share their promising practices across the state.
I am so honored to be working with and learning from these coaches and their organizations. I hope their commitment inspires you to find and support your local workforce center, nonprofit, community college, or other workforce service provider. The next time you need career advice of your own, you’ll find the incredible support you need!