Skillful Indiana Names William D. Turner, Jr. Executive Director; Launches Skillful Governor’s Coaching Corps with Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb




Turner will lead Skillful Indiana’s efforts to build better pathways to good jobs for Hoosiers, beginning with the launch of a new professional development program for Indiana career coaches. Interested coaches can apply today at

Indianapolis, IN – January 14, 2019 – Skillful Indiana, a Markle Foundation initiative, today announced the hire of William D. Turner, Jr. as Executive Director. Turner will lead Skillful Indiana’s efforts to engage employers, educators, policymakers and workforce development organizations to create a labor market in which skills are valued, and people can more easily access the information and education they need to secure good jobs. Governor Eric J. Holcomb, Turner and Skillful Indiana today launched one of its signature initiatives, the Skillful Governor’s Coaching Corps, in partnership with the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet. The statewide program is designed to strengthen and support exceptional career coaching professionals so they are better equipped to connect Hoosiers to effective training opportunities and quality jobs. Applications for the 8-month program are available at until February 15, 2019. Free to participants, Skillful operates the program with support from Microsoft, Lumina Foundation and Walmart.

Skillful Indiana Names William D. Turner, Jr. Executive Director

Turner joins Skillful Indiana from Allison Transmission, Inc., where for more than a decade he led the training and development organization for this leading Indianapolis-based manufacturing company. Long involved in Indiana’s workforce development efforts, he currently serves as Chair of the EmployIndy Workforce Development Board. He is also a member of the Indiana Automotive Council, the Indiana Workforce Development Board Alliance, where he serves as Secretary; and Board Member on the Metropolitan School District of Washington Township School Board. He is a graduate of Purdue University and holds an honorary degree from Ivy Tech Community College.

“Bill’s unmatched blend of private sector leadership and public service contributions to Indiana’s workforce development, plus his personal passion for helping Hoosiers succeed, makes him a natural fit to lead Skillful Indiana as Executive Director,” said Beth Cobert, Skillful CEO. “He understands the needs of employers and skilled workers and is deeply connected to the larger workforce development community across Indiana. We couldn’t be more delighted that he is joining the Skillful team.

“I’m thrilled to be joining Skillful in its mission to better equip and connect Hoosiers and Indiana employers in today’s fast-changing economy. Skillful Indiana’s work is not just about improving livelihoods, but also lives, which reverberates to create more vibrant communities,” said Mr. Turner. “We’re hitting the ground running with the launch of the Skillful Governor’s Coaching Corps. Career coaches play a critical role in helping people recognize the skills they have, the training they may need and the opportunities within their reach.”

Governor Eric J. Holcomb and Skillful Indiana Launch Skillful Governor’s Coaching Corps

The Skillful Governor’s Coaching Corps will bring together talented coaches from workforce centers, post-secondary education and training institutions, high schools, staffing and non-profit organizations to learn skills-based approaches to career coaching, hone their leadership skills, leverage new practices and technologies, and build a supportive cohort to serve Indiana job seekers more effectively in a changing economy. For example, coaches will learn how to apply a skills-based approach to gain a better understanding of the breadth of skills job seekers have, and to combine this with local labor market information to connect them to better career pathways. They will also learn how to use advanced features of tools such as LinkedIn to explore in-demand career pathways. Skillful first established its Skillful Coaching Corps model in the state of Colorado, where it is in its second year.

“I am proud of Indiana’s talented career development professionals who play a pivotal role in our workforce and education communities,” Gov. Holcomb said. “With Skillful Indiana launching the Skillful Governor’s Coaching Corps, Hoosiers will have access to career coaches who will offer new tools, resources and training opportunities so job seekers can flourish in a changing economy.”

This inaugural Indiana cohort of 35 participants will receive in-depth skills development, one-on-one leadership coaching, and access to a network of peers and leaders in high-demand, high-wage industries. Coaches will also form action teams to contribute their skills and experience to develop solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing Indiana’s workforce. Upon completion of the program, teams will present their recommendations to the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet members for potential adoption. To be eligible for the program, applicants must be Indiana residents responsible for providing career services directly to Hoosiers. They must currently work for a public workforce center; a university, community or technical college; a non-profit that provides career-advising services; Purdue Extension; a public high school or a staffing agency.

In addition to the Skillful Governor’s Coaching Corps, Skillful Indiana will launch an online Skillful Coaching Community of Practice later this year. The Skillful Coaching Community of Practice will be a virtual community, powered by Microsoft Teams, for Indiana career coaches to network, share and learn from each other. As an extension of the Corps, the online Skillful Coaching Community of Practice will offer resources and foster discussion to help coaches strengthen their skills and explore new and better ways to connect Hoosiers with training and employment opportunities.

Launched in October 2018, Skillful Indiana brings together the Markle Foundation, Microsoft Philanthropies, LinkedIn, Walmart, Lumina Foundation, Purdue University and Purdue Extension with Governor Holcomb’s Workforce Cabinet and local workforce development boards to augment the Governor’s Next Level workforce development plan and create better pathways to good jobs for Hoosiers. First established in Colorado, Skillful is dedicated to enabling all Americans – particularly those without a four-year college degree – succeed in a changing economy. Skillful is developing skills-based training and employment practices and facilitating their adoption in collaboration with employers, policymakers, educators, coaches and workforce development organizations.

About Skillful, Skillful Colorado, Skillful Indiana and the Skillful State Network

Skillful, a non-profit initiative of the Markle Foundation, is dedicated to enabling all Americans – particularly those without a four-year college degree – to secure good jobs in a changing economy. In partnership with Microsoft and others, Skillful is developing skills-based training and employment practices in collaboration with state governments, local employers, educators and workforce development organizations. Skillful and its partners are working to create a labor market in which skills are valued, and people can more easily access the information and education they need to keep pace with technology’s impact on work. Skillful currently operates in two states, Skillful Colorado and Skillful Indiana, bringing investment, training, tools and innovative methods to augment local workforce development efforts. It formed and facilitates the Skillful State Network, a collaboration among 20 state governors to accelerate the development and deployment of effective skills-based practices to transform their labor markets. Skillful is grateful for support provided by Microsoft, Lumina Foundation and Walmart, and its partnerships with the states of Colorado and Indiana, Purdue University and Purdue Extensions and many great local organizations committed to strengthening their local workforce and creating better opportunities for all.

About The Markle Foundation

The Markle Foundation works to realize the potential of technology to achieve breakthroughs in addressing some of the nation’s most pressing issues. Markle challenges itself and diverse partners to deploy their varied expertise to identify solutions and achieve systemic change. Today as advanced technology and automation change the very nature of work, Markle’s priority is advancing solutions toward a skills-based labor market that will enable Americans to transition to the opportunities of the digital economy. Markle’s workforce initiatives include Skillful and the Rework America Task Force. They follow Markle’s success in creating policy and technology architecture that has enabled improvements in healthcare, national security and access to the Internet. For more information, visit, follow @MarkleFdn and @ReworkAmerica on Twitter, and read our book, America's Moment.

Media Contact: Edelman for the Markle Foundation:

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