The first regional meetings of the newly created Indiana Works Councils are scheduled for kickoffs in the coming weeks around the state. The Works Councils, proposed by Governor Mike Pence and established unanimously by the 2013 General Assembly, are charged with reviewing current career and technical education (CTE) curriculums and outcomes.

Comprised of local business, industry, education and workforce development leaders, the goal of the councils is to offer innovative solutions to better align local employer needs and high school students’ preparation for successfully entering career or postsecondary education. The 11 council regions mirror Indiana’s congressional district lines.

“Every student in every high school should be prepared with the right education and training to successfully and seamlessly enter either into a career or pursue postsecondary studies,” said Governor Pence. “We have a tremendous opportunity to reinvigorate career and technical education today, and Indiana is grateful to these men and women as they locally assess and make critical recommendations for moving our state forward.”

The initial works council sessions will review the purpose and vision for the works council and begin their evaluation of the regional career and technical education (CTE) data for their individual regions. The councils are also legislatively charged to draft a strategic plan for the region, propose vocational and technical alternatives to meet industry needs, leverage partnerships and to share their recommendations with the Indiana Career Council.

Work of the councils remain a hot topic, as Gov. Pence discussed their creation nationally with NBC’s Andrea Mitchell Monday during a live panel for NBC’s Education Nation, and enhancing workforce development was a key topic during his recent trade mission to Japan.

The Region 1 Works Council held their first meeting last Friday, with Regions 2,4,and 8 to host meetings this week, and other regions to follow.