Adam Scholtes:             Welcome to the Skill Up Build Podcast, and boy, do we have a treat for you today. Uh, we're not going to have the normal show today. We recently had a panel breakfast here at the Morales Group, which included Marian University President and Daniel Elsener, Employee Indy CEO, Angie Carr Klitzsch, which you also heard here on the podcast and state Senator John Ruckelshaus for a breakfast series on closing the gap of learning and work. And we wanted to share the audio from that today with you guys. Uh, there's some great information

Kofi Darku:                   I sure was happy to be in the room that day, riveting conversation about how we're closing that gap between the education world, not only pre k through 12, but higher ed. How do we make shorter timeframes for training? We definitely touched on learn and earn, and with the recent increase in minimum wage at Amazon. We're talking about how that can impact the market. This is the Skill Up Build Up Podcast powered by the Morales Group where we are leading talent to thrive. Let's jump into this breakfast.

Kofi Darku:                   Thank you all for coming this morning. Our Building a Better Workforce Breakfast Series is a public forum where we discuss some key issues facing the business, world industry, Workforce Development, and we hope to surface some solutions at these discussions. Um, oftentimes there's a lot of inspiration that happens as a result of this. So I'm hoping we don't let you down. So with this series, we're focusing on closing the gap between learning and the workforce and to help us discuss that today, we have president of Marian University, Daniel Elsener. We have state Senator John Ruckelshaus and we have CEO of Employ Indy Angela Carr Klitzsch. Uh, before we get into some of the specific questions that will help us surface some of those solutions. I'm hoping that each of our panelists can tell us a little bit about themselves, uh, and their organization and institution so that we get a better sense of where they're coming from when they share their answers. So, President Elsener can you start us off?

Daniel Elsener:              I can. All right, thank you. I just drove across town. I thought I was being up early this morning. My goodness. Anyway, I didn't have to fly in. I drove and I'm glad to be here with you. I love the Morales Group. Tom, I respect him greatly and thank you for hiring some of our grads. I don't know if Luz is in the room. Is she here? She's a Marian grad. She looked hyper intelligent when you saw her. That's a bonus. Well, that's a, that's a bonus with a diploma from Marian when I hand it to you. Boom! You're just like your glow with intelligence. It's overwhelming and quite productive. There's a couple more over here. Um, I've done starting my 18th year of service to Marian. I'm in the, what I call the human flourishing business, so we often time, big part of our operation is welcoming 17 and 18 year olds into an academic enterprise. And we, over the years Ellen Whit, one of my colleagues, runs our exchange. We've decided more and more that earning and learning go together. They're not like something you do later in the day they start. We start building resumes and looking for experiences. So the learning informs their earning the earning and forms of learning and there's good research behind this. We also will serve over 4,000 students. We are the state's newest medical school. We've graduated two classes from the medical school. We have a large graduate program in Biomedical Sciences and counseling, and we're just growing very fast. We are glad to be in this city. We're glad to be in the near northwest side. A lot of interesting facts about Marian because of where we sit in the near northwest side, we have a high concentration of Latino students. Interesting fact, very, very few universities would tell you this in our freshman class this year, 26 percent were either Hispanic, Latino, or African American and higher ed tends to be not that way. So, um, we're very proud of that. And by the way, why would we do that? Our SAT averages are zooming forward. So are our GPA's, we want to be in the business of educating leaders because leaders not only are good for themselves and their family, but they lift others up around them. Leaders are intelligent inquisitive people. Leaders are skilled people. Leaders are healthy people, mind, body, spirit, etc. And leaders are ethical and dependable. Those are the four pillars. If you didn't notice. We want our graduates to be leaders, we want to be a leader in changing professions, like how we teach children to make sure everybody's ready and building a pipeline as an institution. We want to affect the professions and we like to deal with mega challenges like closing opportunity gaps or a reducing poverty and bringing people in. So we like big, big things. Uh, if it's small, you get small response. If it's big people get pretty juiced up, they'll get early in the morning and they'll work well together and learn to really serve people well. They'll even hug them. I was hugging some of our graduates here is big fella here, so you probably don't hug me. And I said, oh yeah, you don't scare my man away. So we had a good time. So that's the business. I'm in the business advancing human flourishing. It's really fun. If you can ever be a president, I recommend you do it. Senator.

Sen. Rauklehaus:           Thank you. Good morning everybody. My name is John Ruckleshaus house and I'm in the state senate. And first of all, I'd be totally remiss if I didn't offer you 20 bucks for your shirt man. I love that. Oh my gosh, I need you to helpo me underwrite this please. Okay. Real quick. Funny story. When we first met each other about three or four months ago or whatever, we sat down and talk about what has become my passion of workforce development and Kofi looked at me and he cut out your republican, right? And he hit his orange kind of folded like this. And wIthin 15 to 20 minutes we were backslap at each other. So believe me, there's a lot of weight. That's a true story. Absolutely true story. But by way of introduction, I'm one of the only Ruckleshaus's in the history of the state of Indiana who's not an attorney. So every time I see that I usually get a standing ovation at the legislation. So our family has had a history in politics and my uncle, just by way of introduction, was Richard Nixon's first environmental protection agency chief in 1968. And then he was director of the FBI. He was the assistant attorney general and there's a theme here that Ruckelshaus's can't hold a job. Btw Your uncle had an honorary degree from Marian. That's right. I forgot about that. That's right. I talked to them all the time that he was served in the Reagan administration. So I actually was in the lumber business. The Carter Lead Lumber Company was our family business on west Washington street. So we had 125 employees and I did all the personnel and we had a teamster contract and I negotiated three teamster contracts with our labor lawyer and lived to tell about it and uh, but a great, great group, a great business. And then we eventually this, this is how this led me into workforce development. We then, because of the market, we all know what happened in 2006, how housing can just. That was a depression, but we somewhat saw that coming and we decided what's best for the employees and best for the family is when we went ahead and sold the business to a very flourishing business and the businesses flourishing now. So a good friend of my uncle in our family of course is Mitch Daniels, so I go down to governor daniels and I say, governor daniels, I'm ready to come back to public service. This is a true story. I mean the governor's office and this is about 2000, the fall of 2006 and he looks at me and he says, well, we'd love to have you, but what are you doing right now? I said, well, you know, governor, I'm actually unemployed. And he said, perfect. He said, why don't you go over and help run department of workforce development because they run the employment agency and you're qualified. So that's exactly how that started. So that was on a Thursday. I started DWD on monday and it was the most fascinating experience of my life and that led me into this world of workforce development. I already had the experience as a small business owner doing human resources, etc. And now I went to all. I traveled to all 92 counties around the state of Indiana and that was a time when we were just tipping it, a massive recession. The state of Indiana, so when I started we were four point six percent unemployment and when I left governor daniels, we were at 10 percent unemployment. Mitch, typical mitch, it's my fault. He blamed it on me and that's okay, but really what I saw, which was truly fascinating was guide borgwarner, visteon, all these major manufacturing entities all around the state of Indiana, the closer plants and dumped thousands, tens of thousands of workers into the system and I was able to interact with higher education k through 12 and my eyes were opened up immensely to the extent of a who we are as a state. We are a heavy manufacturing state. We are now diversifying more into logistics, life sciences and other industries, which is great, but at a core we make things in the state of Indiana and we have to. What we're talking about now to higher level of the state is how do we align our education system up with the workforce. So we'll get more into that later, but that's how I got here. Thank you. Thank you. Angie.

Angie Carr:                   Hi, good morning. Excited to be here. Thank you for the invitation to join you on the panel. My name is Angie Carr Klitzsch. I'm the president and ceo of Employ Indy and we are the workforce development board for marion county and my journey is rather circuitous of how I landed here, but the majority of my professional history has been really investing philanthropic funds and the workforce development sector. Um, I most recently came from JP Morgan Chase where I was covering their corporate foundation for Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia. Um, and I did not know Mayor Joe Hogsett, but he asked to meet with me in January of 2016 so soon after he won the election. And he asked me quote unquote, as a Workforce development expert, what I would do for Indianapolis. I had no idea it was a job interview, the best way to get a job, I guess, but you know, I spoke at that time about that the market looks very different than when, when we were coming out of the recession that we had an excess amount of supply. Um, and, uh, now it's the opposite. The paradigm has shifted. There really is in an increasing amount of demand, but individuals are not prepared for those jobs and there's other barriers that prohibit them from actually taking advantage of those opportunities. Um, and so he asked me if I had to leave the private sector and I said sure. Um, and I've regretted it every day since. I'm just kidding. Um, it's been an honor. I mean, it's been tough. It's probably been one of the most difficult professional challenges of my life, but I feel very strongly that it was the right thing to do for our city and for you here in the room and for our residents, for our employers. Um, and I'm excited about the new of employee and so, you know, we invest public and private funding to ensure that our residents have the skill sets they need to take advantage of the jobs that are in this market. And then concurrently we work with employers to understand what their talent demands are and try to create those pipelines to those opportunities. Um, you know, we're guided by 7,000 pages of regulation. We're supposed to boil the ocean. Why this is interesting to me and what makes indianapolis unique is that we have a number of strategic partners that we can work together and really understand how we can leverage each other's competency. So I worked very closely with a group called Ascend. It's out of the Central Indiana corporate partnership. They're focusing more on a high skill jobs and trying to conduct individuals to opportunities here. This allows me to use your tax money to really focus in on a disproportionate communities where individuals are underemployed or they don't have the education level as necessary to take advantage of the jobs. So when we talk about the unemployment rate, it's basically functionally zero. We have a lot to be proud of here. We also need to understand that there are specific zip codes in our city where individuals are not able to achieve their high school equivalency or their high school degree who are working in service sector jobs where they're being paid $11, $12 an hour and that does not allow them to support their families. And so we're being more intentional and focused in these five specific zip codes and working with adult ed partners and other community based organizations to really provide the training needed for those individuals to take advantage of our jobs.

Kofi Darku:                   Excellent. So happy to have such a group of panelists today if you want to applaud I'm sorry. I didn't mean. Thank you. All right. Let's dig in. We want to talk about closing the gap of learning and work and the first question and President Elsener I'll direct it to you. Thank you. All. Panelists are free to answer this question. How do we improve non traditional student awareness of the career opportunities that are available to them in Central Indiana?

Daniel Elsener:              I think it's a good quick. I'm gonna. I did this in school, got in trouble sometimes when teacher had asked question, I change the question a little bit. Welcome to my world. I might have a future here. I wouldn't mess with you. The point of the facts is, every student, traditional, non, traditional. I think we have to just assume we can eliminate a gap. The time to value time time to value has to be shortened and the waste has to be taken away. So when you're in high school, when you start as freshman at Marian, you go to the exchange and you start your resume, say, hey, I really want to be this. I want to take President Elsener's job. How do I get started? And I'm looking for my replacement everyday on campus. I've seen quite a few of them. But then you start building your academics. What am I going to do in the summer? What kind of part time job? What kind of should I get in student government? If I want to be a state senator, you start building. So there shouldn't be this day where, oh, I need to get a job, I need to have a role in the world. It should be like this. Whether you're a traditional student in high school, college, uh, we're starting a two year college next year, which will be exciting. It will be under a different name but with us. So I would like to take the question and say, what would the future look like without a gap? What will the future look like? Where said there is no such thing as a traditional nontraditional, this kind of student, that kind of student, that the whole way there's kind of, excuse me as seamless nature to advancing people's potential and their god given talents and a say. The final thing I think we all need to work on. We often talk about deficits. It's a bad paradigm. I've never met someone that doesn't have some kind of a great gift and if you develop the talent, first of all, it's very motivational telling someone that's another thing I learned in school. They used to tell him when I was doing wrong and that list was too long. I couldn't handle it. Every once in a while they would say, well you're a mature leader. Just leading people the wrong wa. The big part of workforce development and in any kind of, oh, we've talked about human means is have a good antenna for talent. For something they really, excuse me, like if you work out what people's strengths. So that's some thoughts.

Sen. Rauklehaus:           Good thoughts. Thank you Kofi. That was an excellent question and that really kind of lead last year when we put together what I introduced and became part of the governor's council to take a look at it, sort of a global view is we have to start as early as we can in childhood, you know, pre k is obviously part of that as well in addition to as early as we can in the childhood development to expose to different fields. So I created this bill last year called the real world career readiness bill and its core what it was. We'll start with aptitude testing and the third grade to give parents and the students the tools, hey, what does jimmy, johnny, jose, whoever, what are their talents, what are their strengths? We already have the information at workforce development now that the jobs that available Employ Indy and he already has this information, the jobs, the education that you need, etc. And as you go through, at Its core, it was the integration of the community college system into the high schools to create a k through 13 system. Now, that doesn't mean you're all going to go for a fifth year. That's what I get a lot of people saying, well, you're gonna do the fifth year, and then you know, while I was senior class president at pike high school, almost reelected, but that was another story, but almost almost reluctant. It's true story by the way, so the point in all that was is when you exit in that fifth year, you exit with an associate's degree and that's what I love about what Dr. Elsener is doing over at Marian University because that's a core of it. We know there's between 35 and 45 percent of the student population in the state of Indiana and I would argue in the United States, please don't hit me. That doesn't need to go to college. That's fine. That's okay, and what we need to have more of, and I'm very serious and concerned about student data. Met with Mitch Daniels several times a summer to talk about that. Is that more of this integration and matching the skills up as early as possible. Again, give the kids ideas about work, what the jobs are that are out there at, match it with quality internships and externships. That's the future. So his world is going to be. It's going to be more about it. I heard this, we heard this in Denver, that it really, we're creating an education system that's going to be k through 100. It's all about a life long learning. Yeah.

Angie Carr:                   I just want to commend John and his colleagues because I think there's been a lot of intentionality coming from the state level for the k through 12 system and how do we bring employers farther upstream to provide information, exposure, exploration opportunities locally in this market. We start really in eighth grade when you think of junior achievement, job spark, and then how do we then do something that touches them in ninth grade and helps them explore their interests to understand their passions and talents. And we are fully participating in those activities. I do want to speak to those individuals who have dropped out of k through 12 education. Um, we call this group oftentimes 16 to 24 opportunity youth that are, there are those who are not participating right now in our economy. They're not involved in education, they're not involved in employment and we have to build trust and build relationships with them before we have the conversation of what training and opportunities are available for them to make their lives better. One of the things that we're doing in the four, six, two, three, five zip code is having a re engagement center. So we're using existing real estate, the boys and girls club in the summertime when we're using it from seven to 11:00 PM in the evening. Now during the school year, we're using it from nine to three because they're not utilizing that gym in that space. Our goal was to try to reengage 100 young people. We've seen 750 people come through the door since May. We've done no advertising, but we have a straight game out there. So there's an appetite and there's an interest. But I think oftentimes we go to these broad based campaigns or we say, oh, here are all these resources, but if we don't have a direct relationship with someone, it's really hard to have that conversation. So I know that deviates a little bit more from like occupational training, but it really is a necessary precursor before we can even have that conversation.

Kofi Darku:                   I really appreciate you saying that because oftentimes in our workforce development work, we realized there are a number of populations that are not being served at connected to help us leverage the larger group we need to in order to fill all the jobs that are out there in our economy and I often refer to them as the disconnected communities and that is definitely one of them. So this is good because it helps with the next question. You have a unique vantage point at Employee Indy. So I would like for you to address this question first, how can employers and educators come together to more effectively address supply and demand alignment in the workforce?

Angie Carr:                   Sure, Um, you know, there's information asymmetry right now. So the private sector really needs to participate more fully in the solutions. My experience has been such that they want to help. They understand some of it is just pure business issues, right? Like that there's a bottom line there that I can't find the talent I need that is basically an input into my operations and I am not being fully productive now, but I also really believe that businesses are comprised of individuals who understand that they have a responsibility to help design systems that work for all stakeholders. So bringing employers in farther along and sharing almost like a suite or a menu of opportunities. There's different tiers of engagement. We don't want to start straight with, hey, create a department of labor registered apprenticeship. That's pretty intimidating at some point, particularly for small, medium sized enterprises, but there's many ways that employers can again come farther upstream so they can open up their facilities so that we can do tours and site visits. They can sit on advisory councils. I'm sure Marian probably has that comprise the business leaders. So to influence the curricula right now, it's really challenging to try to reform our education system using bureau of labor statistics data or net codes because the volatility in the marketplace, that change is happening so rapidly that we can't use those lagging indicators. It really has to be a qualitative conversation, one off with employers and then redesigning systems backwards to help the the educational institutions then provide that curricula.

Kofi Darku:                   Excellent. go ahead.

Sen. Rauklehaus:           Outstanding. And I would say, well we have to do at the end of the day is reinvent the paradigm. That paradigm in this country has been business waits on education to do their job and they've been working hard. So this is not pointing a finger at education at all because you're only as good as what comes to the door and you're working very hard. Businesses had to step up, businesses have to form, and businesses have to start at a very early age. Again, back to this third grade, fourth grade, kindergarten, et cetera to be involved. The internship with, this is what we learned in Colorado has a model right now where businesses have come together and formed an internship, sort of Colorado connects. It is what the entity is a $17 Million. $17 million dollars outside of the scope. Those are not government funds. Those are private funds, philanthropic funds and what they're doing is they're going to the business or they're going to the schools and creating these internships in this pipeline. That's what we have to do. It's more hands on learning, but the businesses are gonna have to step up.

Daniel Elsener:              I really liked the comments. Let me just share something concrete I'm going through right now and pointed to Ellen and so my other colleagues are here, but we've. When we did the research and design this two year college, something became. By the way, we've done some travel and we did a lot of research for your another countries. There is, there are these walls between k, 12 higher ed employer. They tend to be more like one pipeline builder. Think of a pipeline with me for a minute. So on any given day I'll have 10 people out in high schools recruiting students. They don't like to be recruiters, their admission professionals, so okay, recruit muslim students, but anyway, I'll go with the admission professionals so they're out there and they're talking to a counselor and add this kid and they had that kid and there's science given etc. What if while we're out there, we talk about, by the way, we've teamed up, I've had probably 30, 40 conversations with ceos from Lilly to you name it. Human resources, vice president, what do you need. I mean you would go out and actually help people and so the two year college at our place, for instance, now we do this with the university students a four year. What if you earned and learned at the same time for 24 months, one position, the bank tellers your to bank tellers. It's one position they need. You're gonna earn halftime, learn halftime, go 24 months straight. You have associate degree. Then you go into management training thing. You can go part time. So I'm out recruiting people, most of our employers are very concerned about diversity. They're very concerned about people you could find me talent. So when they enter college they also enter my workforce and together English 101 assignment would be how do we greet customers better on your first writing assignment in English 101. So we would take the basic core curriculum and outcome and contour with technology. You can actually contour a student's assignments and curriculum, individualize it, but yet meet the outcomes. So the more we make it one pipeline, you should not be gaps or bridges and the K-12 system and we sometimes cringe. Diversity has two problems in higher ed. One, a lot of students in our community, especially in Latino community, are not going to college. The $15 hour job is a for sure thing. College is a frightening thing. How do we do both together, but also within that, what kind of majors are people prepared to be successful in? Technology, engineering etc, yet to have great math skills so we could just complain about K-12 or we could get our educators college and bedded in K-12 and make sure there's good camps in the summer cetera, so we have a diversity in the high pe, high technology areas and we're doing that with great vigor and and luckily people help fund that foundations and businesses, so we've all got to work together. We can't do this anymore and I think that's the message, but we're doing some things very concretely and frankly it's just a lot of fun because you see some people's lives just totally changed and they get totally excited about learning when they say, I know where I'm going, you know, and that it's not a mystery.

Kofi Darku:                   Excellent. Thank you for these responses. Senator Ruckelshaus, I would like to start with you on this next question. You've been mentioning Denver. I know that you will travel a lot and you were mentioning denver as well, but I'm curious about things that you've seen in Indiana, uh, what best practices can work places adopt to increase the likelihood of success of young talent and emerging professionals?

Sen. Rucklehaus:           Well, here's a good opportunity and I'll kind of give you a little sneak peak about a bill that I'm just polishing off right now and get it introduce next year. You don't even know about this, although I take the head injury association does. I would like to tell you it was my idea, but this is actually my son's idea who's a Rhodes scholar in England, so it was his idea and what we're going. It's going to be called the Serve Indiana Program. And what we're gonna do is we're going to target those kids that graduate from high school and just don't have a clue what they want to do next. And that's probably a pretty diverse population at a pretty large population. So we'll start very small and will through the governor. They'll be a competItive environment. It'll be a very diverse population both geographically as well as racially and socioeconomic. There'll be in pods of 10 and they'll get a stipend. It'll be a nine month program, and what they'll do is they'll enter this program and the universities will be very much a part of this with housing and some other infrastructure and we're working with the commission for higher education to receive credit while they're there. Either a certificate or some kind of college credit, so what they'll do is this and that nine month program is a work together in pods of 10. They'll spend three weeks on a farm working together. They'll spend three weeks in a logistics manufacturing environment working together. They'll spend three weeks in an education environment working next to a teacher, three weeks and a bio sciences, Lily, three weeks learning how to code computer science, all Indiana centric businesses. What the net result of hopefully two things. One is the light bulb will come off that this is the career path and something that I would like to do down the road if they need higher education or community college, whatever they need from training to do that. And secondly, empathy, they'll learn how to work together and empathy in this country. I think we kind of saw this this last year that we need more of. So we're really excited about that. That's just one example.

Kofi Darku:                   Angie, can you jump in on this?

Angie Carr:                   I think one way to really, um, support workers that are coming out of the higher ed system and coming into companies, you know, we often talk about mentoring as someone who's a seasoned professional who's been mentoring those coming into the workforce. I think having those entry level workers actually mentor young adults who maybe that's their first job, they're only working part time. Um, it kind of kills two birds with one stone. First of all, I hear from employers all the time that the millennial generation, I hate using broad brush strokes, but it's inpatient that there'll be working for three months and I'll be like, I want to be a manager. Right? And um, but if you give them those opportunities to express those skill sets that's going to allow them to feel that they are continuing to grow professionally, that will keep them and retain them as part of your company. And then It has the added benefit that they are doing near peer mentoring for, you know, those high school students that are getting exposed to the world of work as well. So I'd like to really explore that moving forward at Employ Indy to help companies think about that type of programming in house.

Kofi Darku:                   Great. Wonderful. President Elsener do you have any thoughts on this?

Daniel Elsener:              It might go back to the strengths approach and trying to find people's strengths and engage them. A lot of mentoring. I also, there's an old saying that it's hard to talk yourself out of something you behaved yourself into. I mean our systems are all very separate in this country. The apprenticeship and the business from the school and that higher ed is that K-12 and K-12 fresh. I, ed, a lot of thIs. I liked the relationship building because actually when we designed our two year college, you'd be surprised at the power of empathy and belonging to one another. I'm the professor belonging as a student. The students belong in each other, so when you think about dropping out or it isn't going to work, you have the support system that gathers around, don't don't quit, John to keep on this. You know, So there's. There's a big human side of this where someone takes an interest and we've all had their parents, uncles, teachers, counselor. Somebody saw something in you and they mentioned it and so you kept going and so there's a whole element here that it won't be on paper and it won't be on a credential and it won't necessarily take a phd. There's two phds. We like to hire phds, but we also like to hire. There's two types. The other type is poor, hungry and determined. We liked those kids with grit for hungry and determined was often outpace. They'll become the boss of the other kind of phd. So it's a lot of human traits and people seeing an encouraging and belonging to one another.

Kofi Darku:                   The next question focuses on Amazon and their decision to raise the minimum wage at their company to $15 an hour. I believe that was announced on October 2nd. My flight to Ghana was on that same day and my connecting flight in Brussels, Belgium. I saw this newspaper and the main story was Amazon raised its minimum wage after bayzos listens to critics. Uh, so I found it very interesting that they were talking about this in Europe and it was part of things that I saw even in Africa. Um, so with the recent minimum wage increase to $15 an hour at Amazon, what effect do you think this will have on the market and other employers?

Daniel Elsener:              It's mixed. You say, well, 15 burton, 12, $12 an hour you makeke $24,000 a year. 15, you make 30. I don't know many people's whose aspiration is to top out at 30 grand. The other thing you'll see with higher minimum wages, especially if the government forces it, there's going to be more and more automation and so that have a mixed blessing because what you'll find is people are always trying to speed up to values, so if you add more technology now more and more people in the pool that are what we call undereducated or etc, not they're gonna suddenly need more education, micro credits, real credits to degree or degrees, four year degrees, master's degrees, whatever. So generally always clap when someone gets a pay raise. Certainly I would in the case of Amazon, but you don't. You will see as unit per hour work goes up in price, good business people use capital then to expand efficiency. That's kinda what happened to our manufacturing section. If you get a chance read the brookings institute study about Central Indiana, okay, here's all the people that are working. Here's a bunch of people in the middle. They'll ask 20, 30 years. People in the middle are then shoved to the margins. One margin, they're higher pay. Good. The other margin poverty. The middle's being hollowed out. So as we take basic pay up, you're going to find more automation need for higher skills and higher education, which is going to be great, but we better have a plan to get folks into the educational system in their way and their time and efficiently as possible. And I have a lot of people that can help with that in technology, computer science center. But how do we get folks to understand that it's gonna happen. Otherwise they're going to be shoved to one of the margins and if we're going to lose our middle.

Kofi Darku:                   So real quick, do you see this as a step in the right direction? I think you kind of. It's a mixed bag.

Daniel Elsener:              You can't say it's bad. It's only good on the surface. Longterm we better pair thinking caps on because oh the minimum at the basic wage is going up the entrepreneur and the capitalists will always find new technology because they're in a competitive environment to use fewer workers, but they're going to need higher skill and better pay even way beyond 30,000 a year. They're going to be paying 50, 60, 70, 80. And how do we get people's skill level up to that? So you can't say it's bad, but it's going to cause some other ripples. We better plan for in a hurry. We've seen it, right?

Sen. Rauklehaus:           Yeah, there's no thank you Dan. Yeah, I think he's exactly right. There's no question. It's a good thing and it's a good thing clearly because it proves the market works. The market itself works. Don't wait for government, don't wait for us. Right? We're fully capable messing it up. But definitely the market is working. Now. One thing that's interesting, and I did a lot of research on that, so I actually last year put together a, a presentation of bill that was kind of unique. It was attracting or was attacking the minimum wage issue. So currently, uh, the, the, the gist of the bill was this. That as an employer it was a tax credit if you have somewhat of minimum wage and they'd been a bit minimum wage for over a year and they've been with you for over a year. It was a tax credit to the employer to pay their employees more wages. In exchange the employee had to agree to raise their skills up, go back, get their GED, get their high school degree, go to get a two year program at Marian university. There's a plug for you, uh, excel, whatever it took. So it was a two way street, but one of the things that people have to understand about minimum wage in this country, yes, it's an important issue, but it's a very small segment of the population. So factually in the state of Indiana right now, there are three point four million hoosier's working of that three point four million hoosier's take students out of the mix because students were always in and out. There are only 69,000 hoosiers at minimum wage. And the reason why there are minimum wage is their trapped because of low skills. And that's what I was trying to attack is to raise your skills that that's the only way longterm, but you get people out of minimum wage.

Angie Carr:                   I'll just reiterate the comments of the other panelists that, you know, it's a mixed bag. Obviously it's good for the individual, but there are ramifications around the increased automation due to know cost savings that accompanies would want to incur. Um, we have taken the position at Employ Indy around abc. Any job better job career if you do not have dependents, if it's your first job and you were high school students that any job can be at $9, $10 an hour. Obviously if you were trying to support a family here in Marion County, let's say you have one that's preschool age and one that's in a school age and you're a single parent household, you need to be making close to $18. This is the Indiana self sufficiency calculator and so building off of the Brookings Institute Study, we have really honed in on what we call good and promising jobs. There's several variables that take into consideration what these are. Good jobs are $18 an hour close to about $42,000 for the year. So nurses may be, are not working 40 hours a week, but they would have a good job. A promising job is one that does not pay that amount, but within 10 years your journey will get you to that good job. Um, what has been really interesting for us is that there are just not enough jobs in Indiana that are good and promising. There is an increased number of jobs that came about post recession that our service sector jobs that are not paying living wages and what we need to understand as kind of a government agency is that we can train for days, but if our economic development partners aren't incentivizing and bringing the right types of jobs into our city and into our state, it does us no good. There is again that asymmetry. So we are really focusing in on. We say, oh, we've placed a thousand people, but realistically we're about for this calendar year closer to about 200 placements in good and promising jobs and that's what we want to be held accountable for moving forward.

Kofi Darku:                   Angie, I want to stay with you. We're in the final stretch here and since you have some programming and President Elsener you have some programming, these questions are specifically for you. We have a room full of hiring and company decision makers here. Tell us one educational program you offer that will help change the earning trajectory of their team members.

Angie Carr:                   Well, just to be clear too, like Employ Indy's an intermediary, so we don't often run our own programming. We put rfps out in the streets, in direct service agencies and educational institutions compete for those dollars. We have 46 funding streams that of come through our organization. One of the things that I am most proud of is really, um, the work that we're doing with that opportunity youth, those disconnected young adults. Uh, and um, that 16 to 24 year old group, we have funding from the federal government, but it can be rather restrictive. We've been very lucky to secure additional dollars from Lilly Endowment that's allowed us to be much more creative with our outreach strategies. I spoke to the pivot re engagement center earlier this morning. Um, and that's where I think we can be very additive to the workforce ecosystem in that we are working with faith based organizations, community partners to reengage a population which equals to about 30,000 people in Marion County to try to connect them back into the programming activities that happened through Marian that happened through other organizations here in our city

Kofi Darku:                   President Elsener.

Daniel Elsener:              Um, they tipped us off on this question. And so I, I would say that if you made me pick one, although that we fundamentally we closed our placement office at the university and created career development as you go through is very, very important. It's a very different approach than we do there. But our two year college will be definitely very, very innovative. I'm basically going to have charge our, our folks to be a recruitment center for the employers and together we'll develop a curriculum and work experiences every month straight on through. There's thousands of students in Cenral Indiana that don't go to college. There's another whole bunch that are going a little bit aimlessly and dropping out, which is almost worse than never going because it's another experience where you say, well, you're not that smart or you're not capable. We don't need more of those experiences, and then they usually have some debt and they have some expense and they didn't earn much money because they were in school and now they dropped out. Now where do I go? Now I'm not part of a community. I'm not on track, so I'm looking forward. Our main university is growing beautifully. I mean, we get unbelievable students and engineering's exploding and premeds exploding. I just can't sit. A university is a powerful place that we just felt mission wise, we couldn't sit around and watch this anymore. So I'm looking forward and I warned our faculty last May. I said, by the way, a number of these two year college students we recruit are going to be the boss of your best students. Just why? Because they have that kind of phd where they are poor, hungry and determined and they're just gonna. They're gonna. Come get you. So what we were going to do with this new innovative, we're going to find people with grit and get them into that Lilly and these other great companies and the companies are going to love it because they want diverse talent. Right? And then we're working together. So I want to take the two worlds and mesh in there and I'm really excited about the whole operation, but we're going to call this to your college St Joseph's College of Marian and you're going to see remarkable stories come be 20 years from now. I'll be proud of all of our doctors out there, out of the room at school, but I think I'll be most excited about that other kind of phd running big companies and making a big difference in the world.

Kofi Darku:                   Awesome. I really think each one of our panelists for the heart that they brought to their responses as well as the depth of knowledge. So can we please give them a round of applause? Also needed to truncate that because there is still some work to be done. I know you all need to get back to your work world, but I wanted to leave some time for questions. You've stimulated a lot of thought in my own brain. I'm certain that most everyone in here has a number of questions or things they're thinking about. So this is the time in the breakfast where we're soliciting for questions. If you have any questions, this is your chance. All right, let me get you the mic.

Dante Cook :                 Hey, my name is Dante Cook and I just want to say thank you to all the Hoosiers in the room. Uh, I'm a transplant but I consider Indiana home now. I'm speaking on education specifically. I kind of where I'm from, Virginia, where you grew up, you lived here, you went to this school, you lived on this street, you went to that school. And so one of the things that I've seen affect my neighborhood and a lot of people that I know very deeply is some of the school choice programs and the scholarship granting kind of credits that people get. And so there are incentives for people to get tax credits on investing in private education places. And what that's doing, what I've seen at do is kind of rot out the resources going to, uh, what used to be a foundation in the community, like Arsenal Tech, you know, I live on the near east side. Um, and so I guess what programs do you have in place on the state level, the government level to counteract kind of resources flowing out of our largest pipeline of phds, which is in my mind, IPS students on the near east side.

Daniel Elsener:              Dante, first off, do you have any eligibility left? You'd be a good middle linebacker. We have an unbelievable football team. I used to pray we'd, when I pray for the other team because we beat him bust buster, that's our custom. But if you have any eligibility, my coach want to talk to you guys put together. But the um, I respectfully what we have found our K-12 Eclipse Educators College. We're finding these niche schools are actually working quite well. For instance, next to us as Cold Spring School, mostly all minority kids, 90 some percent free and reduced lunch. That was an F school all these years under ips innovation school, which is a unique kind of school or we have faculty and students in there and my football players you to read to the kids and then we have them over football games, etc. Mentoring and that school now, last year has been an A school. So I think sometimes when the big bureaucracy runs them all and poor parents have no choice. I think it actually was a terrible gross disadvantage and frankly the charter schools get less money than the public school, so when a kid leaves the traditional public school, they actually, even though they're not educating gig at some of the money, when a kid takes a voucher, they still. The voucher isn't nearly worth what they're paying 15 grand a kid. So I don't know. We're seeing the ecosystem frankly with all these unique environments getting set up and these innovative K-12, I think longterm. Dante, you're going to see it actually pay big dividends, especially for the most disadvantaged in our community economically disadvantage. We're giving power now to people would just said used to be. That's where you go to school. We know it doesn't work very well. We know it is a rotten in school, but by god you're going to go there and the parents said, wait a minute, I love my kid as much as yours. I want. I want them to go to this school. So I think longterm you'll actually see all these innovative options actually improve what everybody has. I'd also tell you this, the traditional public schools in our state are getting very innovative and they're moving. They're looking for talent every day they're looking for help because now their kids have choices, their parents and they're saying, hey, this isn't about the adults here, this about them now. So I think longterm our state might just be on the right track that way because you're seeing educators take over schools and given new meaning to what a school should be about and etc. I've seen it and I've experienced that. I'm kind of encouraged, although I'm sure the change is causing heartburn in certain areas.

Sen. Rauklehaus:           Dante, real fast, uh, I went to Indiana University and we do need linebackers right now, and you can play this weekend against Penn State. Listen, I'm on a, I'm not gonna put up with this. I started on of their respect. I got the big 10 for you. Okay. No, seriously. Thank you very much for that question. Keep that in mind. Is that I think would President Elsener said is exactly right. Uh, yes there is some controversy, but I will tell you this right now, we have an education choice system in the state of Indiana that all parents have choices now and what we're really seeing is the growth of the public schools are absolutely competing and the largest amount of choice right now going on in the state of Indiana is one public school person going to another public school. So it's within public school system is the largest movement of any of the demographics right now. So is it perfect? No. Do we need to continue to work at it? Absolutely, but it is working.

Angie Carr:                   Indiana has been ground zero for school choice. Right. And so we've kind of past that first hurdle, but obviously the change is disruptive, right? For communities that have been built around school systems, what I will say as not only an IPS parent, but at Employ Indy, we are working with IPS with support from Bloomberg philanthropies as well as JP Morgan Chase to be the work based learning intermediary as part of their new career academy model. So as of this past fall, IPS um, went down to four career academies and they are focused and we are bringing businesses into those schools to influence curriculum, but also to offer up those work learning experiences for students as well. So I'm very excited about that. Obviously nascent stages and we're building it out as we've seen as we've seen it be successful in other markets such as New Orleans and out in Colorado as well, but more to come on that, but it is kind of this interesting time where it's we're pivoting for a new way of doing, delivering education, but we haven't yet quite seen it manifest to the outcomes that we'd like.

Kofi Darku:                   Juicy question. Thanks Dante. There we go.

Mike Lawson:               My name is Mike Lawson and I'm a guest here with the Morales Group today, but I wanted to direct this question specifically to President Elsener and then also to Senator Ruckleshaus with your initiatives. I was really interested to hear what you said, Dr. Elsener on or about, uh, taking a 24 month program and maybe job share where somebody would, would work 24 months at half pay, share the job, do the responsibility to come out with a degree or some type of certification that would improve that person moving forward. And then also with your program, John, where you're talking about a starting these pods where groups of 10 can go out into different business ventures and really learn those, uh, types of job skills and, and decide what do they want to do with their lives. So what seems to be the biggest challenge, uh, in, in both of those areas as far as the business community is concerned? What kind of pushback are you getting or, or, or to to get these folks to think outside the box a, to do something differently that's going to have a longterm lasting effect on our workforce, uh, community? What, what are you hearing from the business community where, where they're saying, you know, we can't do it because of this or, or, or, or this creates a specific challenge for us and this is why we're not going to be able to help you with this. I'd like to know what the business community is saying and what challenges you're facing there.

Daniel Elsener:              I might start because I've been in probably 50 offices. I've gone to my colleagues, to ceos again of david wrecks on through conceptually we're all go, you look around a major corporation. Their average wage might be, is north of like take Lilly.. Their average wage pay, not their benefits is, is north of 100 grand. It's like under 100 grand. Now there's some top vendors that skew the average. Let's face it. But, but if you look around, our workforce doesn't look like the city, the makeup now as an intentional. I don't think so. I think what we have to do is create a better pipeline. So conceptually I think we're all go. You mean you're in the highest schools and you could get some good students and you're going to help interview him and admit them and then we're going to tie their learning to this job. They're all cool. Now, the first time I sit on that, we look good. We thought we picked the right one. I don't know if this ever happens. Do you ever pick an employee? Do you think's going to be great? And they fizzle. That is going to happen. Okay. And they're gonna say, well, do you want to tell our, should we tell them we don't want them back? Or you know, how's that gonna work? And the first time on some people are sick and if they're coordinating and how it goes. So I think in implementation we're probably going to get scraped knees and elbows, but it's going to be worth it going to be worth it to them because they're going to have more talent. They're going to have this diverse talent. They're going to have a. It's going to be a better culture and a better society and a better economy. If we're together building this community as opposed to pods and parts, and I don't think my academic schools frankly are. This is a little. No. I used to control my classroom, my curriculum. I had my test. I didn't go. As you know, mr, America, what they wanted in the call center for an assignment. I created my own assignments. I know what I need. I'm a phd, a real one, and so now all of a sudden they've got to go outside the walls of that classroom and build individualized curriculum. They're going to be nervous and they're going to say, I'm in charge. I'm a faculty meeting friday. They're in charge of the university. We all go along with that. It didn't really true, but we know they're highly educated and they want to control their curriculum so they're going to have to give. So I think implementation will be messy. Breaking down these silos. Silos are convenient. They're just not based in reality and when you get out in the real world, it gets a little messy. So I think that's the biggest challenge is making it actually work because businesses have to make money and they have to be efficient and I have to have standards and academic outcomes. How do those two worlds come together?

Sen. Rauklehaus:           Very good. Michael. Excellent question. I actually had the reverse issue in my world because I had the business community that everyone I've talked to loves this program. Sign me up, let me be a part of it, but I have a group of fiscal leaders back at the government that like part of my job that I'm trying to do is to do a lot of things bi-partisan and try to be that. This is where I think we've gotten off track as I'm trying to bring new ideas to the table, new thought processes and every time I sit down, hey, that's a great idea how much that cost? And so we're going through all that process. So it. The fiscal on this is about $900,000. In the worst case scenario we might be able to get it down. So right now when I'm working with businesses to come to the table with skin in the game.

Jason Martin:                Jason Martin, I have been a lifetime educator 20 years at different universities, just recently ended a 10 year career in financial services and as a former hiring manager and professor who saw a lot of students applaud you first of all, for the outside the box thinking the pods, the two years. What I can tell you as a, as a university professor and as a hiring manager is that I could have the most well trained folks in my classroom who don't know how to have a conversation with people. I don't know how to network, who don't know what it means to do good customer service, who have never written a mission statement in their life, who have no idea what it means to build a successful network. Is there and I think sometimes that's like, well those are the squishy things. Those are the things that we. We can't always get our hands around. Is there something in these programs to help these folks who are doing this? Because I'd love to see those people graduate from those pods and say this is what I really want to do, but if they can't sit in an interview and have an intelligent conversation, they're not going to get hired. And so how do we look at that other side, by the way, I have a company that would love to help you do that. But, but as, as, as um, as somebody who. I mean, that's, that's in my heart because I had students who would come back to school because that's what they were told they need to do, especially that came back from deployment in overseas and you know, I was in the service for five or six years, but they have none of those soft skills. So I'm just wondering if there's anything in any of these plants to take care of that.

Angie Carr:                   No. As a philosophy major, I don't have many occupational skills, but I'm a good communicator and in the end that has actually advanced my career much more quickly than perhaps having an like an engineering degree. Although that could have been beneficial to, I'm sure. Um, but, but I say all that to you, you speak to a really important point and that is what we hear all the time right now because the labor market is so tight. I will train for the occupation and employer will say I need them to show up on time. I need them to be able to manage conflict critical, think work as a team and DWD the department of workforce development release kind of this employability skills framework a number of years ago. And you know, there's posters out there and we all understand and recognize the importance of this, the squishy soft skills, employability skills.

Speaker 4:                    But how do you operationalize that in a setting that is not work, right? How do you mimic or mirror that? And so Employ Indy with, uh, the Indy Chamber actually in the mayor's office created as of February of this year, a program called Job Ready Indy and you can go to and it's a trainer of trainer model, but they're six badges. They're like digital badges and we are piloting it with young people in particular since they don't have much work experience and how do they demonstrate this skill set, how do they learn this skillset that will be beneficial for them throughout the course of their career, in their progression professionally. We'd like to be able to deploy that for other populations. I think about citizens returning from our criminal justice system, um, but I think it has legs above and beyond even those kind of target populations. Um, and it's something to that, even within the school framework, within a class that we're trying to embed, we're working with, um, as I said Indianapolis Public Schools in all for their career academies, they're going to be delivering that so that young people are graduating from high school with that skill set. Um, but I, I think that it's really important for all of us to understand, like for young people or individuals to learn those skills, we have to help them and participate in that solution as well.

Daniel Elsener:              Angie I might add something very interesting. When we were getting ready to graduate, our first set of docs, what does a doc have to do with coming out of med school? They've got to get a residency. They interview with other docs. Now they've passed their boards, their doctors, the docs, the interview them when they leave the room and say, do we want to work with that man or woman for three or four years? Not really. So anyway, sometimes we think is just the lower socioeconomic, but actually some of the most brilliant scientists and people, you know, you'll have 4,500 students apply for 160 positions from every great university in America and they get ready to go out and I tell you that story because someone much smarter than me in our organization said, let's do networking. We do with our undergraduates. I have a couple of my graduates there. We call it night networking. We did it with the medical school students for a year before they went out and interviewed for residencies in a brand new medical school. You know, that's one of your signs. Every graduate so far has gotten a residency slot. Nobody left behind, but we really worked on their interview skills. Even we have a closet for dress, so I don't have anything dress up in, so we have our alums survey, donates, fancy clothes that you can get dressed up and do your interview, so it's how you act. It's how you look. Can you communicate? Do I want to work with you? I mean that might be your number one thing to get a job and get your pain increased to people like you. It's pretty important, so it's not only we've seen it at all levels here and it's extremely important. I think it's a great question

Sen. Rauklehaus:           Real briefly and then you probably want to wrap up and by the way, $22 offer on the shirt. Okay. You your mind, you can have the shirt. Thank you very much for that question. That was one of the core reasons why we put this bill together. The Serve Indiana Program. I think about this every single day that we live in a world right now. It's not just the generations below us where it's all this. The interpersonal skills right now in this country are almost deplorable you. I have people come into my office all the time at the state house and when we start talking, I can already tell that they watch MSNBC or FOX or we're in bubbles, so that was one of the core reasons to put this together. Think about that. If you're going to work side by side on a farm where you may or may not have the greatest connectivity activity anyway to use your phone, you're going to truly learn how to work together and bond together, so that was one of the core reasons to put that together. We somehow have to get outside of our bubbles and we have to start talking to each other, but more importantly, we have to listen first. That was one of the biggest reasons and thank you for bringing that up.

Kofi Darku:                   Thank you everyone for the questions for being a part of this breakfast. Again, thank you for starting your day with us this morning. Thank you panelists for the great information you shared and feel free to network as we conclude the panel discussion. Have a great day.