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Indiana INTERNnet, Indiana Commission for Higher Education, and Purdue University joined forces to coordinate a session during the HR Indiana Annual Conference. The session, Career Ready: Strengthening Indiana’s Talent Pipeline, occurred on Wednesday, the final day of the conference. Indiana INTERNnet was honored to share the podium with brilliant minds who are shaping and strengthening Indiana’s talent pipeline for career readiness.

A few of Indiana’s esteemed influencers in the world of education, public affairs, workforce policy, and business shared their insights on plans to help Indiana’s economy grow. Teresa Lubbers, the Commissioner for Indiana’s Commission for Higher Education (CHE), discussed invaluable strategies that CHE is pursuing to ensure Indiana’s post-secondary education system is aligned to meet the needs of students and the state. She addressed key values of career alignment, competency and completion that will carry CHE’s goals to the fullest extent of success in our community.


The Indiana Chamber of Commerce’s very own Vice President of Education, Workforce Policy and Federal Affairs, Caryl Auslander, discussed findings of the Chamber’s workforce survey that came out in April of this year. Indiana’s workforce has 45% of jobs left unfilled due to lack of qualified applicants. The data collected from this survey illustrated not only the challenges, but the opportunities that lay ahead with filling the workforce.

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Our friends at Baldwin & Lyons, a firm headquartered in Carmel that underwrites multiple lines of property and casualty insurance, discussed how formal internship programs are a win-win for both employers and interns. Baldwin & Lyons is known for their competitive and successful program, having won the employer of the year at the 2016 IMPACT Awards. Paige Carroll, an intern with the company won intern of the year and has since accepted a full-time position after she graduates.  Becca Christensen, human resource generalist, along with Carroll, human resources intern, were the company representatives at our session. They provided their perspectives on the successes of the company’s internship program, and offered tips for other employers.

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Christensen explained various aspects of the program that showcase the successful results of the internship program and high performance of the interns. Carroll shared her favorite parts of the internship, which included job shadowing, professional development and networking activities and personality tests to improve communication skills. She especially appreciates how everyone at the company treats interns as intelligent and ambitious young adults. Interns do not perform remedial tasks, but are entrusted with interdepartmental projects that allow them to experience various roles in the company. By recruiting through, attending as many career fairs as possible, and providing the interns with appropriate knowledge and experience has allowed Baldwin & Lyons to retain amazing Hoosier talent.

David L. Johnson, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP), discussed his organization’s distinctive strategy of collaborations. This strategy is shared by business leaders and university presidents to develop initiatives, investments and projects that advance regional prosperity. Johnson was the final speaker of the session, followed by a panel discussion with Janet Boston, Eugene Johnson, and Geanie Umberger, Associate Dean for Engagement at Purdue.



This session, and the overall HR conference, inspired community leaders and educators to put forth their best strategies to improve Indiana’s workforce. The collective organization of everyone’s proposed missions and goals will help improve the economic future of our state and advance its progress for the next generation.


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