Federal labor officials have approved Gov. Eric Holcomb’s waiver request for his reconstituted workforce cabinet.
Lawmakers this year approved replacing the state’s Workforce Innovation Council with the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet. But groups including the Indiana Manufacturers Association opposed the move, worrying it might cause Indiana to lose some $50 million in federal funds for workforce development programs.
The state had to seek a waiver because Indiana’s governor has the power to appoint nearly all members of the board. Federal funding, however, is tied in part to rules stating that state lawmakers must also be part of such a panel.
“We are working to build a workforce system that gets more Hoosiers into training and better jobs,” Gov. Holcomb said in a press release. “The streamlined structure of the new Governor’s Workforce Cabinet lets us quickly react to changes in the economy and meet the needs of employees and employers. I’m grateful to Secretary Acosta for recognizing that states like Indiana can best innovate when given the flexibility to do so.”
Currently, Holcomb may appoint 13 of the 21 members of the cabinet. He’s also the boss of five more members, meaning he effectively has control of 18 of the 21 seats. Of the group’s members, only the Presidents of Ivy Tech Community College and Vincennes University, as well as Indiana’s education superintendent, do not report to the governor.
According to the letter sent to Holcomb by the Employment and Training Administration of the U.S. Labor Department, the waiver is approved for two years, starting July 1.