A member of Ivy Tech Community College’s administrative team is part of a panel advising the Biden Administration on economic recovery policies.
Sue Smith, vice president for the technology and applied sciences division and corporate executive for advanced manufacturing at Ivy Tech, was appointed by the National Skills Coalition and Business Leaders United for Workforce Partnerships to serve on a national infrastructure panel, which will advise the administration on its “Build Back Better” initiative and other major infrastructure proposals.
Smith, along with other panel members, will meet in the coming months with White House advisers, officials at the Departments of Energy and Transportation, and Congressional leadership to forge federal recovery policies for the infrastructure sector.
“The lack of digital skills, broadband access, and an increased need for STEM labor could be the perfect storm for employers, particularly manufacturers,” said Smith. “Federal and state recovery initiatives to support adopting new technology and upskilling the current and future workforce with a focus on economic inclusion is critical to a better infrastructure.”
Andy Van Kleunen, CEO of the National Skills Coalition, said the national panel wants to ensure federal recovery efforts support the businesses and workers most impacted by the pandemic, particularly workers of color, women, and workers with a high school degree or less.
“We know that skills training alone will not ensure an inclusive recovery, but we also know that it must be part of our nation’s federal policy response,” he said. “If we want those policies to succeed, industry leaders must help shape them.”
NSC and BLU convened recovery panels for health care, manufacturing, infrastructure, and retail/hospitality.
Different industries have experienced the COVID-19 pandemic in different ways, the organizations said. The goal of the recovery panels is to ensure that federal recovery initiatives include investments in job training and support services that workers and businesses need to adapt to the structural shifts within their industries.
Ivy Tech’s Northwest and North Central Indiana campus locations include, East Chicago, Gary, Goshen, La Porte, Michigan City, South Bend and Valparaiso.