U.S. Rep. Mike Pence told an audience of Fort Wayne-area business leaders that he wants to improve vocational training in the state. He also said he may look to businesses to help pay for the creation of a better work force.
Pence, the Republican candidate for governor, was the keynote speaker at the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce's annual meeting Monday at the Landmark Conference and Reception Centre.
Pence said he has noticed while campaigning that there are jobs available that some individuals do not have training to perform. Pence said he would like to remedy this by developing more vocational training at the high school level.
Improving vocational training could potentially raise graduation rates while improving the work force – two key goals in Pence's platform, and he said he is hoping to engage community business and industry leaders along with area technical colleges to give their input and guidance to state educators to make this happen.
Pence assured Chamber members that he would like to drop the cost of income tax by 10 percent over the next two years while raising the budget surplus from 10 to 12 percent.
Pence also said he hopes to freeze passing any more regulations on Indiana industry and business until all regulations could be thoroughly examined to make sure they are really necessary.
In conclusion, Pence told the crowd, “My true ambition is to be the standard-bearer of every Hoosier who longs for a better life.”
While answering a few questions from reporters after his address, Pence said he hopes the private business sector will be willing to step up and help fund some of these vocational programs.
“If you were a business that needed people with these skill sets, wouldn't you be willing to help make this happen?” Pence said.
Before Pence spoke to the gathering, the Chamber announced several local awards. Best business for 2012 under 50,000 employees went to BND Commercial, and the award for best business 2012 over 50,000 employees went to General Motors.
CEO of the year went to Arthur E. Snyder, president of Indiana Tech, and the 122nd Fighter Wing and Col. David Augustine received a special 2012 Community Impact award for the air show hosted this fall on the National Guard base.