Letter: State should recruit residents from military installations

From: Retired Brig. Gen. James L. Bauerle


Recently several articles and news reports point out how Indiana’s economy is booming. This is not a fact to be overlooked, and it provides one the opportunity to point out again that Indiana is building a lot of great job opportunities for good salaries, yet Indiana will not have the workforce to deliver for these opportunities in the near term — maybe not even in the long term.

However, there is a real near-term solution. The Military/Veterans Coalition of Indiana is asking legislators in the upcoming General Assembly to develop a state-led partnership with regional cities (county government and the business community) to recruit new Hoosiers from our active military installations. Thousands of military service members (and their families) continue to leave the armed forces, returning to communities and taking up residence. We want them to choose Indiana for that location. These men and women bring several positive skills sought after by the private sector, yet leaving it to the private sector alone has not worked so far. Companies such as Rolls-Royce have been trying and losing far too many candidates because Indiana doesn’t have a sweet enough deal to induce them to the Hoosier state.

The coalition is recommending a package of state sweeteners added to the mix along with developing state strengths such as our trails, parks, education opportunities and other marketing parts. The real questions are will Gov. Mike Pence or John Gregg be bold and support this idea? And will the legislators have the wisdom to see the significant economic advantages and push this idea to reality?

To read more about this and other legislative initiatives for 2017 go to inmilcoal.org.