Skillful Indiana Hires Executive Director, Launches Coaching Corps

William D. Turner, Jr. joined Skillful Indiana from Allison Transmission, Inc., where for more than a decade he headed the training and development organization for the Indianapolis-based manufacturing company.

Skillful Indiana, a Markle Foundation initiative, on Jan. 14 announced William D. Turner, Jr. is its new executive director. He will lead Skillful Indiana's efforts to engage employers, educators, policymakers, and workforce development organizations "to create a labor market in which skills are valued, and people can more easily access the information and education they need to secure good jobs," according to the organization's announcement, which said Indiana Gov. Eric J. Holcomb, Turner, and Skillful Indiana on Jan. 14 launched the Skillful Governor's Coaching Corps, in partnership with the Governor's Workforce Cabinet. The statewide program is designed to support exceptional career coaching professionals so they are better equipped to connect Indiana residents to effective training opportunities and quality jobs.

Applications for the eight-month program are available at until Feb. 15, 2019. Free to participants, Skillful operates the program with support from Microsoft, Lumina Foundation, and Walmart.

Turner joined Skillful Indiana from Allison Transmission, Inc., where for more than a decade he headed the training and development organization for the Indianapolis-based manufacturing company. He currently serves as chair of the EmployIndy Workforce Development Board and is a member of the Indiana Automotive Council.

"Bill's unmatched blend of private-sector leadership and public service contributions to Indiana's workforce development, plus his personal passion for helping Hoosiers succeed, makes him a natural fit to lead Skillful Indiana as executive director," said Beth Cobert, Skillful's CEO. "He understands the needs of employers and skilled workers and is deeply connected to the larger workforce development community across Indiana. We couldn't be more delighted that he is joining the Skillful team."

Turner said he is "thrilled to be joining Skillful in its mission to better equip and connect Hoosiers and Indiana employers in today's fast-changing economy. Skillful Indiana's work is not just about improving livelihoods, but also lives, which reverberates to create more vibrant communities. We're hitting the ground running with the launch of the Skillful Governor's Coaching Corps. Career coaches play a critical role in helping people recognize the skills they have, the training they may need, and the opportunities within their reach."

Launched in October 2018, Skillful Indiana brings together the Markle Foundation, Microsoft Philanthropies, LinkedIn, Walmart, Lumina Foundation, Purdue University, and Purdue Extension with the Governor's Workforce Cabinet and local workforce development boards to augment the governor's Next Level workforce development plan. Skillful, a non-profit initiative of the Markle Foundation, is dedicated to enabling all Americans – particularly those without a four-year college degree – to secure good jobs in a changing economy. Skillful currently operates in two states, Skillful Colorado and Skillful Indiana.

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