Indiana University

New Report Addresses Aging Workforce in Indiana

January 8, 2010

Aging Implications: A Wake-Up Call, is the title of a new report recently released by the Indiana State Chamber Foundation Workforce Wise Project. Among the significant issues raised by the report is the observation that two in five working adults (in the 18-64 age range) will be moving into retirement in the coming 20 years. This "brain drain" will hit hard on several professions in particular - education/training and library, community and social services; computer and mathematical sciences; legal, archictural and engineering professions, as well as the office and administrative supports for them.

Many businesses and communities are simply not prepared for this demographic shift. The report advises employers to develop more flexible employment models that preserve talent and promote knowledge transfer.

Other recommendations from the study include: Workers should continuously update skills to remain competitive; communities should engage in active planning to prepare for the majority of older Hoosiers who prefer to age in place; educators should add counseling, career planning and course work oriented toward updating skills for all ability levels in the aging workforce.

The report is the culmination of a Lilly Endowment funded grant to the Chamber Foundation. It draws upon national studies and upon four commissioned research projects, involving numerous state partners: The Center on Aging and Community, Indiana Institute on Disability and Community; Indiana Grantmakers Alliance;Ball State University Fisher Institute for Wellness and Gerontology; Ball State University Center for Business and Economic Research; Quantum Human Resources, LLC; University of Indianapolis Center for Aging and Community; and Ivy Tech Community College.

Background papers, the four commissioned reports and the final executive summary are all available at the Workforce Wise website .