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  • Skillful

    Building a Skills-Based Labor Market


    Building a Skills-Based Labor Market


    Building a Skills-Based Labor Market


    Building a Skills-Based Labor Market


Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb, the Markle Foundation, and Microsoft Announce Skillful Indiana: Bringing New Investment, Partners and Innovation to Indiana’s Next Level Workforce Agenda

With support provided by Walmart, and in partnership with Lumina Foundation, Purdue University and Purdue Extension, Skillful Indiana will bring practical tools to connect Hoosiers to good jobs in a changing economy.

Skillful Indiana will help people identify high-demand jobs and the skills they need to fill them, and help employers find and keep the talent they need to grow; strengthen the skills of career advisors across the state; and collaborate with local workforce development boards to support Hoosiers and Indiana businesses.





About Skillful


Automation and technological advances are having a profound impact on our workforce. While the digital economy has ushered in enormous growth and prosperity for some, it is leaving many others behind. Traditional categories of employment, ways of getting training, and the relationship between employers and workers are continually evolving. The jobs of today increasingly require new skills, and these skills are changing rapidly. Particularly vulnerable to the dynamics of the new economy are the almost 70% of American adults who do not have a four-year college degree.

As a nation we must chart a new course, one that provides value and equal dignity for all Americans. We need to transition to a skills-based labor market—one without the barrier of a four-year college degree that keeps so many people from applying for in-demand jobs. And we need new mechanisms for employers to better identify the skills they need to grow and then connect this information with educators, career coaches, and job seekers.

To achieve a skills-based labor market that works for everyone, the Markle Foundation, along with Microsoft, LinkedIn, the state of Colorado, and local partners, is building Skillful. Starting in Colorado, Skillful is integrating businesses, state government, non-profits, and educators to forge a new way of creating and accessing opportunity. Using data and technology tools, we are providing transparency around the value of educational and training programs, giving educators a clearer picture of which skills are in demand in their area, and giving businesses a better sense of which skills are available in their applicant pool. Our goal is to help job seekers access a variety of choices to achieve lasting career success; for employers to find the skilled talent they need to grow; and for educators to train people with the skills required to compete in today’s economy.

After two years in Colorado, in October of 2018, Skillful announced expansion into a second state: Indiana. The expansion will bring investment, training, tools and innovative methods to augment Indiana’s Next Level workforce development agenda.

The launch of Skillful Indiana brings together the Markle Foundation, Microsoft Philanthropies, the Walmart Foundation, the Lumina Foundation, Purdue University, and Purdue Extension with the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet and regional workforce boards in order to create better pathways to good jobs for Hoosiers. Skillful Indiana will work with Indiana businesses and the state’s innovative educational community to equip Hoosiers with the marketable skills that are the new currency of the digital economy.



Skillful Stories

Aqua Hot Heating Systems is an advanced manufacturing company just north of Denver, Colorado that specializes in heating and cooling systems for RVs, commercial fleets, and school buses, as well as industrial and oilfield applications.


Bylo Farmer recently decided it was time for a new career. She had a bachelor’s degree in Recreation Management, but had been out of the field for more than 20 years. She wanted to start over in something fresh and exciting. She had heard a lot about advanced manufacturing as a growing industry in Colorado that offered good jobs, and she decided to sign up for courses at her local community college.



Markle Workforce Initiatives Advisory Board

Penny Pritzker

  • Founder and Chairman, PSP Capital Partners and Pritzker Realty Group
    U.S. Secretary of Commerce (2013-2017)

Brad Smith

  • President and CLO, Microsoft Corporation