The Indiana Chamber of Commerce has launched a first of its kind online workforce center with live customer service to help Hoosier employers and individuals better identify and access in one place the vast number of educational and training programs and supports available across the state.

The Talent Resource Navigator is a web-based tool that facilitates person-to-provider introductions and enables state agencies, educational institutions and other nonprofit community partners to manage and update their own offerings on the site. The navigator is managed by the Indiana Chamber’s charitable nonprofit, the Institute for Workforce Excellence, which is dedicated to helping employers attract, develop and retain high-skilled, productive talent in Indiana.

Designed to provide timely and relevant career development information, the navigator is available at no cost. Individuals and employers can deepen engagement with the navigator by setting up free accounts to obtain personal technical assistance and customer support from the navigator support team.

Site visits are personalized and intentionally guide and connect individuals and employers with vetted education and training information and best practices and programs based on the user’s input into the site.

“The search for how you can make yourself a more desired worker and ways an employer can strengthen the skills of its workers just got much easier, because the Talent Resource Navigator connects Hoosiers with the exact workforce resources that are right for them,” states Indiana Chamber President and CEO Kevin Brinegar. “We are thrilled to bring this tool to the public and to broker introductions between those in need of talent development support and the trusted partners and providers from around Indiana that are equipped to meet their needs.”

Examples of those engaged through the navigator with employers and individuals include community and technology partners, higher education institutions and Indiana state agency representatives.

In addition to the “hundreds and hundreds” of opportunities for professional growth that are listed on the site, it features information on in-demand skills and the credentials needed for available jobs and emerging careers.

A $2.5-million Lilly Endowment Inc. grant to the Institute for Workforce Excellence enabled the creation of the navigator and the ongoing curation of the online information.

“Across Indiana there are many high-quality education and training resources available to help individuals enhance their job skills and advance their careers and to help employers support their employees’ career development. But connecting to those resources can be challenging,” says N. Clay Robbins, Lilly Endowment’s chairman and CEO. “By consolidating and curating this important information in one place, the navigator holds the promise to help strengthen Indiana’s workforce to the benefit of individual employees and their employers.”

The site is available in Spanish and the Institute for Workforce Excellence plans to offer additional language options in the future.

“Maintaining a 21st Century skilled and ready workforce requires maximizing the full array of our state’s many public and private training offerings,” says Governor Eric J. Holcomb. “The new Talent Resource Navigator will serve as another important tool to connect employers, nonprofits and individuals with opportunities across the state, many of which are free, like Indiana’s Next Level Jobs. Workforce is an all-hands-on-deck effort, and I applaud the Indiana Chamber and Lilly Endowment for their efforts.”

One feature of the navigator exclusively for employers is the Talent Pipeline Assessment, which evaluates and benchmarks their current talent development strategies against recognized best practices. Once an employer’s self-assessment is completed, the navigator will suggest aligned resources based on those results and notify the employer when new resources are added.

Todd Hurst, executive director of the Institute for Workforce Excellence, explains how the clearinghouse aspect of the site will be enhanced. “While the navigator already houses a robust collection of pre-populated resources, we encourage organizations and providers to claim and update their existing pages or submit new programs/resources that aren’t currently included.

“The goal is for this platform to be very interactive, so our many partners across the state can share their own information (verified with data or testimonials) to reach broader audiences. It’s exciting to think about the potential for all the opportunities we can showcase for workers and employers.”

The navigator is intended to evolve and grow with utilization, adding more local, state and even national talent development resources over time.

Starting later this month, the Indiana Chamber will host webinars for users to learn the ins and outs of the navigator. Soon thereafter, Hurst says, the institute team also will be bringing the tool to regional partners and events.

“Indiana’s future prosperity is dependent on developing and retaining Hoosier talent. We hear that from employers. We hear that from state officials. We believe the Talent Resource Navigator is an important effort to ensuring that happens,” Brinegar concludes.

Access information on the Talent Resource Navigator at www.talentresourcenavigator.com.