A client’s son graduated from Ivy Tech Community College a week or so ago, and I got a blow-by-blow description from my client of the impressive Coliseum ceremony. The keynote speaker, none other than Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, was honored for proposing state government funding to provide every high school graduate in Indiana the opportunity to attend at least two years of college. The overriding goal, Daniels explained, is to create the well-trained workforce Indiana needs to attract and keep business in our state.

My clients and friends know what a strong interest I have in the economy of Indiana. As a bankruptcy attorney serving 68 Indiana counties, I know what a strong connection there can be between job training and financial survival for my Indiana bankruptcy clients, and, in fact, for all our citizens. Statistics show high school dropouts are twice as likely as graduates to slide into poverty. In my earlier bankruptcy blog about student loans, I made the point that the Indiana bankruptcy laws are designed as a safety net to help people who have been overwhelmed by debt due to circumstances beyond their control. I stressed that the safety net can function only when the majority of citizens, as a group, have the financial strength to support it. Education is such a very important key to our health and financial health as a state!

As part of a survey conducted by InTech magazine, engineers were asked how often new technology forces workers to obtain new skills and refine their knowledge. The top choice was “Once a year”, followed by “Quarterly “. Since one of the three main drivers of bankruptcy filings is job loss, that means people need to stay in school and graduate, but then to be prepared to keep up by continually educating themselves throughout their working lives.

The centerpiece of Gov. Daniels’ words to the Ivy Tech graduates was the importance of mastering our English language. “Sharpening your writing and speaking skills will do more than any other single thing to set you apart in the world of work”, he advised. Good advice for us all….