When Lt. Governor Becky Skillman was elected for the first time in 2004 – there was no Office of Communities and Rural Affairs. During her time in the state legislature – Skillman said she had authored legislation to address Indiana’s rural communities. “You shouldn’t have to mandate a state to have a rural strategy,” she says. “But my legislation passed and then I became the Lieutenant Governor and thought ‘how great I get to continue working on these issues’ that have been my longtime passion.”
Skillman tells Brownfield one of the biggest challenges for rural communities is workforce development. “Let’s put some local initiatives in place that train the workforce for our strengths in the industries we expect to do well in our communities and in our region,” she says.