Licensing agent visits Columbia City Rotarians

COLUMBIA CITY — One of Columbia City’s new Rotarians Kent Turnbow, of Turnbow prosthetics in Columbia City, introduced Nick Rhoad from the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency at a recent meeting.Rhoad, a father of three and Allen County native, came to speak to the local Rotary Club on efficiency in government, especially in his area of the licensing of an estimated 470,000 Hoosiers who are required to have a Indiana State license to practice their profession. “We license dentists, physicians, lawyers, plumbers, engineers, and a whole host of other professionals in Indiana,” he said.He was appointed by Gov. Mike Pence to this position, and he is “proud” of the position Indiana has on the U.S. map as a fiscally sound example of a state on the move.“We have a faster job growth than 42 other states in the nation,” he said. “Gov. Pence has continued the former governor’s approach of not spending more than you take in.”There are four specific factors in Gov. Pence’s plan for the future of Indiana. The first is having fiscal stability. State officials anticipate a budget surplus in excess of 100 million during the next two years. Indiana already has a triple-A credit rating, and the tax climate is excellent. The second factor is to never stop looking for ways to lower taxes. Officials have already eliminated the inheritance tax as well as several others that were deemed unnecessary, to the point that Indiana is known as “a healthy place for business,” according to Rhoad.The third factor in Pence’s plan involves cutting the red tape.This is a factor in which the new licensing agency has had a positive effect on getting rid of the paperwork that bogs down business and professionals, allowing more efficiently. “Indiana is the fifth best state in the U.S. for business start-ups,” said Rhoad. “A key area is in the increased investment in infrastructure to expand and produce a more favorable climate for new business growth. “The fourth factor is the workforce. Rhoad said Indiana has a skills gap. The state needs skilled workers and leaders. Indiana needs to put career and vocational training back in the schools to give our students an industry certification for those type of jobs waiting for the high school graduate with a little training.Summarizing, Rhoad stressed that “We need to make sure education works for all of our students. We need a program that funds our ideas and creates jobs.”Rhoad said Hoosiers want to be known as the State that works.He presented his ideas by Sue Swayze, communications director for the agency, which is based in Indianapolis. Visit the agency online at