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mayor milo leaving for state position

Thursday, July 27, 2017 16:23 PM
Written by Stan Maddux
Category: Local News

LaPorte will soon be without its current mayor.
The next mission for Blair Milo, a former U.S Navy officer, is to lead efforts at averting what could become a major workforce shortage as more and more baby boomers retire.
It was announced Thursday that Milo, 34, will become the state's first ever Secretary of Career, Connection and Talent.
The position was created by Gov. Eric Holcomb, who referred to the building wave as a ''Silver Tsunami'' from the estimated 700,000 positions just in Indiana to be vacated from retirement over the next decade.
Another 300,000 projected new employment opportunities in the state will need filling.,
He said one of Milo's specific tasks is making sure people are informed about the jobs in demand and how to obtain the skills needed to qualify for those positions, Holcomb said.
''We are laser focused on making sure we're doing all that we can to meet those needs,'' said Holcomb.
Milo said the state has worked hard to create a favorable business climate so now the next phase is to ''coordinate the people component'' so there's a quality enough workforce for the jobs coming tomorrow and well out into the future.
As mayor, Milo was involved in Ivy Tech opening a campus that provides job training in some of the higher need areas like truck driving and skilled manufacturing positions.
She also played a role in local industry and schools partnering to better inform students about the jobs available and what they need to do to qualify for those positions.
Her last official day as mayor is August 13.
The LaPorte County Republican Party will have 30 days after that to hold a caucus for electing a new mayor.
Former state representative Tom Dermody said he definitely wants to succeed Milo but since he lives outside the city right now he's focused more on seeking the job during the 2019 campaign after he relocates to within the corporate boundaries.
''I'm very interested in trying to give back to the community of LaPorte that's been so good to me,'' said Dermody.
Under state law, a mayor has to live in the city for at least a year prior to the election, said Nick Barbknecht, chairman of the LaPorte County Repubican Party.
''There's just no way,'' said Barbknecht.
Others with their sights on a possible caucus run include Leigh Morris, mayor from 2004 to 2007, and current city councilman at-large Tim Stabosz.
If asked to, Morris said chances are he would seek the job but only if viewed as the ''right and best person to follow Blair in that role. Let's give it some time.''
Stabosz, who also served on the city council from 2004 to 2007, said ''I'm open to it. I got to think about it.
Whoever is the next mayor, Morris, once president and CEO of LaPorte Hospital, said it's important that LaPorte be kept on the path to the the future.
He felt Milo's real mark was bringing in ''some fresh air into how the city was operating. I think she's been open to new ideas and new approaches. Things have moved under Blair's leadership and they needed to desperately.''