New Hamilton County workforce strategy official seeks to help displaced workers


As Hamilton County Economic Development Corp. vice president for workforce strategy for the Invest! Hamilton County brand, Mike Thibideau sees one immediate area of concentration.

AA COM 0511 workforce development

“Helping individuals who have been displaced throughout the COVID-19 pandemic will obviously be the top priority,” he said. “Helping those people find pathways to existing or even new opportunities is going to matter a lot. We need to do a great job in focusing on attracting remote workers, which the pandemic has increased that trend. Hamilton County makes multiple lists as one of the best places to be a remote worker.”

The Carmel resident said he wants to make sure displaced workers fill existing talent shortages.

“We do know certain industries are hiring at high rates, and there are good positions out there people are looking to fill,” he said.

Thibideau, 32, started his new position May 6. He is replacing Carol Sergi, who is retiring at the end of the month.

“In 2018, the HCEDC board of directors chose to support Hamilton County’s communities through workforce attraction in partnership with the marketing experts at Hamilton County Tourism,” HCEDC Board Chair Mark LaBarr of Duke Energy stated. “Carol Sergi came to the role with the right expertise to kick-start this initiative and initiated numerous collaborations. Thibideau brings with him a record of innovation and success with employer/community relations as well as a comprehensive understanding of workforce development systems in K-12 and adult environments. We’re excited about this next phase of our workforce strategy.”

Thibideau previously had served 2 1/2 years as the director of Indiana Workforce Recovery for the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.

“For the past couple of years, I’ve been working, primarily with employers, but also (with) communities throughout the state to develop solutions to addiction and mental health issues,” he said. “So, I helped employees retain talent, identify new pockets of talent and build workforce pipelines for people in recovery.”

Prior to that, Thibideau was the executive director for the Indiana Construction Roundtable for 2 1/2 years.

“In that role, I did a lot of work, some of it in Hamilton County, focused on building career pathways for people in construction,” he said.

Thibideau also worked extensively with K-12 schools throughout the state to promote construction trades and careers.

“I’ve done a lot of big-picture systemic work in a lot of different areas throughout the whole state,” Thibideau said. “This is a way for me to focus all of that knowledge in the community I live in and tactically help with some of that same system-level work here.”