As Indiana Congressman Mike Pence toured through Southwestern Indiana's Peabody Coal Mine his focus was on one thing -- jobs.
"There's a great sense of optimism about the progress that Indiana made. We are the fiscal envy of the country," says Pence. But he says more improvement is needed -- and he's going to Hoosiers for advice.
"The people of Indiana are our greatest natural resource," says Pence. "Their character, their work ethic, their decency -- and I really do believe that the best ideas for Indiana come from Indiana."
He says Hoosiers tell him they want a more skilled and educated workforce. "Promoting the kind of education reform that will encourage vocational education and better skilled workforce," says Pence. "More policies that will promote real opportunities out of work Hoosiers today and for our kids and our grandkids."
Vanderburgh County Republican Party Chairman Wayne Parke toured Peabody Coal Mine with Pence. Parke says the government needs to find a way to interest young people in solid-paying industrial jobs.
"A whole bunch of people are going to school and taking degrees. When they graduate -- they cannot find a good paying job," says Park.
Parke says it's fitting Pence toured through a coal mine. "Government needs to be a friend of industry and not an enemy," he says. "It's important to show people in government how a delay in a permit or something like that can negatively impact what you're doing."
Parke says he was surprised when Pence rolled-up for the tour in his red pickup. "It shows a little bit of him havin' a little boy in him. He'd rather get out and drive than be chauffeured around everywhere," says Parke.
"It is my preferred mode of transportation," says Pence. "When we went out to the coal mine I was awfully glad we had a little bit of pickup truck underneath the whole way," he says with a laugh.
Pence visited six Indiana cities during his two-day jobs tour.