Lawmaker picked by Pence to lead workforce development earning $31,000 more than predecessor


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INDIANAPOLIS — The first-term state lawmaker Gov. Mike Pence picked Thursday to lead Indiana's workforce development efforts will earn over $31,000 more than his predecessor.

State Rep. Steve Braun, R-Zionsville, will make $150,000 per year as commissioner for the Department of Workforce Development, The Journal Gazette reported ( ).

The current commissioner, Scott Sanders, is taking a demotion but receiving a pay raise. Sanders will become the agency's senior deputy commissioner overseeing the unemployment insurance division at an annual salary of $120,000, up from the $118,565 he now earns as commissioner.

"In this role, Scott will have the opportunity to focus more on his expertise of unemployment insurance, which he helped to modernize and put Indiana in the forefront nationally in this area," said Kara Brooks, a spokeswoman for Pence. "Steve's strength is in the workforce space. The roles will allow each to maximize their strengths."

Braun intends to resign his legislative seat after the November general election and begin his new position on Nov. 24, and he will comply with the 365-day restriction on lobbying the Indiana General Assembly, Pence's office said. Braun is running unopposed for re-election.

Braun founded Braun Technology Group, later Braun Consulting, in 1990. The company developed data warehouse and business intelligence solutions for Fortune 1000 companies. At its height in 2001, Braun Consulting employed more than 700 employees in 13 offices across the U.S. The company was acquired by Fair Isaac Group in 2004. Braun currently is self-employed focusing on start-ups and real estate investments, Pence's office said.

"With expertise as both a public servant and a successful entrepreneur, Steve Braun has the unique background and skills necessary to continue to drive Indiana's workforce development and pair it with innovative career and education opportunities for Hoosiers," Pence said.

Sanders has led the Department of Workforce Development since April 2012, when he was appointed by former Gov. Mitch Daniels.

Information from: The Journal Gazette,

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