Businessman. Conservative Republican Leader. Married, Father of Five.
Steve Braun has spent his career focused on helping employers and employees. He has built businesses from the ground up, created good paying jobs, and advised some of the largest companies in America. And when then-Gov. Mike Pence needed someone to lead the state’s workforce development agency, Steve stepped forward and dedicated himself to helping Hoosiers workers and businesses both get the critical resources they need to navigate today’s economy.
Growing up in Jasper, where his family owned a wood office furniture business, Steve learned the value of hard work from his father, who was a tail gunner during World War II. Upon graduating high school, where Steve was an all-state wide receiver, he was the first person from his hometown to be accepted to Harvard University. After graduation, he was recruited to work for Price Waterhouse, and that experience in business led him to found and ultimately sell his first business, a software company. Then in 1990 Steve launched Braun Technology Group, a hi-tech consulting company that he grew to more than 700 employees before its sale in 2004.
In 2012 Steve saw an opportunity to put his business skills to work in elected office by running for the Indiana House of Representatives. He served one successful term, during which time he co-authored bills that modernized Indiana’s workforce development efforts. HB 1002 created the Indiana Career Council, and HB 1003 established the Indiana Network of Knowledge governance board.
Late in 2014, Steve was named Commissioner of the Department of Workforce Development. Then-Gov. Pence said of him, “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.”
Under his leadership, Steve led an effort to identify and eliminate fraud in the unemployment system, ultimately saving taxpayers $200 million. He helped foster a new agency focus on ensuring Hoosiers have the technical skills to excel in the job opportunities of the future. With the Innovation Networks initiative, Steve has brought together local employers, educators, and workforce development groups to focus on matching employee training to the labor market in specific regions. He also led efforts to address veteran unemployment, ultimate reducing the rate from over 17% to under 2%.
Steve and his wife of 35 years, Jennifer, have five grown children (three daughters and two sons), along with four grandchildren. Steve is also a founding member of the Oaks Academy in Indianapolis, which provides a Christ-centered education to inner city youth.