Posted on May 26th, 2020 in Organizational Updates
As our world is in a constant state of change, EmployIndy has made an active effort to continue to serve Indianapolis residents in a virtual environment. Like many organizations, we experienced the harsh realization that our programs were not set up to be held in a digital setting. When the Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced the precautions in early March, our team immediately began brainstorming how we can support the newly dislocated workers and program participants.
How? We are going digital.
By partnering with the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and Canvas, EmployIndy has been able to send a text message to Indianapolis residents who have registered through Indiana Career Connect since March 1, 2020 – totaling over 50,000 contacts to date. These individuals receive a text with a link to the virtual resources compiled on workoneindy.com/covid-19/ with the follow-up option to register for TORQ (a resource that translates how current skills would transfer into a different job).
Since launching the workoneindy.com/covid-19/ webpage on March 17, there have been over 8000 visitors to that page alone and an average time on that page of two minutes and fifty seconds. In that same timeframe, the WorkOne Indy site as a whole has had nearly 24,000 page-views. To continue supplying resources during COVID-19, our team has built out this robust webpage and enhanced the rest of the WorkOne Indy site to increase ease and provide better usability.
YOUTH AND YOUNG ADULTS
While we are focusing on today, it is important to remember that our students have a tomorrow and that their studies will continue beyond this school year. The Indy Achieves initiative has launched 21st Century Scholar deadline promotion – completely virtually. Aside from targeted social media posts, Marion County residents are able to text “college” or “universidad” to 404-58 to receive either the English or Spanish version of the 21st Century Scholars digital application. This application must be submitted by June 30 following a student’s eighth grade year, providing youth with the opportunity to attend select Indiana universities for up to four years of free college tuition.
EmployIndy also serves students who are focused on the ‘now’ and who had plans for their summer employment – most of which is now up in the air. In order to provide support, the Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) program hosted a virtual job fair for all Indianapolis JAG students on May 7. There were 24 employers who participated in the fair.
The opportunity youth population is difficult to connect with when we are able to be out in the community – let alone when we are in quarantine. With the temporary closing of our YES Indy Re-Engagement Centers, EmployIndy is pivoting from utilizing basketball as the ‘hook’ for engaging youth and young adults to hosting an “Elite Gaming LIVE” event where YES Indy REC participants will be invited to play the video game and interact with leaders and mentors, which took place on May 20. To further improve this engagement opportunity, YES Indy is creating a private Facebook Group for the Power Huddle graduates to ask questions, share ideas, and chat with their instructor.
While we still have a long way to go when it comes to supporting Indianapolis residents, our team is working diligently to come up with creative ways to provide virtual services and continue engagement. We are excited to continue partnering with organizations throughout the city as we share valuable resources.
With the approaching June 30 deadline, the initiative pivots to continue supporting Marion County students virtually
INDIANAPOLIS – APRIL 17, 2020 – Indy Achieves recruitment for the 21st Century Scholars program will occur exclusively online now that schools are closed for the remainder of the school year in adherence with Governor Eric Holcomb and Mayor Joe Hogsett’s COVID-19 executive orders.
The 21st Century Scholars program is an early college promise program administered by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education (CHE). It offers income-eligible Hoosier students up to four years of paid tuition at an eligible Indiana college or university after high school graduation and completion of Scholar program requirements. Students must enroll in the program by the June 30 application deadline following the students’ 8th grade year.
Indy Achieves recruitment strategy has included school visits with the help of school counselors and the use of traditional paper applications. Now that schools will remain closed through the remainder of the application period, Indy Achieves will promote a digital application, creating easy, online and mobile-friendly access for families. This innovative approach has been made possible by the School and Community Partnership Grant from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. Families can visit www.indyachieves.org/21cs or simply text “college” or “universidad” to 404-58 to begin filing the application in English or Spanish.
“For many individuals, the economic impact of COVID-19 will last beyond the June 30 21st Century Scholars application deadline. While we are all focusing on the here and now, it is important to make sure we are still looking to the future,” said Matt Impink, EmployIndy’s executive director of Indy Achieves. “This is why we are asking our partners, stakeholders, and fellow community members to continue promoting this opportunity to springboard many of our students to success in college by covering their tuition and providing wrap around supports.”
Indy Achieves is asking the community to act as messengers and share this opportunity widely across their networks by following Indy Achieves on Facebook and Twitter @indyachieves and sharing content using the hashtag #21stCenturyScholars.
Virtual resources and, until further notice, WorkOne Indy center will continue to be available to Indianapolis residents affected by job loss as COVID-19 evolves
Indianapolis – 16 March 2020 – WorkOne Indy is continuing to provide and maintain resources for job seekers as the effects of COVID-19 directly impact Indianapolis workers and job seekers. Due to event cancellations and temporary business closures, it is foreseen that individuals in Marion County could experience permanent or temporary job loss during this time.
These individuals are encouraged to first file for unemployment insurance through the Indiana Department of Workforce Development at https://www.in.gov/dwd/2334.htm. Additional resources to assist affected workers with the unemployment insurance filing process, including information regarding frequently asked questions about payment, benefits, claims and voucher, are available at https://www.in.gov/dwd/3704.htm.
Under the direction of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, the WorkOne Indy American Job Center will remain open until further notice. WorkOne Indy will temporarily discontinue community services at embedded locations due to the temporary closure of the Indianapolis Public Library and adult education locations. Individuals accessing WorkOne Indy services in those locations should be redirected to the main office at 4410 N. Shadeland Avenue to access services.
Due to the need to possibly accommodate more visitors in response to these circumstances, some non-required, onsite workshops may also be offered with less frequency or temporarily suspended in an effort to adjust to staffing levels that may be impacted by this pandemic. Adjustments will be made to adhere to the most recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation to implement restrictions on all non-essential gatherings of more than 50 individuals in Indianapolis. This includes Wednesdays at WorkOne, a weekly job fair at WorkOne Indy, which has been cancelled until further notice.
Job seekers are still able to utilize the resources provided at WorkOne Indy:
- Job search assistance;
- 1:1 career navigation;
- Publicly available computers;
- Career development tools; and
- Assistance with filing for unemployment benefits.
Individuals currently receiving unemployment insurance, and who have recently received letters requiring them to attend a Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment orientation workshop at WorkOne Indy, are exempt for the next four weeks or through the week of April 17th. These individuals are not required at this time to visit WorkOne Indy.
As dislocated workers navigate their recent financial change, Mayor Joe Hogsett’s office, in partnership with EmployIndy, will offer free, no-strings attached financial counseling available through Pete the Planner. Individuals interested in the service can get started by emailing: email@example.com.
In addition to seeking in-person support at WorkOne Indy and financial counseling through Pete the Planner, job seekers can access virtual resources, career development tips, and additional information on workoneindy.com. On employindy.org, the Job Board will remain available and be regularly updated by EmployIndy staff for job seekers to use as a tool during their job search process.
Updates and information regarding the job search process will continue to be shared by EmployIndy in order to keep Marion County job seekers readily informed, including those who have experienced permanent or temporary dislocation due to the economic effects of COVID-19.