Recent News & Blog

Posted on April 16th, 2019 in Events, Speaking Engagements Tags: ,

Dozens of students at Arsenal Tech High School who have an interest in starting their own business gathered in the historic courtroom on campus to listen to panelists from a variety of backgrounds talk about their experiences with entrepreneurship. This is because being an entrepreneur is more about having a certain skill set and mindset than anything – and that skill set can be helpful whether it results in founding a business or pursuing a more traditional career.

After a presentation from Kathy England of Regions Bank about the importance of understanding the realities of how financials play a role in starting a business, Joseph Eldridge of 100 Black Men Indianapolis moderated the panel, along with questions from students. Below are some highlights from the panelists:

Chris Hoyt

Chris Hoyt – Founder, Apprenace

“Often, people are searching for how to get to the top when the solution is right next to us. When I found something that I do well, I wanted to see how to turn it into a business – but just because you do something well, does not always mean customers are ready for it. The first thing you need is customers, if you don’t want to fail. Once I had enough people saying ‘yes, I would like to try this,’ then I used their feedback to create my initial product offerings. We did a lot to understand businesses and what their concerns and doubts are so that we are offering something specific rather than ambiguous.”

Melita Carter

Melita Carter – Founder & CEO, Natural Born Leaders Academy

“As you are building your business, you don’t have to be good at every aspect of your business, but you have to know a little bit about everything to make sure other people you hire do their job well… As long as you know a little about a lot, to hire the right people, you can be successful. And that comes from reading and reading and researching and researching.”

NaShana Mitchell

NaShana Mitchell – Founder, Studio B; Co-founder, Design Bank

“You need to ask yourself why, what, who, where? Why am I committed? What am I offering? Who is my customer that will use this? And where do the transactions take place? Is it a building or online? And as you figure that out, it always circles back to ‘why,’ and you go from there. I had a business where once we made a $10,000 mistake – so after that we asked lots of questions and learned from it to make the right decision next time.”

Aundre G. Hogue

Aundre G. hogue – Regional Vice President, PFS Investments

“You don’t have to be good at everything, but your business does. To go to the next level, it is more of a mindset – too many  people never get off the ground because they are scared to fail. I don’t know anyone who is successful who hasn’t failed first. You need to fail forward, and keep moving.”

Dani Williams

Dani Williams – Entrepreneur, Creative Leader, Social Media Strategist

“When I decided to become a special media strategist, it is because I found a need… Some people have wants, and some have needs – I have been most successful when I find a need and try to fill it. I am also a big believer in collaboration over competition, so I find ways for entrepreneurs to raise each other up through business.”

“Thank you for doing this. No one has ever done something like this for us.”
– Arsenal Tech student after the event

For more about the panelists, view the program from the event.


Posted on April 10th, 2019 in Press Releases Tags: , , ,

A $1M investment from JPMorgan Chase is part of nearly $2M in total funds invested in IPS’ postsecondary readiness and career academies programming

Al Smith, JPMorgan Chase Indiana Chairman and Corye Franklin, Principle of Arsenal Technical High School

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – April 10, 2019 — Today, JPMorgan Chase announced investments totaling $1 million to Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS), EmployIndy and JFF to increase access to work-based learning opportunities for IPS high school students. Alongside local and national leaders, JPMorgan Chase made the announcement at the Arsenal Technical High School STEM Learning Lab.

“Our rapidly-changing economy requires new skills to meet the growing needs of companies across the region,” said Al Smith, chairman of JPMorgan Chase in Indiana. “This public-private collaboration will create economic opportunity and career mobility. It’s an investment in Indianapolis’ most valuable resource ― our vibrant student population that will be better prepared to compete for well-paying careers and bright futures.”

Marie Mackintosh, EmployIndy COO, on the importance of skilling up students

IPS launched new college and career options as part of the new All-Choice High School Model at the start of this academic year. Under the new structure, students choose a high school based on their desired area of study ― there is no restriction on where they live. The restructuring created college and career pathways that help all students graduate on time and achieve one of the district’s three Es — to Enroll in a two- or four-year college or university, Enlist in the armed services or be Employed at a livable wage. Research shows that students are more engaged and successful when robust academic options are combined with rigorous instruction and work-based learning opportunities.

Faith Harrington (Crispus Attucks student), Susan Ford (Trilogy), Jennifer O’Shea (IPS), Marie Mackintosh (EmployIndy), Owen Washburn (JPMorgan Chase)

“Having access to quality work-based learning opportunities will provide IPS students with the employability skills necessary to succeed beyond high school, in whatever path they choose,” said IPS Interim Superintendent Aleesia Johnson. “The generous investment by JPMorgan Chase will support the efforts of IPS and EmployIndy to ensure that all IPS students have access to meaningful work-based learning opportunities, and that employers have the ability to engage with our students — the future of our workforce.”

EmployIndy has been the link between employers and the increasing need to accelerate and enhance IPS postsecondary readiness initiatives since 2017. EmployIndy has also served a critical role in informing the Health Sciences Career Academy design through provision of labor market research for skills mapping; participation on academy advisory boards; development of employability skills curriculum and badging; and the facilitation of experiences on the work-based learning continuum.

This investment will create a sustainable partnership and develop critical infrastructure, engaging employers in a sequence of experiential learning activities across all IPS college and career academies. JFF’s Pathways to Prosperity team will provide direct support and the capacity building needed to accomplish this work.

“The two-year commitment from JPMorgan Chase includes technical assistance from JFF to develop a clear vision, framework and strategic plan for EmployIndy to serve as the work-based learning intermediary in Indianapolis,” said Angela Carr Klitzsch, president and CEO of EmployIndy. “Our work together will establish essential infrastructure for EmployIndy to scale work-based learning in a robust and complex workforce development ecosystem.”

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett

“This investment in work-based learning is a win for Indianapolis, because it will enhance educational opportunities for students, strengthen our talent pipeline, and enable businesses to directly connect with their future workforce,” said Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett. “Together, we are working to ensure that our young people have clear paths, experiences, and credentials that fit the needs of our modern economy.”

The IPS Education Foundation (IPSEF) collaborates closely with IPS leadership, teachers and staff to ensure that development activities align with IPS strategic priorities. As a mission-driven development organization, IPSEF brings fundraising expertise and capacity, thus allowing district administrators to focus on their core business — leadership in support of excellent teaching and learning. IPSEF will receive the investment and help distribute the funds across the district.

“This investment from JPMorgan Chase will help catalyze the partnership for IPS and EmployIndy to bring this critical work to scale across the district,” said Stephannie Bailey, executive director of the IPS Education Foundation. “As the philanthropic arm to the district, we are grateful and excited to celebrate this major investment in the future of our IPS students, families and staff.”

Susan Ford (Trilogy), Betsy Revell (EmployIndy)

The benefits of the investments were highlighted through a panel discussion at today’s announcement that included a current IPS student, Faith Harrington; employer partner Trilogy Health’s Talent Engagement Support, Susan Ford; EmployIndy Chief Operations Officer, Marie Mackintosh; and IPS Post-Secondary Readiness Officer, Jennifer O’Shea. The discussion was moderated by JPMorgan Chase Vice President f Global Philanthropy, Owen Washburn.

The investment by JPMorgan Chase is part of nearly $2 million awarded to IPS for postsecondary readiness over the last year. Eli Lilly and Company Foundation gave $300,000 in grant funding to support professional development, technology investment and youth employment at IPS’ Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering & Logistics Academy and Construction, Engineering & Design Academy. IU Health awarded $50,000 to support the Health Sciences Academy. Finally, in 2018, Salesforce.org awarded $500,000 to support the Information Technology Academy, future centers at the district’s high schools, and business partnerships.

For more information, contact IPS Communications Manager, Carrie Cline Black, at 317-605-3797.

About JPMorgan Chase & Co.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.6 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of customers in the United States and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com.

About Indianapolis Public Schools
The largest public school district in Indiana, Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) is an agile, innovative educational organization committed to academic excellence built through individualized, relationship-based learning. We empower our students to think critically, creatively and responsibly, to embrace diversity and pursue their dreams with purpose. Though we cover 80 square miles, employ over 5,000 people, and serve over 30,000 students, we are committed to serving individual students with what they need. To learn more about IPS, please visit www.myips.org.

About EmployIndy
EmployIndy guides the local workforce ecosystem and makes strategic investments to remove barriers to quality employment for underserved and underrepresented residents. As the workforce development board for Marion County, guided by 21 business, civic, education, and non-profit community leaders, EmployIndy invests $20 million in public, private and philanthropic funds for both youth and adults annually. Information about EmployIndy is available at www.employindy.org.

About JFF
JFF is a national nonprofit that drives transformation in the American workforce and education systems. For 35 years, JFF has led the way in designing innovative and scalable solutions that create access to economic advancement for all. Launched in 2012, Pathways to Prosperity is a joint initiative of JFF and the Harvard Graduate School of Education that seeks to ensure that many more young people complete high school, attain postsecondary credentials with currency in the labor market, and launch careers while leaving open the prospect of further education. Information about JFF is available at www.jff.org.

About the IPS Education Foundation
The Indianapolis Public Schools Education Foundation (IPSEF) seeks to secure and deploy resources to support Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) students, teachers and administrators across the District. Alignment with IPS strategies and partners drives strategy to secure philanthropic capital to close funding gaps and to fulfill the District’s mission. IPSEF seeks to generate revenue that allows the District to improve organizational effectiveness, drive academic innovation and invest in talented educators. For more information on IPS Education Foundation, please visit http://ipsef.org/.


Posted on March 27th, 2019 in Success Story Tags:

In the past, job seekers steadily flowed into different career sectors, but trade industries such as construction and manufacturing have recently been overlooked or oversimplified by society – causing a growing need for skilled workers. This caused a labor market gap, prompting the inception of the BY Training program.

BY stemmed from Indiana Construction Roundtable Foundation’s (ICRF) youth engagement efforts as they established the Build Your Future program, training volunteers to go into classrooms and share what it is like to work in construction. Overwhelmingly, the takeaway was that students were shocked by their incorrect assumptions and general lack of industry knowledge. This triggered the BY Training idea: a construction program to create in partnership with employers in order to establish and grow a new pool of job ready individuals.  

The BY Training program is the epitome of EmployIndy’s ABC continuum. Many of the students are coming from the construction industry and looking for opportunities to grow. This program arms them with the ability to transition from Any Job to a Better Job or from a Better Job to a Career.

In this seven-week program with twelve classroom hours each week, students learn the reason behind different safety tips, get ten hours of onsite training, study the NCCER curriculum for an apprenticeship program, and receive their OSHA 10 – leaving them workforce-ready and competitive applicants upon graduation. What makes this program so unique, is that BY Training prepares their students for more than just construction.

These individuals graduate with the knowledge of different interview tips and the importance of soft skills, arming them to be more successful once they leave the classroom. “Going into this I really didn’t think I’d learn much. I’ve been through several classes and I thought I would get the same information,” said Jeffery Ware Jr., a recent BY Training graduate. “I was wrong – what you get out of this class you can’t learn from experience.”

EmployIndy has played a significant role in connecting BY Training to local employers through facilitating partnerships for host locations within this community. “We wanted to establish the value and demand for this program,” said Tracy Hartman, EmployIndy’s Employer Engagement Manager focused on partnering with employers in the construction, manufacturing, logistics, and engineering industries.

“This industry is seeking motivated and qualified job seekers, so we utilized our connections between employers and community partners to make that possible.”

Tracy Hartman, EmployIndy Employer Engagement Manager

With EmployIndy’s help, ICRF hosted several employer and community-based organization convenings to shape the vision of their program.

Each week, local employers come into the classroom to teach students about their company, providing these individuals opportunities to ask questions and learn about what businesses most value in workers. Upon graduation, BY Training hosts a hiring day, providing opportunities for the students and employers to engage one-on-one. What truly shows the impact of this program is the fact that all 20 graduates received at least one job offer by the end of the course.

“Employers trust our program,” said Katie Cordell, BY Training Program Director. “It is known for not only arming them with the necessary certifications, but we shape people to be job ready – we really want every graduate to leave learning so much more than the basics of construction.”

With this passion and momentum of programmatic success, the ICRF has plans to expand BY Training statewide by the end of the year. Cordell highlights the importance of starting by choosing communities that make the most sense, meaning:

  • A supply of individuals who are looking for a career, not just a job
  • Identifying employer partners who are willing to invest in these participants
  • Discovering an adult basic education and community partner to assist in education growth
  • A large amount of jobs that are available in the area
  • Making sure there is sufficient access to public transportation if necessary

“I cannot say enough about this class. I want to thank all the staff, the talks we have had and them being great people in general. There are a lot of people who I know really want me to succeed,” said Anthony Merritt Jr., another recent BY Training graduate.

Learning the soft skills and receiving the required certifications, all of the graduates have the necessary tools to excel in their career path. The next course is scheduled to start at MSD Washington Township on April 16, and classes will be held on Tuesday and Thursday nights from 5:30pm – 9:30pm. Interested students can apply online, and interested business partners can contact Tracy Hartman of EmployIndy.