Recent News & Blog

Posted on December 14th, 2018 in Events, Speaking Engagements

The Indiana State Summit: Creating Career Pathways for All Students on Wednesday, December 12th hosted local, state, and international experts, including EmployIndy President Angela Carr Klitzsch, who spoke about the importance of building a rigorous system of career and technical education and work-based learning opportunities for all students and adult learners.

Throughout the day, the leaders speaking on panels focused on key points:

  • Quality apprenticeships and other work-based learning opportunities cannot be built overnight.
  • Doing and learning (via work-based learning) simultaneously produces the best results.
  • Relationships forged between employers and educators are crucial.
  • Using common language and terminology is necessary for clear, successful communication.
  • The stigma against career and technical education in the U.S. needs to be addressed.
  • Students learning about what they don’t want to do is a part of the educational experience, but the earlier those realizations can happen, the better off they will be.

Angela Carr Klitzsch discussed EmployIndy’s partnership with IPS to scale a comprehensive work-and-learn system at their academies. She also noted that workforce development boards, like EmployIndy, are poised to be the intermediary between education and industry, bridging the gap in order to ensure the creation of quality work-based learning opportunities. The panel, entitled “Indiana Action on CTE & Apprenticeships: Models to Expand,” was moderated by Claire Fiddian-Green, President of the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation, and included Director of Pathways for Students and Adults at Horizon Education Alliance Jason Harrison, Ivy Tech Vice President of K-12 Initiatives and Statewide Partnerships Katie Jenner, and Conexus Chief Talent Programs Officer Brad Rhorer.

If you are interested in connecting your business to work-based learning, connect with one of our employer engagement specialists. Also, check out a collection of tweets from the event below, and be sure to follow us at @EmployIndy.

Posted on December 13th, 2018 in Events, Success Story

The Indiana Construction Roundtable Foundation (ICRF) is aware of the impending workforce shortage within the industry and is working with EmployIndy to solve it. ICRF recently partnered with the John H. Boner Community Center to offer a BY Training Class to bolster the construction workforce through free training, culminating with a hiring event attended by businesses that EmployIndy brought to fill their in-demand positions.

ICRF President Chris Price describes BY as “a six-week training program that aims to help people by teaching them the basic skills needed to succeed in the construction industry,” such as using hand tools and power tools, basic safety, construction math, introduction to blueprints, basic rigging, and various soft skills. The course helps job-seekers not only enter the construction industry, but advance to the journeyman-level much quicker than usual. Upon completing the class, participants obtain their NCCER and OSHA10 certifications and CCS cards.

According to ICRF, “the construction industry is uniquely positioned to connect with people of all backgrounds and to provide people living in poverty with a pathway to the middle class.” High paying construction jobs generally have few barriers to entry, which is important for residents in EmployIndy’s strategic target impact areas. The BY training focused on incorporating formerly convicted felons, women, and minorities into the construction workforce, a form of inclusive growth championed by EmployIndy that helps both residents and employers simultaneously.

“I see this as a great entry into the industry” says Janice Bernard, who learned about BY through her WorkOne Indy career navigator. “I hope to position myself for a long-term career in project management or risk management and compliance.”

Other community-based organizations are talking about BY’s success, and Southeast Community Services is already making plans to replicate the training program at their location. Tracy Hartman, an Employer Engagement Manager at EmployIndy, emphasizes the importance of the wrap-around services community centers provide to help potential participants overcome initial barriers many may struggle with. “Not only can community centers host the class,” she says, “but by teaching employability skills and offering barrier-busting funds, they set the class participants up to succeed in their new career.”

For programs like this, EmployIndy serves as an intermediary by helping to broker the relationship between employers, ICRF, and the Boner Center. Tracy Hartman promoted the BY program early on to her contacts at various businesses who became involved by presenting at the class and/or interviewing individuals at the hiring day. She also promoted the events that ICRF hosted leading up to the first day of class and she connected businesses including:

  • Custom Concrete (presented to class and attended hiring fair)
  • DECO Coatings (presented to class)
  • Gaylor Electric (presented to class and attended hiring fair)
  • F. A. Wilhelm Construction (presented to class and attended hiring fair)
  • Shiel Sexton (attended hiring fair)

In order to bring the BY class to the attention of potential participants, EmployIndy shared information with frontline career services workers around Indy and on social media. BY flyers were also directly shared by WorkOne career navigators, promoted at various job fairs and rapid response events, and it was heavily encouraged to organizations working with the re-entry population. The effectiveness of this influence became clear after hearing from participants on hiring day, as all were able to reflect back on learning about the program from a wide array of players in Marion County’s Workforce Ecosystem.

The course had interesting ways of vetting participants for employers. On the first day of class, every participant signed an accountability contract stating that they would always be early for class, remain drug free, and participate actively. Each individual received an accountability score that started at 100 and lost points if they had an unexcused absence or were tardy, as communication was stressed to better simulate a work environment. A list of all participants and their accountability scores were shared with employers at the hiring day.

By the end of the hiring day, every participant received at least one job offer with a starting hourly wage of $17 or more.

For participants like Robert Dowdy, the impact excites him for his future. “For the past 5 years I have been working in retail, and it took that long to work my way up to $19.25 an hour,” he says. “but after this class, I received a job offer starting at $20 an hour, only to go up from there.”

EmployIndy will share information about the next class when the 2019 application goes live – so be sure to follow on social media and sign up for our newsletter. The course is being planned for a February start. Employers interested in teaming up with the BY Training Class by presenting at the class and/or interviewing participants for job openings should connect with Tracy Hartman, EmployIndy’s Employer Engagement Manager focused on the construction industry.

Posted on December 6th, 2018 in Events, Press Releases

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – December 6, 2018 – Today a group of Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) students from Decatur Central and George Washington high schools visited Genesys, a software-driven customer experience-centered organization on Indy’s Northwest Side, to learn more about the technology industry. JAG is a state-affiliated program that EmployIndy guides for 14 high schools here in Marion County, designed to provide opportunities for high school juniors and seniors to explore and establish career options and goals. Company tours like these aid students’ growth and offer a look into potential careers as they plan for their future and transition to post-secondary education and/or the local workforce.

“We have to attract students earlier and what’s even more important is that students are open to opportunity out there and they know they can achieve it,” says Todd Pedersen, VP of Corporate Affairs at Genesys, who coordinated the day of facility tours and staff presentations. “There doesn’t have to be a perfect path through software engineering, there are a lot of ways to end up in a technology company.”

The students learned about the mission of Genesys, their passion for software enhancement and their community impact as they travelled through the building, heard from panelists, and engaged one-on-one with Genesys employees. As the Indianapolis tech industry continues to grow, large and small companies alike are taking time to teach and influence young adults who are the future of the workforce.

“I liked this visit so much that it actually has influenced my own career interests from just graphic design to doing what they do here,” said Joseph Trisdale, a junior at Decatur Central High School. “I thought, ‘hey that’s really cool – I could work in tech and still get to interact with people,’ and that would be perfect for me since I am that kind of sociable person. I want to be there to help solve problems people have and be able to fix problems fast, just like they do here.”

Through JAG and other programs like Job Ready Indy and Project Indy, EmployIndy partners with local businesses that can teach young adults about available opportunities and career paths in high-demand industries.

Today’s event provided these JAG students with a better understanding of the what their future could look like, right here locally. When it comes time to seek out a career, students will remember immersive experiences like business tours, job shadowing, internships, and part-time jobs to make more informed decisions that align with their interests and talents.

Is your business interested in similarly connecting with young adults? Connect with our Business Solutions team to learn more!

Decatur Central JAG students

Touring the Genesys campus

JAG students networking with Genesys UI designer

“Technology is a way of the future.”

The fun pic – with some of the Genesys team



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.

About Genesys
Genesys® powers more than 25 billion of the world’s best customer experiences each year. Our success comes from connecting employee and customer conversations on any channel. Every day, 11,000 companies in more than 100 countries trust our #1 customer experience platform to drive great business outcomes and create lasting relationships. Combining the best of technology and human ingenuity, we build solutions that mirror natural communication and work the way you think. Our industry-leading solutions foster true omnichannel engagement because they perform equally well across channels, on-premises and in the cloud. Experience communication as it should be: fluid, instinctive and profoundly empowering. Visit on TwitterFacebookYouTubeLinkedIn and the Genesys blog.