Posted on February 16th, 2018 in Success Story
The tech industry is thriving in Indianapolis. Because of this, many companies are seeking qualified software engineers and oftentimes these individuals are drawn toward larger, well-known businesses, often causing smaller tech companies to struggle recruiting talent.
Greenlight Guru is an Indianapolis-based software company that houses the only Quality Management Software designed specifically for the medical device industry. Because of their creativity and innovation, Greenlight Guru was finding success and looking to grow – starting with their software engineering team. Initially, they searched for candidates through professional recruiters and from local coding schools. They were introduced to several individuals but lost out to larger organizations that were also competing for qualified candidates. The need to grow their team was immediate because their smaller size reduced the rate that Greenlight Guru was able to provide valuable software to manufacturers, ultimately impeding their mission: to bring a higher quality of life by changing the way people make medical devices.
This mission is the backbone of the organization. “We love hiring ‘willing to change their life’ employees. This starts with investing in those with non-traditional tech backgrounds – different types of intelligence and experiences will trigger different things,” says Greenlight Guru Co-Founder and CTO, David Odmark. This vision for the future of their company is one of the many reasons Greenlight Guru was attracted to EmployIndy’s Employ Up program. Employ Up assists individuals who are unemployed or underemployed to take a path to a meaningful career by offering free skills training, job search support and access to the many high-tech companies looking for talent.
“Not only do we wholeheartedly support your mission, we were surprised and delighted at how easy it is to work with EmployIndy. When people say they’re going to do something, they do it right away. This was a welcomed surprise from other organizations we’ve worked with.”
– David Odmark, Co-Founder and CTO
This program has opened doors for Greenlight Guru to bring on candidates as apprentices. The brilliant part about that? This non-traditional way of developing talent is attractive because they are able to mold individuals to not only learn the critical skills needed to excel in the medical device industry, but also to “have folks who are truly Greenlight Guru teammates and have mentors equipping them with skills needed to succeed,” exclaims Chuck Dishmon, Project Manager for Greenlight Guru. Hiring apprentices through Employ Up creates opportunities for their company to hire those with unique talents to excel in both the tech industry and at their company.
EmployIndy has provided Greenlight Guru with the talent resources and support that to grow their software team by 25%. This growth has ultimately propelled their team and makes it possible for them to deliver critical post-market functionality to customers. The partnership between Greenlight Guru and EmployIndy has allowed them to provide stable careers in technology for new employees, strengthen the community, and support medical device companies.
UPDATE: Since this post in February of 2018, Greenlight Guru has flourished! Check out the launch of their new software and the impact it is having on their growing company.
Posted on February 15th, 2018 in Press Releases
Lilly Endowment Inc. has approved $5.2 million in grants to EmployIndy to strengthen the services it offers to local organizations that help youth and young adults connect to education support, training, and job coaching.
A $3 million grant from Lilly Endowment will help EmployIndy fund a comprehensive capacity-building plan to improve outreach to youth and young adults so they can learn about employment options, education assistance, and job training that can help them find work and begin to build their careers. Funds also will help EmployIndy increase and strengthen its engagement with Indianapolis employers seeking job-ready candidates.
There are an estimated 30,000 youth and young adults, ages 16-24, who are disconnected from education and employment in central Indiana for a variety of reasons, such as homelessness, criminal history, lack of family support, and inadequate access to job training. EmployIndy will strategically invest grant funds to help community organizations that directly provide youth services so they can reach 6,000 of these young people during the next two years.
A second grant of $2.2 million from Lilly Endowment will provide general operating support for EmployIndy’s Youth Employment Services (YES) program. Lilly Endowment began funding YES in 2003. Since then, YES has empowered 5,570 low-income individuals, ages 16-24, to complete their education, secure jobs and strengthen work skills.
YES does this through job coaching and career counseling and offering financial support for child care, transportation and additional training.
“These grants will enable EmployIndy to help expand and enhance the efforts of youth-serving organizations to improve significantly the employment prospects of youth in our community – especially those most in need of job skills and resources,” says EmployIndy President & CEO Angela Car Klitzsch. “We are particularly grateful for Lilly Endowment’s support of our strategic efforts to help young people living in the city’s highest-need neighborhoods.”
Youth employment has immediate benefits that include skill building, career exploration, and a paycheck. But it also can significantly affect the long-term career success of a worker. A report from the New Skills at Work initiative of JP Morgan Chase found that teen employment can lead to improved earnings once young people launch their careers in their 20s.
However, not enough youth and young adults are employed. A 12-year longitudinal study by the Brookings Institution released in 2014 looked at youth employment rates in the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan areas. Researchers found that among youth ages 16-19 in Indianapolis, labor participation fell from 49% to 28%, The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that national teen employment has declined with every recession since 1979, and projects further decline through 2024. These data raise concern for the future prospects of Indianapolis youth and the economic vitality and quality of life in central Indiana.
EmployIndy’s holistic approach to helping unemployed youth find jobs includes engagement with community organizations that serve youth and young adults and with employers. EmployIndy strives to connect job-ready applicants with employers in their neighborhoods and help employers who are looking citywide to find strong job applicants.
“The future prospects for thousands of youth in our community depend on their ability to find and qualify for jobs that will pay them a livable wage and place them on a promising employment pathway for the future,” says N. Clay Robbins, Lilly Endowment’s chairman, president and CEO. “We are pleased to provide this funding for EmployIndy’s strategic efforts to build an effective and comprehensive system of supports to help these youth succeed.”
Today hundreds of Marion County high school students met at University of Indianapolis to engage with each other in competitions surrounding employability, skill development, and career goals. All students are part of the Jobs for America’s Graduates, better known as the JAG program, which has a presence in twelve high schools throughout the county.
Students started the day with an open forum to network with one another and the judges, which consisted of volunteers from organizations like the US Army, PNC Bank, AT&T, and Congressman Andre Carson’s office. Comments during the event included Deputy Mayor Dr. David Hampton, EmployIndy CEO Angela Carr Klitzsch, and motivational speaker, Eric Jones Jr.
More importantly, the main focus of the event was on twelve different competitions that allowed students to demonstrate the skills they have learned throughout their work in the JAG program. Competitions ranged from public speaking to entrepreneurial concepts to writing – there was even an early competition to design the cover of the program for the event. During the awards, students were recognized for their achievements, and winners will go on to compete in the state JAG competitions, representing their school.
“JAG is a remarkable program because of its ability to show students how to make the most of their talent, effort, and education,” said Angela Carr Klitzsch. “We are proud of the achievements of these young adults and excited knowing that they have what it takes to be successful in their path after high school.”