Recent News & Blog

Posted on May 29th, 2018 in Press Releases Tags:

indy achieves logoINDIANAPOLIS – On April 19, 2017, Mayor Joe Hogsett announced the creation of the Indianapolis Promise Task Force. Charged with assembling recommendations on how to improve access to post-secondary educational opportunities for all Marion County residents, the Task Force met regularly over the last year with representatives from state and local government, institutions of higher education, workforce development and education nonprofits, as well as major corporate employers.

Today, Mayor Hogsett announced the recommendations of that group, and launched Indy Achieves, a comprehensive program to make post-secondary credentials and degrees available to every Indianapolis resident.

“More than 60% of jobs in our state require a post-secondary credential or degree, but only 42% of our residents currently possess one,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “Indy Achieves will bring together existing resources to send the message that no matter whether you are a current high school student, or an adult looking to move your career to new heights, everyone in Indianapolis can achieve the education they need to compete in a 21st Century economy.”

The Indy Achieves program will have three major responsibilities:

(1) administer the Indy Promise scholarship, which will guarantee free tuition, books, and fees for every Marion County 21st Century Scholar recipient beginning in 2019; (2) administer the Indy Achieves Completion Grant, which is expected to provide more than a million dollars a year in grants to Marion County students of all ages who are pursuing high-demand degree programs; and (3) marshal private and philanthropic resources to provide wraparound services for Marion County residents pursuing a post-secondary degree, including increased participation in state and federal scholarship programs, on time FAFSA completion, and postgraduate connection to employment through groups such as EmployIndy and Ascend.

All of these programs will be available to Marion County residents who are attending Ivy Tech Community College Indianapolis or IUPUI.

“Marion County is a donor county, and Indiana is a donor state — and I’m proud the program will be funded by bringing those tax dollars back to Indianapolis and putting them to work on behalf of taxpayers,” added Mayor Hogsett.

Indy Achieves will be housed within EmployIndy as a standalone organization, with an expected staff of nearly a dozen once fully launched. It will be funded exclusively through an annual appropriation that will not require any new taxes, as well as through financial agreements with both Ivy Tech and IUPUI who will financially participate in the program.

“As we continue to guide Marion County’s workforce to meet the talent needs of employers, we are excited to house Indy Achieves within EmployIndy’s walls,” said Angela Carr Klitzsch, President and CEO of EmployIndy. “Our ever-growing ecosystem of connections and partnerships will provide a solid foundation for this important program.”

In addition to these programs, both Ivy Tech and IUPUI have agreed to strengthen and launch services for Indy Achieves students aimed at increasing on time college completion. Coupled with the Indy Promise Scholarship and Completion Grant programs, Mayor Hogsett announced a goal of raising Indianapolis’ college attainment number to 65% by the year 2027.

“Ivy Tech is proud to be an educational partner with the City of Indianapolis in this important program,” Dr. Lee, Chancellor of Ivy Tech Indianapolis. “Indy Achieves will help remove educational barriers and is in line with Ivy Tech’s goal of helping more Hoosiers attain high-value degrees and certificates.”

“At IUPUI, we are looking forward to working with the City of Indianapolis, EmployIndy and Ivy Tech Community College to expand the talent pipeline in Indianapolis and create opportunities for more Marion County residents to pursue college degrees,” said Nasser H. Paydar, Chancellor of IUPUI. “Working together, we can eliminate educational barriers at the same time as we prepare students for success in the classroom and ultimately in the workforce.”

To view the full recommendations of the Indianapolis Promise Task Force, click here.

For more information about Indy Achieves visit

Posted on May 11th, 2018 in On the Air

Courtesy of Fox59 News: “Kids First on Fox”

KIDS FIRST ON FOX – An estimated 70,000 Hoosier senior students will graduate from high school in the next few weeks. Roughly 50,000 of those students will not graduate from college.

If college isn’t for you, there are plenty of options to earn a living right out of school. Maybe a mail carrier or an electrician? Tonja Eagan, CEO of Social Health Association of Indiana, and Marie Mackintosh, COO of EmployIndy, say the job market for skilled laborers is plentiful in Indiana. See the full segment.

Some more helpful links:

NextLevel Jobs
Indiana Career Ready
25 jobs that do not require a degree


Posted on May 11th, 2018 in Success Story Tags: ,

Updated May 30, 2018

In 2012, Deandre Lander was a senior in high school who was invested in taking next steps in his career as he participated in Indianapolis’ J. Everett Light Career Center, where he earned his welding certification. However, for personal reasons, he did not end up graduating from high school. This certification got him a job, but because of his authority issues, it only lasted for six months. After that, Deandre worked in food retail until Fall of 2015, when he was arrested for being a part the wrong crowd.

As a first-time offender, he was given the opportunity to be released on work release after two years. This is when he came into contact with James Conway, a case manager for Keys to Work. When the two met, James immediately saw potential in the young man and enrolled him in WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act), a bill designed to help job seekers gain employment, education, training, and services to succeed in the workforce. Because of Deandre’s age, he also qualified to be part of YES (Youth Employment Services) programs, which work with young adults to prepare them for the workforce and help them discover their next steps.

This next step brought Deandre to RecycleForce, a 501(c)3 offering “innovative recycling services all while providing life-changing workforce training to formerly incarcerated individuals.” While he was there, Deandre impressed his managers immensely and they offered him an associate position that provided him with resources to expand his skillset. He gained warehouse experience and earned his forklift license, a valuable, high-demand certification. But his employability skills growth did not stop there.

Deandre knew that he could continue to get certifications but having a high school diploma is something that would really make him stand out to employers. That is why when he re-entered the workforce in Fall of 2017, he got involved with Warren Township. Through the Walker Career Center, Deandre was able to earn his HSE (High School Equivalency) degree in October of 2017 and continue to further his career. At this point, his employability toolbox had a forklift license, warehouse experience, and a HSE. But he is a motivated young man and wasn’t going to stop there when he had so much more potential.

Since then, he has gone through OSHA and machine guard training and is currently working on getting his driver’s license and CLA (Certified Logistics Associates) degree. “I have the motivation to get jobs and now I have my credentials so when I apply for a specific job, it’s nice to be able to show that certificate,” says Deandre when asked why he has continued to grow his resume. One of the main reasons behind this motivation is Deandre’s young son, who lives with him. He wants to be someone his son can both look up to and be proud of.

“What I got in trouble for was no where near like how I was raised but then I came to Keys to Work and things started changing for me. Changing for the better.”


Because of his drive, success, and dreams to excel, Deandre has been featured in a series of employability skills videos by Ascend Indiana and in a news segment by Fox 59. “I want to work and stay at a place for a long period of time,” says Deandre,” I want to find something I enjoy and make a career out of it.”

Most recently, Deandre is working for the Indianapolis Dept. of Public Works (DPW) doing landscaping at city parks.