March, 2021 | EmployIndy

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Posted on March 19th, 2021 in Events, Press Releases, Uncategorized

2021 JAG Career Development Conference celebrates high school student’s career readiness

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – March 17, 2021 – Today the Indianapolis Jobs for America’s Graduates Career Development Conference took place virtually, for the very first time. Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) is a program for high school juniors and seniors that helps arm them with the workforce development skills to be successful after high school – whether they choose to persist onto postsecondary or pursue a career. This annual conference provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate their career readiness skills that they learn throughout the school year.

“During the 2020-2021 school year, the JAG Indy programs continued to excel in delivering successes for participants even in the midst of the pandemic, serving 827 students in fifteen Indianapolis schools,” said Erika Cheney, VP of K-12 at EmployIndy. “Like all other programs, we have needed to adapt our local model to support students virtually.”

With hundreds of students participating, the JAG Career Development Conference would traditionally be a full-day in-person event with high school students demonstrating career readiness skills in front of volunteer judges. Some of the competitions include critical thinking, financial literacy, employability skills, entrepreneurship, public speaking, outstanding seniors, and more.

“It is exciting to witness the drive and passion that so many of these students demonstrate during the competition,” said Angela Carr Klitzsch, president & CEO of EmployIndy who spoke at this morning’s event. “These young people are learning employability skills that will last them far beyond high school and prepare them for future employment.”

Many organizations partner with JAG throughout the school year, hosting events and presenting in classrooms. This year the 2021 JAG Career Development Conference is offering a new award to the community partner who made a difference for students and impact in the community. This year the award is given to Beatrice Beverly with Stop the Violence Indianapolis.

Thank you to our 2021 sponsors who made this event possible and congratulations to all the participants for a successful virtual event and to the winners who stood out above their peers in demonstrating employability skills and career readiness success.

Gold Sponsors: Saint Joseph’s College of Marian University; B&W Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Drains

Bronze Sponsor: Securitas Security Systems

Award Recipients

Chapter Marketing Campaign:

  1. George Washington High School
  2. McKenzie Center for Innovation and Technology
  3. Decatur Central High School

Entrepreneurship Plan:

  1. Arsenal Technical High School

Career Presentation:

  1. Faith Akinwande – Decatur Central High School
  2. Andrea Romero – Shortridge High School
  3. Samantha Rudge – Beech Grove High School

Creative Solutions:

  1. John Diaz – Warren Central High School
  2. Jared Wolfe – Indiana School for the Deaf
  3. Saul Torres – Decatur Central High School

Critical Thinking:

  1. Lia Burton – Decatur Central High School
  2. Aireyona Mitchell – Shortridge High School
  3. Prince Ndahiriwe – Decatur Central High School

Employability Skills:

  1. Gabriela Perez – Shortridge High School
  2. Anita Martin – Arsenal Technical High School
  3. Grace Gill – Decatur Central High School

Digital Invitation:

  1. Jahaira Santos-Trujillo – McKenzie Center for Innovation and Technology
  2. Karen Bautista Tellez – McKenzie Center for Innovation and Technology
  3. Paola Avila Hernandez – McKenzie Center for Innovation and Technology

Financial Literacy:

  1. Gunnar Wiser – Decatur Central High School
  2. Jade Tien – Warren Central High School
  3. Felicity Walters – Decatur Central High School

Public Speaking:

  1. Joanna Nunez-Mancilla – George Washington High School
  2. Janice Rivera – Decatur Central High School
  3. Emma Teachman – Beech Grove High School

Writing Skills:

  1. Kayden Kimbrough – Beech Grove High School
  2. Anab Jamal – Decatur Central High School
  3. Sharon Oyatayo – Decatur Central High School

Outstanding Senior:

  1. Anita Martin – Arsenal Technical High School
  2. Shelby Gosser – Decatur Central High School
  3. Dieu Merci Mfaume – George Washington High School

You can learn more about the Jobs for America’s Graduates program here.

9 March 2021 – Indianapolis – Today launches the fifth year of the Project Indy Youth Jobs initiative. Through the Project Indy digital job search platform, thousands of Indianapolis young people are connected to jobs each year. This tool is used as a resource by over 100 employers as they seek to fill their full-time and part-time positions and youth as they look for employment, particularly during the summer months. As with all other things, this initiative and the young people it supports have seen the repercussions of the COVID-19 impact.

In 2020 over 32% of young adults 16-24 were employed in the hospitality and tourism industry – one that has suffered greatly from the pandemic. While this is felt globally, Indianapolis particularly struggled with a large portion of the local economy relying on the success of those industries.

“Project Indy has been incredibly successful over the past five years, connecting young people with jobs and skill-building opportunities in industries across Indianapolis,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “This year, Project Indy will be a part of our city’s economic comeback from the pandemic, boosting our hospitality and tourism workforces and contributing to overall job growth. And it will help employers as well, as young workers are exposed to new career paths in our city’s core industries. It truly is a win-win.”

Project Indy is a location-based, job search platform connecting young adults to local employers. With a large majority of the hospitality industry traditionally staffed by youth and young adults, major sporting events like the ones Indianapolis will host this March provide opportunities for youth to not only make money, but to obtain important job skills that will help them be successful as they progress through the workforce.

“Indianapolis is fortunate to be hosting upcoming basketball tournaments on the national stage,” said Department of Tourism, Event and Sports Management Chair at IUPUI, Brian Krohn. “Not only will the buzz positively impact our economy, there will also be many part-time jobs now available for young workers to assist with the influx of visitors and our hope that this will provide the opportunity for many of our local businesses to open their doors again.”

In Indianapolis, sports and events have always been tools to drive economic growth – and the tournaments will be no exception.

“Events like GenCon, FDIC, and now March Madness, held at the Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium are often considered to be what defines Indianapolis. I’ve always maintained that it’s the people behind events like these that make our city great,” said Andy Mallon, Executive Director, Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium. “By hiring through Project Indy, employers in all different industries, including hospitality, have the opportunity to invest in the next generation of young ambassadors for Indianapolis.”

By offering jobs throughout Indianapolis, Project Indy will be able to service events like those taking place this month. As youth are gainfully employed, they learn additional skills that will help them as they progress through their career.

“The ongoing impact of hiring a young person goes far beyond the day-to-day job responsibilities. What they learn will influence who they are as a person, how they grow in their soft and hard skills, and what industries they choose to go into when they formally progress into the workforce,” said Angela Carr Klitzsch, President & CEO of EmployIndy. “This provides us as employers an opportunity to make what we know will be beneficial investments both short- and long-term as we impact someone today and arm them with the skills and knowledge to succeed in the future.”

Employers can sign up today to have their positions listed on the Project Indy job search platform at