The unemployment rate in Marion County has faced record highs throughout the duration of the COVID-19 global health crisis. Many residents have been faced with not only the collective uncertainty brought forth by the pandemic but, also, the adverse tribulations that ensue after losing employment.
The Regional Workforce Partnership (RWP) coordinated efforts with local nonprofits, employers, state agencies, and community organizations to assist the residents of Indianapolis in getting back to work as quickly and safely as possible. These efforts, however, were tailored to intentionally fulfill the need for a diverse pipeline of talent amongst local employers. The utilization of collaboration and unification is key in bridging the gap between the job seekers and employers of our community, and, as so, the Rapid Re-Employment Response plan was initiated.
In August of 2020, this plan came to fruition through the partnership of EmployIndy and Ascend Indiana. These two organizations utilized the Ascend Network, an online technology platform, to connect dislocated workers with available jobs and training opportunities. EmployIndy and Ascend Indiana adapted the platform to include a variety of job seekers with differing educational backgrounds and experiences, all while providing personalized support to help each individual navigate their career paths.
“Bringing on new technology and being the first expansion partner of the Ascend Network while diligently working within this partnership to make sure that the platform aligns with the populations EmployIndy serves has been a crucial learning process,” says Betsy Revell, Vice President of Talent Solutions at EmployIndy.
Over the last year, 944 job seekers have completed their logins to the Ascend Network. Of those job seekers, 443 have scheduled meetings with EmployIndy Recruitment Managers, who meet one-on-one with job seekers to assess their resumes, interview skills, and overall job readiness.
Based on those preparations, Recruitment Managers either refer individual job seekers to WorkOne Indy for additional career-ready enhancement or directly admit them to the Ascend Network to launch their profiles. Nearly 256 job seekers have been referred to WorkOne over the duration of Rapid Re-Employment Response, cumulating a total of 357 career-ready job seekers as active profiles within the network’s talent pipeline.
As of August 20th, 2021– the one-year anniversary of EmployIndy and Ascend Indiana’s utilization of the Ascend Network– 212 job seekers have been placed in employment positions through Rapid Re-Employment Response.
Placing over 200 job seekers in positions amid the obstacles of the COVID-19 pandemic has required major flexibility and adjustments as workforce developers. But, as Revell states, “What is incredible about reaching this milestone is that we have been able to see that, the more people engage, the more outcomes we achieve.”
This milestone marks a 59% conversion rate of active profiles to job placements. Mileah Gray, Director, Rapid Re-Employment Response Talent Network, notes that this rate of success comes from EmployIndy Recruitment Managers’ active role in guiding the relationships between job seekers and employers.
“The human connection aspect of the network establishes a relationship with the job seeker and enables the Recruitment Manager to provide the job seeker with confidence in interviewing and ongoing encouragement to persevere in their job search,” says Gray.
- For additional information on the Rapid Re-Employment Response, please visit www.employindy.org/RapidReemploymentResponse.
- Current members of the Indianapolis RWP include the City of Indianapolis, EmployIndy, Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (Ascend and Conexus), Indy Chamber, United Way of Central Indiana (UWCI), Indiana Chamber, the Department of Workforce Development (DWD), the Office of Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeship, Commission for Higher Education (CHE), and Skillful.
Posted on August 19th, 2021 in Uncategorized
, Project Indy
Local diversity advocates support, recognize and inspire employers to adopt diversity framework best practices to improve success within their community and workplace
INDIANAPOLIS – 19 August 2021 – Today marks the 20th Annual Mayor’s Celebration of Diversity. This year’s event took place virtually with over 200 attendees with a focus on how businesses can benefit by adopting a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion framework and best practices. EmployIndy, the City of Indianapolis, and the Office of Minority and Women Business Development are honored to have hosted an event celebrating high-achieving local employers with participation from many influential speakers and a special emphasis on the importance of supporting the employment of Indianapolis young people through Project Indy, Mayor Joe Hogsett’s youth jobs initiative.
Project Indy is a location-based job search platform for Indianapolis residents ages 16-24. With over 200 local employers registered, thousands of young people have been connected to employment opportunities. This platform not only connects youth to jobs, it provides an opportunity for employers to diversify their organization and encourage leadership amongst team members.
“It is critical we take time to celebrate our community’s commitment to diversity,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “Engaging young people is more important now than ever. Today, we commend the businesses and non-profits who are already leading the way toward a diverse and prosperous Indianapolis.”
With the financial support of many Indianapolis employers, the Mayor’s Celebration of Diversity hosted well-known local advocates. Attendees to the twentieth annual event learned and heard from the following community leaders:
- DuJuan McCoy, Keynote speaker and owner, president, and CEO of Circle City Broadcasting;
- Mayor Joe Hogsett, City of Indianapolis;
- Angela Carr Klitzsch, president and CEO of EmployIndy;
- Tehea Harding, chief finance and administration officer at EmployIndy;
- Michael Huber, president and CEO of Indy Chamber;
- Fanchon Stinger and Dan Spheler, news anchors at FOX59;
- Kelli Jones, co-founder of Be Nimble Co. and Sixty8 Capital;
- Pamela Ross, vice president of opportunity, equity and inclusion at Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF); and
- Consuelo Poland Lockhart, founder of Latinas Welding Guild
- Alan K. Bacon, GANGGANG
- Malina Simone Jeffers, GANGGANG
“Today, and everyday, we are grateful to the employers who are actively making a difference for our young people through support of this event and are proud to celebrate employers in our community by shining a light on their efforts to increase diversity and inclusion,” said Angela Carr Klitzsch, EmployIndy. “Over the past six years, over 17,000 young adults have accessed jobs through Project Indy. These young people are the future of Indianapolis – the future of our workplaces and our neighborhoods. Creating equitable access to employment for youth provides employers with a pipeline for long-term talent needed in the workplace and individuals with the employability skills to be successful now and in the future.”
This event is a time to recognize employers who have made exceptional efforts to demonstrate inclusivity, diversity, and equity in their workplaces through their leadership, hiring practices, and focus on culture. This year’s award recipients are as follows:
- “Sam H. Jones ‘Best of the Best’” was awarded to Citizens Energy Group for their “One Company, One Culture” action plan to strengthen workplace culture while maintaining a customer-centered workplace. Their Diversity and Inclusion team has also implemented several initiatives to support equity and belonging during the pandemic.
- “Diversity in Leadership” was awarded to the Indianapolis Airport Authority for their targeted focus on building and sustaining a culture that fosters equitable inclusion and diversity in all aspects of business by optimizing organizational performance and employee respect and engagement.
- “Diversity in Workforce” was awarded to Arcamed, LLC, for their work in partnering with a number of local organizations to increase diversity and improve hiring practices company-wide. They have also implemented interview strategies to reduce any potential biases when evaluating candidates.
- “Excellence in Youth Employment” was awarded to OneAmerica for their support of young people in the development of their Pathways Program that introduces students from diverse neighborhoods to the business and finance industries while providing opportunities for mentorship and skills-building.
Due to the impact of COVID-19 in Marion County, many businesses have experienced temporary and permanent closures. Because of this, there is an even higher number of young residents who are facing unemployment.
To support and provide employment resources for these young people, all proceeds from the 20th Annual Mayor’s Celebration of Diversity go towards sustaining Mayor Hogsett’s Project Indy youth jobs program. This program introduces young people to what is often their first job, teaching them the importance of soft skills such as time management, teamwork, workplace etiquette, and more.
In order to donate and support the continuation of the Project Indy initiative, please go to employindy.org/donate. More information about Project Indy can be found at projectindy.net.
Posted on August 19th, 2021 in DEIB
The following excerpt was submitted by Jeermal Sylvester, a member of EmployIndy's DEIB Affinity Group.
I have been impacted in a great way by being a proud member of the Affinity Group. In the beginning I really didn’t have a clue of what it was or what I would be expected to do. In a very short time I learned the purpose as well as why I was selected to be a part of this amazing group of people. Over the last few months we have had tough conversations and intentionally challenged the status quo as pertains to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging. One thing for sure and two things for certain, the members of the Affinity Group care deeply about the EI culture and have demonstrated that we are determined to help the organization, as a whole, get to the place where we can become an Anti-racist organization.
…the members of the Affinity Group care deeply about the EI culture and have demonstrated that we are determined to help the organization, as a whole, get to the place where we can become an Anti-racist organization.
When we first started, I posed a question to the group and that was, “are we working for change or conformity”? I can say that we are moving the needle and creating CHANGE both organizationally and individually.