Posted on October 3rd, 2019 in Events
The fourth annual JAG Leadership Development Conference took place on Tuesday, October 1, 2019 at Jameson Camp. Brandon Warren, Founder & CEO of We LIVE, opened the day by explaining the importance of supporting one another and encouraging students to work together to make a difference.
After hearing from Brandon, the students split up into groups and went outside for a couple hours of team-building activities. One student from George Washington High School spoke about her favorite activity from the day, which was called Raging River. Students would set up blocks to in order to traverse an area, problem-solving together to ensure their blocks don’t “wash down the river.”
“There was a lack of communication at first because we didn’t really know each other, but then we worked together to figure it out.”
Team-building exercises like these sometimes get a negative reputation, but business leaders note that in practice they are worthwhile investments that develop trust, learn conflict resolution strategies, build communication skills, and collaborate toward a common goal. These sound a lot like employability skills, don’t they?
After lunch, IndianaFIRST set up their frisbee-throwing robot for students to try out. One of the JAG specialists made sure to connect with IndianaFIRST after watching the demonstration. “It would be cool to have you guys come out and talk to our JAG classes as well as our school’s engineering and programming classes,” she said.
The day concluded with a drum circle session led by Arts with a Purpose and a presentation about Innovate WithIN from Don Wettrick at STARTedUP Foundation. In January, Innovate WithIN’s call for proposals opens for student entrepreneurs looking to build or expand a business.
IUPUI and Ivy Tech students among those to receive funds to remove barriers to completing postsecondary education
19 SEPTEMBER 2019 – INDIANAPOLIS – One in three students who enroll in postsecondary education never receives a credential. Mayor Joe Hogsett and Indy Achieves are committed to changing that by investing nearly $500,000 in completion grants for the Fall 2019 semester. These grants will help enable successful students to complete their postsecondary degree or credential at Ivy Tech Indianapolis and IUPUI. The effort is designed to help cover any financial deficits affecting students’ ability to pay tuition and other academic costs.
“Too many Indianapolis college students are not completing their degree – not because they aren’t succeeding academically, but because of financial need,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “Our partnership with Indy Achieves, Ivy Tech and IUPUI will enable Marion County residents to complete the degrees that employers are demanding.”
Indy Achieves will now help students stay enrolled or re-enroll at Ivy Tech Indianapolis and IUPUI in order to complete their degree. Based off a successful model from Georgia State University in Atlanta, the Indy Achieves Completion Grants will prioritize students closest to graduation and those in high-demand degree fields. All recipients are required to complete a financial literacy module and an academic plan so there is a definitive date on the calendar for when they intend to graduate.
“Indy Achieves Completion Grants recognize the reality that too often for our students, life circumstances get in the way of their path to graduation,” said Dr. Kathleen Lee, chancellor of Ivy Tech Central Indiana. “We are proud that so many of our students stepped up to take advantage of the opportunity at a fresh start.”
Indy Achieves staff worked with financial aid offices at both schools to pilot 53 grants in Spring 2019, which led to comparatively higher graduation and retention for recipients. Based on its initial success, both institutions decided to award more completion grants for the 2019-2020 school year. More than 200 students across both campuses will now receive funding to help them complete college.
“I’ve been working so hard to complete my degree,” said Ivy Tech completion grant recipient Marina Arila. “After years of balancing work, family, and my education, this completion grant will finally give me the chance to finish my last five classes and graduate in December.”
Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) students from Indiana School for the Deaf and Arsenal Technical High School participated in a Talent Tour at ProLogistix on Thursday, September 5, utilizing hands-on stations and learning about multiple facets of the logistics industry.
ProLogistix is a staffing firm that prepares job seekers for logistics careers by training them in the technology that they will use in their job, including forklifts and item scanners.
Kristen Bevins, ProLogistix division vice president, voiced enthusiasm for the value that experiences like this can provide students. “I think that it’s important for people to know what kind of jobs are out there and to know what kind of career to go after. In high school there are so many options – how do you pick? You don’t know until you actually go out and see it firsthand whether or not it’s something you like.”
ProLogistix is one of many local businesses that EmployIndy is working with to provide work-based learning experiences for Indy residents, particularly young adults, as part of its Talent Bound initiative. Utilizing a grant from JPMorgan Chase from earlier this year, Talent Bound is currently being built as a connective platform to match schools with employers for these types of events, and other activities like classroom talks, internships, job shadowing, mentoring, and apprenticeships.
Business/education partnerships like these “could be a way for students to learn how to drive a forklift and go into the workforce right out of high school,” said Johny Anderson, JAG specialist at Arsenal Technical High School. “I think this experience was great for the students to actually try out the forklift simulator and learn more about the forklifts as well as learn about different careers and opportunities in logistics itself.”
In addition to these hands-on experiences, the students spoke with a ProLogistix sales representative, a human resources generalist from Meritor, and Laura Steele from the Hendricks Logistics Sector Partnership, learning about various career paths in the industry.
Nigel Franklin, a junior at Arsenal Technical High School, moved to Indianapolis from Virginia this summer. “During enrollment, my counselor gave me this class and I’ve loved it ever since,” he said. His favorite part of the day was learning about the different types of machines and getting to try on the harness for the cherry picker forklift. After spending the day learning about the logistics industry, he said, “I am definitely interested in logistics. Hopefully I have more tours like this coming up.”
Talent Tours are a great chance to share the core mission of your business with young learners, while also showing the variety of employment opportunities and skills needed to keep your business moving. By providing a better understanding of your work to young adults, you can plant a seed for potential future talent to consider the varying areas of your industry as a they make decisions that lead them into their career. EmployIndy can help facilitate your organization’s involvement in work-based learning through a menu of options in our Talent Bound work-based learning toolkit – learn more by connecting with an employer engagement manager.
Students watch as Kristin Bevins demonstrates the cherry picker forklift.
Student tries the virtual reality forklift simulator.
JAG students from Indiana School for the Deaf
JAG students from Arsenal Technical High School