Posted on May 26th, 2020 in Organizational Updates
As our world is in a constant state of change, EmployIndy has made an active effort to continue to serve Indianapolis residents in a virtual environment. Like many organizations, we experienced the harsh realization that our programs were not set up to be held in a digital setting. When the Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced the precautions in early March, our team immediately began brainstorming how we can support the newly dislocated workers and program participants.
How? We are going digital.
By partnering with the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and Canvas, EmployIndy has been able to send a text message to Indianapolis residents who have registered through Indiana Career Connect since March 1, 2020 – totaling over 50,000 contacts to date. These individuals receive a text with a link to the virtual resources compiled on workoneindy.com/covid-19/ with the follow-up option to register for TORQ (a resource that translates how current skills would transfer into a different job).
Since launching the workoneindy.com/covid-19/ webpage on March 17, there have been over 8000 visitors to that page alone and an average time on that page of two minutes and fifty seconds. In that same timeframe, the WorkOne Indy site as a whole has had nearly 24,000 page-views. To continue supplying resources during COVID-19, our team has built out this robust webpage and enhanced the rest of the WorkOne Indy site to increase ease and provide better usability.
YOUTH AND YOUNG ADULTS
While we are focusing on today, it is important to remember that our students have a tomorrow and that their studies will continue beyond this school year. The Indy Achieves initiative has launched 21st Century Scholar deadline promotion – completely virtually. Aside from targeted social media posts, Marion County residents are able to text “college” or “universidad” to 404-58 to receive either the English or Spanish version of the 21st Century Scholars digital application. This application must be submitted by June 30 following a student’s eighth grade year, providing youth with the opportunity to attend select Indiana universities for up to four years of free college tuition.
EmployIndy also serves students who are focused on the ‘now’ and who had plans for their summer employment – most of which is now up in the air. In order to provide support, the Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) program hosted a virtual job fair for all Indianapolis JAG students on May 7. There were 24 employers who participated in the fair.
The opportunity youth population is difficult to connect with when we are able to be out in the community – let alone when we are in quarantine. With the temporary closing of our YES Indy Re-Engagement Centers, EmployIndy is pivoting from utilizing basketball as the ‘hook’ for engaging youth and young adults to hosting an “Elite Gaming LIVE” event where YES Indy REC participants will be invited to play the video game and interact with leaders and mentors, which took place on May 20. To further improve this engagement opportunity, YES Indy is creating a private Facebook Group for the Power Huddle graduates to ask questions, share ideas, and chat with their instructor.
While we still have a long way to go when it comes to supporting Indianapolis residents, our team is working diligently to come up with creative ways to provide virtual services and continue engagement. We are excited to continue partnering with organizations throughout the city as we share valuable resources.
Virtual resources and, until further notice, WorkOne Indy center will continue to be available to Indianapolis residents affected by job loss as COVID-19 evolves
Indianapolis – 16 March 2020 – WorkOne Indy is continuing to provide and maintain resources for job seekers as the effects of COVID-19 directly impact Indianapolis workers and job seekers. Due to event cancellations and temporary business closures, it is foreseen that individuals in Marion County could experience permanent or temporary job loss during this time.
These individuals are encouraged to first file for unemployment insurance through the Indiana Department of Workforce Development at https://www.in.gov/dwd/2334.htm. Additional resources to assist affected workers with the unemployment insurance filing process, including information regarding frequently asked questions about payment, benefits, claims and voucher, are available at https://www.in.gov/dwd/3704.htm.
Under the direction of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, the WorkOne Indy American Job Center will remain open until further notice. WorkOne Indy will temporarily discontinue community services at embedded locations due to the temporary closure of the Indianapolis Public Library and adult education locations. Individuals accessing WorkOne Indy services in those locations should be redirected to the main office at 4410 N. Shadeland Avenue to access services.
Due to the need to possibly accommodate more visitors in response to these circumstances, some non-required, onsite workshops may also be offered with less frequency or temporarily suspended in an effort to adjust to staffing levels that may be impacted by this pandemic. Adjustments will be made to adhere to the most recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation to implement restrictions on all non-essential gatherings of more than 50 individuals in Indianapolis. This includes Wednesdays at WorkOne, a weekly job fair at WorkOne Indy, which has been cancelled until further notice.
Job seekers are still able to utilize the resources provided at WorkOne Indy:
- Job search assistance;
- 1:1 career navigation;
- Publicly available computers;
- Career development tools; and
- Assistance with filing for unemployment benefits.
Individuals currently receiving unemployment insurance, and who have recently received letters requiring them to attend a Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment orientation workshop at WorkOne Indy, are exempt for the next four weeks or through the week of April 17th. These individuals are not required at this time to visit WorkOne Indy.
As dislocated workers navigate their recent financial change, Mayor Joe Hogsett’s office, in partnership with EmployIndy, will offer free, no-strings attached financial counseling available through Pete the Planner. Individuals interested in the service can get started by emailing: email@example.com.
In addition to seeking in-person support at WorkOne Indy and financial counseling through Pete the Planner, job seekers can access virtual resources, career development tips, and additional information on workoneindy.com. On employindy.org, the Job Board will remain available and be regularly updated by EmployIndy staff for job seekers to use as a tool during their job search process.
Updates and information regarding the job search process will continue to be shared by EmployIndy in order to keep Marion County job seekers readily informed, including those who have experienced permanent or temporary dislocation due to the economic effects of COVID-19.
116 Indianapolis Jobs for America’s Graduates students prove employability skills to community leaders and employers at JAG Career Development Conference
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – February 11, 2020 – Today 116 Indianapolis high school juniors and seniors met at the Hilton Indianapolis Hotel & Suites for the regional Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) Career Development Conference. Each student utilized the employability skills they have learned in their JAG classrooms over the course of the past year, competing in challenges such as chapter marketing campaigns, launching entrepreneurship plans, providing creative solutions, demonstrating critical thinking and employability skills, and more.
“We are proud to partner with and host the JAG Career Development Conference,” said Joe Melton, General Manager at Hilton Indianapolis Hotel & Suites. “Our hotel is excited to be introducing young people to all that the hospitality industry has to offer through work experiences and job shadowing opportunities. The JAG Career Development Conference is one way that young people are able explore their skills and prepare for their future – and we are glad to play a role in that.”
The backbone behind JAG is preparing students for the workforce by introducing them to not only employability skills, but by introducing them to different industries, employers, and work experiences. The JAG Career Development Conference is an opportunity for students demonstrate their skills, with two individuals from each competition attending the State Career Development Conference next month. In addition to recognizing these students’ successes, six individuals were chosen as Outstanding Seniors, an award recognizing select high school seniors who have gone above and beyond in community involvement and are viewed as leaders among their peers.
“Before JAG I was very quiet and lacked basic skills that would prevent me from becoming successful,” said Zoey Lewis, Outstanding Senior from Indianapolis Metropolitan High School. “Now JAG has helped me prepare for my life during and after high school. It has developed me into a more equipped student by building my communication and leadership skills, so I am prepared for college and life after high school. I have been exposed to people who work in different career paths, received help throughout the college process, and built confidence in myself. As a first-generation college student, I’m not sure that I would have pushed myself to continue without the support of JAG.”
Even more than learning about employability skills, Zoey has become the JAG Career Association President and Valedictorian of her class. This opportunity provides stronger pathways for young people as they explore career opportunities and build confidence in who they are and what they can do.
“JAG helps students not only while they are in high school, but prepares them for what comes next,” said Erika Cheney, director of in-school youth at EmployIndy. “That is the vision behind the Career Development Conference – that students will be able to demonstrate their skills to prove to employers and themselves that they can do big things.”
A special recognition to our Gold Level Sponsor, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union 481 (IBEW Local 481). Thank you for your generous contribution and support of the Jobs for America’s Graduates program.