Recent News & Blog

  Staff increases to support admitted student retention and boost awareness of 21st Century Scholars program as June 30 deadline approaches

From growing staff to partnering with over 100 community and business leaders to mentor young adults, Indy Achieves is making progress in its first year. This initiative was established by Mayor Joe Hogsett and is housed at EmployIndy to support Marion County students as they pursue a postsecondary degree or credential. Over the past few months, Indy Achieves has furthered relationships with IUPUI, Ivy Tech Community College, and the Commission for Higher Education to make it possible to bridge the education attainment gap in Marion County.

The broad goal of Indy Achieves is to address the Indianapolis skills gap of 215,000 residents who need job-ready credentials by 2025. EmployIndy is also putting the personnel in place to improve summer retention for students and increase public awareness of available (and often overlooked) financial aid for their postsecondary education.

One of the key components of Indy Achieves is the mentorship program. Yecenia Tostado, Associate Director of Indy Achieves, has taken lead in making this program a reality as the first connections were made between mentors and mentees in February 2019. Since its inception, this program has connected over 100 business and civic leaders with two to three college-bound students each by utilizing a text messaging system to send reminders about important deadlines, such as filling out an application, attending orientation, registering for courses, and more.

“Yecenia Tostado has been integral in building the Indy Achieves mentorship program from the ground up,” said Matt Impink, Executive Director of Indy Achieves. “Under her direction, we surpassed our recruitment goals and she has established a lasting model that provides flexibility and ease for students and mentors alike.”

With the mentorship program underway, the Indy Achieves team is focusing their efforts on an even younger population: middle school students. In 2017, only 51% of the eligible 8th grade Marion County students were registered for 21st Century Scholars, a program from Indiana’s Commission for Higher Education that grants full tuition scholarships for Hoosier students to attend an Indiana two- or four-year college after they complete high school. 

Esther Gamble, Indy Achieves Manager of Student Progress, recently joined the team and is working to increase awareness of 21st Century Scholars. From meeting with guidance counselors and sharing a 21st Century Scholars Enrollment Toolkit to speaking on the news, Gamble is going school to school, encouraging parents and educators to register their students before time runs out for graduating 8th graders on June 30, 2019.

In addition to grassroots promotion, EmployIndy is furthering awareness for Indy Achieves via an online and radio advertising campaign targeting parents and guardians as schools are reaching summer break.

“The growth of this program fulfills the vision of EmployIndy to remove barriers for all Marion County residents so every individual has the opportunity to excel,” said Angela Carr Klitzsch, president & CEO of EmployIndy. “Indy Achieves creates an avenue to improve the future of the workforce by addressing the projected skills gap in Indianapolis.”

With available funding from Commission for Higher Education programs like 21st Century Scholars, students currently experiencing financial barriers have the opportunity to invest in their education. More good and promising jobs now than ever before require individuals to have some form of postsecondary training or education. In order to build up Indianapolis and open doors for our young people, it is crucial to utilize the education funding available.

The due date to register all Indianapolis graduating 8th graders for 21st Century Scholars is June 30th, 2019. For Marion County residents seeking application assistance, Indy Achieves aims to help so students can achieve their dreams – learn more at indyachieves.org/21cs.


Posted on April 29th, 2019 in Press Releases Tags:

Indy’s business community is charged to employ and engage young adults tor the betterment of the future economy

With school nearly out for Indianapolis students, attention for many young adults turns to summer jobs and Mayor Joe Hogsett’s youth jobs program, Project Indy. In an effort to spread awareness about opportunities, as well as the important role that our local employers play, Mayor Hogsett and EmployIndy are proclaiming “Hire Indy Youth Week” from April 29 through May 3.

The proclamation announcement was hosted by Crew Carwash, where afterward two young staff members showed Mayor Hogsett how to handle incoming vehicles as a wash associate. Crew Carwash was the recent recipient of the Excellence in Youth Employment award at the Mayor’s Celebration of Diversity luncheon earlier this month for their emphasis on providing employment opportunities to young adults, hiring 94 young adults in Indianapolis last year.

“Youth employment often starts as a fun high school job – in my case lifeguarding,” said Mayor Hogsett. “But it was more than suntans and blowing whistles. It was looking out for others, showing up on time to relieve the guard ahead of me, learning how to earn and save money. These all proved to be valuable lessons for the jobs I have held ever since.”

Lessons like customer service, reliability, punctuality, conflict resolution, and more have a big effect on young workers, setting them up with experiences and competencies to carry into future careers. Research from JPMorgan Chase & Co. supports this idea, with their findings showing that for every year that a young adult works, they earn 14-16% more money in their 20’s.

For the business community, hiring young people can address short-term talent needs while also preparing the future workforce with the needed skills for our local economy’s success. With a looming skills gap in Central Indiana, local employers stand to directly benefit from an investment in the future workforce of Indianapolis.

“As more employers provide work opportunities to young people, we will see a long-term payoff: the collective upskilling of the workforce of our future economy,” said Angela Carr Klitzsch, EmployIndy president and CEO. “Achieving broad results requires intentionality and action – so, for Hire Indy Youth Week we are calling on all Indianapolis employers to find ways to get involved.”

There are different ways for businesses to get involved in youth employment, including posting summer, part-time, and full-time jobs through Project Indy. However, for employers who are not in a position to hire, EmployIndy can help facilitate engagement opportunities such as site tours, classroom speaking, and internship support to help young adults learn more about the industries and opportunities available locally.

Organizations are encouraged to share their stories with the hashtag #HireIndyYouthWeek, sign up to post jobs on projectindy.net, or reach out to EmployIndy to learn about other ways to get involved in the future of our workforce.


Posted on April 10th, 2019 in Press Releases Tags: , , ,

A $1M investment from JPMorgan Chase is part of nearly $2M in total funds invested in IPS’ postsecondary readiness and career academies programming

Al Smith, JPMorgan Chase Indiana Chairman and Corye Franklin, Principle of Arsenal Technical High School

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – April 10, 2019 — Today, JPMorgan Chase announced investments totaling $1 million to Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS), EmployIndy and JFF to increase access to work-based learning opportunities for IPS high school students. Alongside local and national leaders, JPMorgan Chase made the announcement at the Arsenal Technical High School STEM Learning Lab.

“Our rapidly-changing economy requires new skills to meet the growing needs of companies across the region,” said Al Smith, chairman of JPMorgan Chase in Indiana. “This public-private collaboration will create economic opportunity and career mobility. It’s an investment in Indianapolis’ most valuable resource ― our vibrant student population that will be better prepared to compete for well-paying careers and bright futures.”

Marie Mackintosh, EmployIndy COO, on the importance of skilling up students

IPS launched new college and career options as part of the new All-Choice High School Model at the start of this academic year. Under the new structure, students choose a high school based on their desired area of study ― there is no restriction on where they live. The restructuring created college and career pathways that help all students graduate on time and achieve one of the district’s three Es — to Enroll in a two- or four-year college or university, Enlist in the armed services or be Employed at a livable wage. Research shows that students are more engaged and successful when robust academic options are combined with rigorous instruction and work-based learning opportunities.

Faith Harrington (Crispus Attucks student), Susan Ford (Trilogy), Jennifer O’Shea (IPS), Marie Mackintosh (EmployIndy), Owen Washburn (JPMorgan Chase)

“Having access to quality work-based learning opportunities will provide IPS students with the employability skills necessary to succeed beyond high school, in whatever path they choose,” said IPS Interim Superintendent Aleesia Johnson. “The generous investment by JPMorgan Chase will support the efforts of IPS and EmployIndy to ensure that all IPS students have access to meaningful work-based learning opportunities, and that employers have the ability to engage with our students — the future of our workforce.”

EmployIndy has been the link between employers and the increasing need to accelerate and enhance IPS postsecondary readiness initiatives since 2017. EmployIndy has also served a critical role in informing the Health Sciences Career Academy design through provision of labor market research for skills mapping; participation on academy advisory boards; development of employability skills curriculum and badging; and the facilitation of experiences on the work-based learning continuum.

This investment will create a sustainable partnership and develop critical infrastructure, engaging employers in a sequence of experiential learning activities across all IPS college and career academies. JFF’s Pathways to Prosperity team will provide direct support and the capacity building needed to accomplish this work.

“The two-year commitment from JPMorgan Chase includes technical assistance from JFF to develop a clear vision, framework and strategic plan for EmployIndy to serve as the work-based learning intermediary in Indianapolis,” said Angela Carr Klitzsch, president and CEO of EmployIndy. “Our work together will establish essential infrastructure for EmployIndy to scale work-based learning in a robust and complex workforce development ecosystem.”

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett

“This investment in work-based learning is a win for Indianapolis, because it will enhance educational opportunities for students, strengthen our talent pipeline, and enable businesses to directly connect with their future workforce,” said Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett. “Together, we are working to ensure that our young people have clear paths, experiences, and credentials that fit the needs of our modern economy.”

The IPS Education Foundation (IPSEF) collaborates closely with IPS leadership, teachers and staff to ensure that development activities align with IPS strategic priorities. As a mission-driven development organization, IPSEF brings fundraising expertise and capacity, thus allowing district administrators to focus on their core business — leadership in support of excellent teaching and learning. IPSEF will receive the investment and help distribute the funds across the district.

“This investment from JPMorgan Chase will help catalyze the partnership for IPS and EmployIndy to bring this critical work to scale across the district,” said Stephannie Bailey, executive director of the IPS Education Foundation. “As the philanthropic arm to the district, we are grateful and excited to celebrate this major investment in the future of our IPS students, families and staff.”

Susan Ford (Trilogy), Betsy Revell (EmployIndy)

The benefits of the investments were highlighted through a panel discussion at today’s announcement that included a current IPS student, Faith Harrington; employer partner Trilogy Health’s Talent Engagement Support, Susan Ford; EmployIndy Chief Operations Officer, Marie Mackintosh; and IPS Post-Secondary Readiness Officer, Jennifer O’Shea. The discussion was moderated by JPMorgan Chase Vice President f Global Philanthropy, Owen Washburn.

The investment by JPMorgan Chase is part of nearly $2 million awarded to IPS for postsecondary readiness over the last year. Eli Lilly and Company Foundation gave $300,000 in grant funding to support professional development, technology investment and youth employment at IPS’ Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering & Logistics Academy and Construction, Engineering & Design Academy. IU Health awarded $50,000 to support the Health Sciences Academy. Finally, in 2018, Salesforce.org awarded $500,000 to support the Information Technology Academy, future centers at the district’s high schools, and business partnerships.

For more information, contact IPS Communications Manager, Carrie Cline Black, at 317-605-3797.

About JPMorgan Chase & Co.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.6 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of customers in the United States and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com.

About Indianapolis Public Schools
The largest public school district in Indiana, Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) is an agile, innovative educational organization committed to academic excellence built through individualized, relationship-based learning. We empower our students to think critically, creatively and responsibly, to embrace diversity and pursue their dreams with purpose. Though we cover 80 square miles, employ over 5,000 people, and serve over 30,000 students, we are committed to serving individual students with what they need. To learn more about IPS, please visit www.myips.org.

About EmployIndy
EmployIndy guides the local workforce ecosystem and makes strategic investments to remove barriers to quality employment for underserved and underrepresented residents. As the workforce development board for Marion County, guided by 21 business, civic, education, and non-profit community leaders, EmployIndy invests $20 million in public, private and philanthropic funds for both youth and adults annually. Information about EmployIndy is available at www.employindy.org.

About JFF
JFF is a national nonprofit that drives transformation in the American workforce and education systems. For 35 years, JFF has led the way in designing innovative and scalable solutions that create access to economic advancement for all. Launched in 2012, Pathways to Prosperity is a joint initiative of JFF and the Harvard Graduate School of Education that seeks to ensure that many more young people complete high school, attain postsecondary credentials with currency in the labor market, and launch careers while leaving open the prospect of further education. Information about JFF is available at www.jff.org.

About the IPS Education Foundation
The Indianapolis Public Schools Education Foundation (IPSEF) seeks to secure and deploy resources to support Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) students, teachers and administrators across the District. Alignment with IPS strategies and partners drives strategy to secure philanthropic capital to close funding gaps and to fulfill the District’s mission. IPSEF seeks to generate revenue that allows the District to improve organizational effectiveness, drive academic innovation and invest in talented educators. For more information on IPS Education Foundation, please visit http://ipsef.org/.