Recent News & Blog

Posted on February 15th, 2018 in Press Releases

Lilly Endowment Inc. has approved $5.2 million in grants to EmployIndy to strengthen the services it offers to local organizations that help youth and young adults connect to education support, training, and job coaching.

A $3 million grant from Lilly Endowment will help EmployIndy fund a comprehensive capacity-building plan to improve outreach to youth and young adults so they can learn about employment options, education assistance, and job training that can help them find work and begin to build their careers. Funds also will help EmployIndy increase and strengthen its engagement with Indianapolis employers seeking job-ready candidates.

There are an estimated 30,000 youth and young adults, ages 16-24, who are disconnected from education and employment in central Indiana for a variety of reasons, such as homelessness, criminal history, lack of family support, and inadequate access to job training. EmployIndy will strategically invest grant funds to help community organizations that directly provide youth services so they can reach 6,000 of these young people during the next two years.

A second grant of $2.2 million from Lilly Endowment will provide general operating support for EmployIndy’s Youth Employment Services (YES) program. Lilly Endowment began funding YES in 2003. Since then, YES has empowered 5,570 low-income individuals, ages 16-24, to complete their education, secure jobs and strengthen work skills.

YES does this through job coaching and career counseling and offering financial support for child care, transportation and additional training.

“These grants will enable EmployIndy to help expand and enhance the efforts of youth-serving organizations to improve significantly the employment prospects of youth in our community – especially those most in need of job skills and resources,” says EmployIndy President & CEO Angela Car Klitzsch. “We are particularly grateful for Lilly Endowment’s support of our strategic efforts to help young people living in the city’s highest-need neighborhoods.”

Youth employment has immediate benefits that include skill building, career exploration, and a paycheck. But it also can significantly affect the long-term career success of a worker. A report from the New Skills at Work initiative of JP Morgan Chase found that teen employment can lead to improved earnings once young people launch their careers in their 20s.

However, not enough youth and young adults are employed. A 12-year longitudinal study by the Brookings Institution released in 2014 looked at youth employment rates in the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan areas. Researchers found that among youth ages 16-19 in Indianapolis, labor participation fell from 49% to 28%, The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that national teen employment has declined with every recession since 1979, and projects further decline through 2024. These data raise concern for the future prospects of Indianapolis youth and the economic vitality and quality of life in central Indiana.

EmployIndy’s holistic approach to helping unemployed youth find jobs includes engagement with community organizations that serve youth and young adults and with employers. EmployIndy strives to connect job-ready applicants with employers in their neighborhoods and help employers who are looking citywide to find strong job applicants.

“The future prospects for thousands of youth in our community depend on their ability to find and qualify for jobs that will pay them a livable wage and place them on a promising employment pathway for the future,” says N. Clay Robbins, Lilly Endowment’s chairman, president and CEO.  “We are pleased to provide this funding for EmployIndy’s strategic efforts to build an effective and comprehensive system of supports to help these youth succeed.”

Posted on January 31st, 2018 in Press Releases

INDIANAPOLIS – For the third year, Mayor Joe Hogsett is working with EmployIndy, the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee, and the Marion County Coalition on Youth to connect thousands of young adults to job opportunities in 2018. At a press event held at the Avondale Meadows YMCA, Mayor Hogsett and the Indy Chamber encouraged employers to engage with the program and announced a new employability skills system designed to get 16-24 year-olds job ready.

Project Indy is a smart way to give thousands of local young people job experience, useful skills, and safe and productive alternative to crime and gangs. Mayor Hogsett’s summer jobs program comes at no additional cost to taxpayers, funded through federal grants, corporate donations, and community organizations.

To ensure that young adults are ready for job opportunities, EmployIndy and the Indy Chamber have partnered to create the Job Ready Indy program. Beginning in March, local youth can enroll in Job Ready Indy workshops with various partner organizations around the city and earn up to six badges, each focused on various skill sets that will set them up for success in a job and appear on their Project Indy profiles.

“Project Indy aims to uplift our entire community, and to do so, we must involve the entire community,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it will take a city to develop our workforce. With an emphasis on work experience and skill development, young adults, community leaders, and employers can all play a part in this effort — and the first step is as simple as signing up!”

While Project Indy works to connect high school youth with summer job opportunities, the program also encourages mentorship and career training opportunities as well as jobs for participants out of school seeking the first step in their career path. With the added skills and training now available through Job Ready Indy, Project Indy will enable local young people to build the foundation for a successful career in the Indianapolis workforce.

“We look at the job continuum as A-B-C: Any job, Better job, Career,” said Angela Carr Klitzsch, president and CEO of EmployIndy. “A young person’s first experience in the workforce allows for career exploration, skill building, and self-awareness that can help guide them throughout their professional life.”

Project Indy is uniquely positioned to connect the supply of jobs with local young talent as employers are thinking about their needs for this summer and beyond. Local youth can be a solution for many of these employers seeking talent, and with the added employability skills offered through the Job Ready Indy courses, workers accessible through Project Indy will be better prepared to take on jobs that require a variety of responsibilities. Employers who participate in Project Indy also have the exclusive opportunity to kick start career paths and develop our city’s future workforce to fit their industry’s needs.

“Some employers express concern about the basic skills of entry-level workers,” said Michael Huber, President and CEO of the Indy Chamber. “This badging system will not only afford peace of mind for an employer, but build a strong foundation of talent for Indianapolis as we focus our efforts on inclusive growth to meet local labor needs.”

Each Sunday in February, Mayor Hogsett will be engaging local churches and faith-based organizations to encourage young people and employers to take advantage of all that Project Indy has to offer. Attendees of Congressman André Carson’s Your Opportunities Job Fair in March can stop by the Project Indy booth to learn more about the program.

Young job-seekers and employers can learn more and sign up at

Posted on January 24th, 2018 in Press Releases

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – January 24, 2018 – Since 2011, EmployIndy has been demonstrating a commitment to community workforce development by distributing over $3 million on behalf of the City of Indianapolis’ Department of Metropolitan Development to local community-based organizations through CDBG. This funding has resulted in neighborhood-level employment services for over 6,000 residents. Recently, EmployIndy awarded an additional $500,000 to five local, community-focused organizations: Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center; RecycleForce; Fathers and Families; Second Helpings; and Indianapolis Urban League.

EmployIndy is committed to partnering with organizations who are engaged in barrier-busting, workforce development activities, and working to support, improve, and coordinate effective neighborhood-level employment and training programs. The Community Development Block Grant is competitively awarded to an organization because of their active demonstration to connect underrepresented residents to jobs and career pathways leading to self-sufficiency and family sustaining wages, thus improving the area in which they reside.

Because of their focus on local community growth, Mary Rigg received grant funding to further neighborhood-based services to specifically target individuals who are underemployed; unemployed; do not have an HSE degree; ex-offenders; and/or single parents.

“The goal of EmployIndy is to enhance and strengthen, rather than replace, the services offered within neighborhoods,” says EmployIndy’s Senior Director of Development, Chelsea Meldrum.

In order to alleviate major employment barriers, such as criminal backgrounds, transportation, and low education, EmployIndy works closely with community- and neighborhood-based organizations who are uniquely positioned to offer a variety of services that bring workers into the mainstream economy. The funds distributed to RecycleForce will focus on creating successful transitional employment for re-entry citizens through increasing availability of educational services, job skills training, career exploration, and supportive services.

Another focus of CDBG is career navigation services. These services use the ABC model (Any job, Better job, Career) to help those who are either unemployed or underemployed to find their next step – whether that is forwarding their career, changing their field, or furthering their education. Second Helpings and Fathers and Families Center are using their grant money to further training programs and arm graduates with success through obtaining credentials and preparing for job readiness.

EmployIndy places a high significance on the quality and impact of services to the participants being reached. The CDBG funding EmployIndy has distributed over the past seven years has led to occupational skills training and credentials that directly result in residents finding employment. The award given to Indianapolis Urban League will help grow that number through serving low-income and returning citizens by granting them with career training and services to become self-sufficient.

By seeking to help individuals who are experiencing significant barriers to employment, EmployIndy is working with those in the community to ensure residents have access to a variety of services to obtain the skills needed to enter into jobs and, ultimately, careers.