Recent News & Blog

Initiative successfully employed more than 6000 young adults in its first three years and continues furthering employer partnerships in 2019

INDIANAPOLIS – January 30, 2019 – Today at the Indianapolis Zoo, Mayor Joe Hogsett and EmployIndy announced this year’s kick off of Project Indy, the administration’s youth jobs program. Since its initial launch in 2016 by Mayor Hogsett, EmployIndy, Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee, and Marion County Commission on Youth, Project Indy has positively impacted thousands of young adults in Marion County by engaging them in the workforce. In 2019, Project Indy will continue to make a difference in the lives of Indianapolis residents by providing work experiences and career exploration opportunities for young adults.

Last year, Mayor Hogsett encouraged local employers to take an active role in offering opportunities to young workers. After reaching annual goals of 1000 jobs obtained in 2016 and 2000 jobs obtained in 2017, a goal of 3000 jobs was exceeded in 2018. The soft skills and work experience learned from these jobs will provide the local economy with a better-prepared workforce of the future.

“Project Indy has grown its reach every year since its inception in 2016 – providing employment opportunities and valuable soft skills for thousands of young residents in Marion County each year,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett.  “In 2019, we hope to build upon that momentum, engaging even more young adults through our Summer Jobs Sundays, youth job fairs and Job Ready Indy program.  The valuable skills these future adults learn today will mean a more educated, well-trained and successful workforce for the 21st century.”

Project Indy is available on the mobile app Project Indy Jobs, created by local tech company WorkHere, to help geographically connect users to job opportunities near their location. The Indianapolis Zoo is one of nearly 140 employers who are using Project Indy to make a difference in the life of a young adult. Ashley Lawson, a Jobs for America’s Graduates student from Decatur Central High School, worked at the Indianapolis Zoo during the summer of 2018. While at the Zoo, Ashley improved her communication skills as she interacted daily with guests and has since decided that she wants to major in Education and Zoology when she attends Ball State this fall.

“Ashley is the perfect example of how a summer job can help shape a young adult’s future,” said Judy Palermo, senior manager of public relations at the Indianapolis Zoo. “By engaging with local talent, businesses and attractions like the Zoo are able to positively impact the workforce in Indianapolis and make it possible for young adults to envision the next step in their career.”

Guiding young adults as they take the first step in their career path by gaining valuable work experience is the backbone of Project Indy. It is well-known that oftentimes individuals need to develop soft skills prior to employment, such as learning the importance of professionalism, communication skills, reliability, timeliness, work ethic, and appropriate mindsets at work.

In order to improve those skills, Mayor Hogsett worked with EmployIndy and the Indy Chamber to launch Job Ready Indy in 2018. Job Ready Indy is an employability skills program focused on providing the soft skills needed to succeed in the workplace. If an individual has completed one of the courses, a badge of completion will appear on their Project Indy profile – notifying an interested employer that they are deemed by EmployIndy and the Indy Chamber as someone who demonstrates “job ready” skills important in the workplace.

However, young adults cannot take the first steps to improve their career or community without the help of local employers.

“Young people need to have the support of our business partners to best identify their interests and talents to fill the skills gaps in our target industries,” said Angela Carr Klitzsch, President & CEO of EmployIndy. “By hiring young adults, employers have the opportunity to be a catalyst for change in our community.”

One of the largest and often overlooked benefits to businesses is that connecting with young adults directly influences the choices they make when continuing their education or career path. Employment through Project Indy is one of many ways that employers can engage with young adults. Through Job Ready Indy and other EmployIndy programs, employers can host site tours, speak about their industry in a classroom or offer job shadowing.

Project Indy is uniquely positioned to connect both the supply and demand of jobs for young adults as employers look to prepare for the summer and beyond.

Employers and job seekers age 16-24 can learn more and sign up at projectindy.net


Posted on December 14th, 2018 in Events, Speaking Engagements

The Indiana State Summit: Creating Career Pathways for All Students on Wednesday, December 12th hosted local, state, and international experts, including EmployIndy President Angela Carr Klitzsch, who spoke about the importance of building a rigorous system of career and technical education and work-based learning opportunities for all students and adult learners.

Throughout the day, the leaders speaking on panels focused on key points:

  • Quality apprenticeships and other work-based learning opportunities cannot be built overnight.
  • Doing and learning (via work-based learning) simultaneously produces the best results.
  • Relationships forged between employers and educators are crucial.
  • Using common language and terminology is necessary for clear, successful communication.
  • The stigma against career and technical education in the U.S. needs to be addressed.
  • Students learning about what they don’t want to do is a part of the educational experience, but the earlier those realizations can happen, the better off they will be.

Angela Carr Klitzsch discussed EmployIndy’s partnership with IPS to scale a comprehensive work-and-learn system at their academies. She also noted that workforce development boards, like EmployIndy, are poised to be the intermediary between education and industry, bridging the gap in order to ensure the creation of quality work-based learning opportunities. The panel, entitled “Indiana Action on CTE & Apprenticeships: Models to Expand,” was moderated by Claire Fiddian-Green, President of the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation, and included Director of Pathways for Students and Adults at Horizon Education Alliance Jason Harrison, Ivy Tech Vice President of K-12 Initiatives and Statewide Partnerships Katie Jenner, and Conexus Chief Talent Programs Officer Brad Rhorer.

If you are interested in connecting your business to work-based learning, connect with one of our employer engagement specialists. Also, check out a collection of tweets from the event below, and be sure to follow us at @EmployIndy.


Posted on November 15th, 2018 in Events, Speaking Engagements, Success Story

EmployIndy partners with Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) on several of workforce-ready initiatives. This partnership aims to break down barriers and make it possible for all individuals to receive adult basic education and actively enroll in a variety of training programs in order to further their skill set. Five years ago, the state General Assembly unanimously passed a bill to shift adult education to DWD, a move aimed to address both the recession and the looming talent gap that Indiana was facing.

At the Indiana Statehouse today WorkINdiana celebrated 6,000 completions and 5,000 certifications in five years.

Speaking at the event was EmployIndy COO Marie Mackintosh, Associate COO of Adult Education with the Department of Workforce Development Marilyn Pitzulo, and Ivy Tech’s Madison Campus Chancellor Molly Dodge. They provided background on WorkINdiana and the dynamic shift to focusing on industry-recognized credentials so adult education could be seen as a stepping stone toward a career.

“Our vision was to serve students at any time, any place, at any pace.”

Marie Mackintosh, EmployIndy Chief Operations Officer

Then they passed the mic to three WorkINdiana participants: Brittany Young, Paul Powell, and Sarah White. These individuals shared their personal journeys and talked about where they are now because of the opportunities gained through WorkINdiana.

  • Brittany Young attributes her confidence to the people who helped her along the way. “I developed relationships and gained emotional support all through this program.” As a  2014 WorkINdiana participant from southern Indiana, she completed entry welder training and landed a job at Vehicle Service Group as a Cell Coordinator.
  • Paul Powell, a 2018 participant from Indianapolis, talks about quick results. “It is good to know that [WorkOne Indy] showed up when I needed it.” All within 6 months, he obtained his HSE, CDL-A certification, and started work at Eby-Brown as a CDL driver.
  • Sarah White spoke to the 3 month Medical Assistant training she completed right out of high school in 2018. “It was a jumpstart to my career.” She is currently at Greene County Hospital where she is employed as a certified Clinical Medical Assistant.

WorkINdiana is just one of many ways that EmployIndy is working to skill-up Marion County’s workforce. Recently, EmployIndy was awarded $125,000 of Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA) funding from DWD in order to remove barriers for employers, service providers, and job seekers alike. This funding will give service providers the tools they need to knowledgeably serve the adult population and provide opportunities for them to skill-up into the jobs within Indianapolis’ high-demand industries, providing a workforce-ready population for the future of Marion County and local employers.