Recent News & Blog

Posted on June 26th, 2018 in Events, Success Story

After a year of hard work and preparation for life after high school, seniors who are enrolled in the Jobs for America’s Graduates program were able to gather for a senior send-off celebration. During an afternoon at Ivy Tech, students and their JAG specialists from each school enjoyed  of conversation, pizza, and a scavenger hunt.

The students also were able to participate in a series of raffle drawings to win prizes for their next journey, including dormitory essentials like shower caddies and towels, reading lamps and hangers, polaroid cameras, and even a mini-fridge.

The highlight of the event was the announcement of the recipient of the Jessica Brown Memorial JAG Scholarship. Through generous contributions since our dear colleague’s passing, we have been able to endow a scholarship in her name, awarding $1000 annually to a JAG senior who exemplifies Jessica’s spirit through dedication, hard work, a passion for community service, a genuine interest in the lives of their peers, and random acts of kindness. (Donations are still being accepted to continue to build the scholarship for future years.)

This year’s winner is Tyrah Matherly of Decatur Central High School. “Tyrah sought out JAG on her own, coming to me personally asking to be part of the class,” says her JAG Specialist Molly Hansen, who nominated Tyrah. “I had students who were friends with Tyrah who were struggling. Tyrah helped get them to school to personally ensure that they graduate – but she never seeks to be boastful or get acknowledgement for her kindness ‘behind the scenes’… She just says she’s doing her part.” Tyrah has been enrolled in advanced classes this year to get a head start at IUPUI where she plans to dental hygene this fall.

As part of JAG, graduates are supported for one additional year after high school. This follow-up year ensures that students continue to receive the counseling, skills development, and career services needed to be positioned for a lifetime of career prosperity. Check out some more photos from the event below, and congratulations to all of our JAG graduates!

Posted on June 14th, 2018 in Success Story Tags:

The National Bank of Indianapolis is the largest, locally owned, national bank in greater Indianapolis. Since opening their doors in 1993, they have grown from 18 employees to more than 300 employees. Members of the bank’s Human Resources team initially reached out to WorkOne and EmployIndy in the spring of 2015 as part of their efforts to broaden the diversity of their applicant pool.

“Our strength and success in serving the local market is directly attributed to our talented staff.”
-The National Bank of Indianapolis

With over 90% retention each year, NBI is in a unique position; they rarely need external assistance with their staffing efforts.  However, in the summer of 2015 they found themselves with a number of openings for the teller position. EmployIndy recruiters worked to source strong candidates who would be well aligned with the organization, fulfilling the high expectations the company required. Recruiters completed phone screens and forwarded the strongest candidates to the bank’s staffing officer. During a three-month period, the bank extended offers to four of the 15 individuals who were recommended by EmployIndy – more than a 25% yield.

Since this success, the bank has continued to share all of their job postings with EmployIndy and has hired two more referrals in the past year. We are proud to partner with companies like The National Bank of Indianapolis to grow their talent pipeline as well as positively impact the Indianapolis workforce.

Posted on May 11th, 2018 in Success Story Tags: ,

Updated May 30, 2018

In 2012, Deandre Lander was a senior in high school who was invested in taking next steps in his career as he participated in Indianapolis’ J. Everett Light Career Center, where he earned his welding certification. However, for personal reasons, he did not end up graduating from high school. This certification got him a job, but because of his authority issues, it only lasted for six months. After that, Deandre worked in food retail until Fall of 2015, when he was arrested for being a part the wrong crowd.

As a first-time offender, he was given the opportunity to be released on work release after two years. This is when he came into contact with James Conway, a case manager for Keys to Work. When the two met, James immediately saw potential in the young man and enrolled him in WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act), a bill designed to help job seekers gain employment, education, training, and services to succeed in the workforce. Because of Deandre’s age, he also qualified to be part of YES (Youth Employment Services) programs, which work with young adults to prepare them for the workforce and help them discover their next steps.

This next step brought Deandre to RecycleForce, a 501(c)3 offering “innovative recycling services all while providing life-changing workforce training to formerly incarcerated individuals.” While he was there, Deandre impressed his managers immensely and they offered him an associate position that provided him with resources to expand his skillset. He gained warehouse experience and earned his forklift license, a valuable, high-demand certification. But his employability skills growth did not stop there.

Deandre knew that he could continue to get certifications but having a high school diploma is something that would really make him stand out to employers. That is why when he re-entered the workforce in Fall of 2017, he got involved with Warren Township. Through the Walker Career Center, Deandre was able to earn his HSE (High School Equivalency) degree in October of 2017 and continue to further his career. At this point, his employability toolbox had a forklift license, warehouse experience, and a HSE. But he is a motivated young man and wasn’t going to stop there when he had so much more potential.

Since then, he has gone through OSHA and machine guard training and is currently working on getting his driver’s license and CLA (Certified Logistics Associates) degree. “I have the motivation to get jobs and now I have my credentials so when I apply for a specific job, it’s nice to be able to show that certificate,” says Deandre when asked why he has continued to grow his resume. One of the main reasons behind this motivation is Deandre’s young son, who lives with him. He wants to be someone his son can both look up to and be proud of.

“What I got in trouble for was no where near like how I was raised but then I came to Keys to Work and things started changing for me. Changing for the better.”


Because of his drive, success, and dreams to excel, Deandre has been featured in a series of employability skills videos by Ascend Indiana and in a news segment by Fox 59. “I want to work and stay at a place for a long period of time,” says Deandre,” I want to find something I enjoy and make a career out of it.”

Most recently, Deandre is working for the Indianapolis Dept. of Public Works (DPW) doing landscaping at city parks.