Recent News & Blog

Posted on November 6th, 2020 in Organizational Updates

Since the launch of EmployIndy’s five-year strategic plan in 2017, the organization has more than doubled in size. Since Angela Carr Klitzsch (President & CEO) and Marie Mackintosh (Chief Operating Officer) were appointed as organizational leaders in 2016 by Mayor Joe Hogsett, new programs have launched to fill workforce and equity gaps for Indianapolis youth and young adults. These new programs and initiatives include:

Project Indy
Project Indy, Mayor Joe Hogsett’s youth jobs program, consists of a network of community organizations, employers, and corporate partners who are providing job opportunities, soft-skill development and job-readiness training to in-school and opportunity youth in Marion County.

Indy Achieves
In partnership with the City of Indianapolis, Ivy Tech, IUPUI and the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, Indy Achieves ensures that every Indianapolis resident has the ability to pursue and complete a postsecondary credential or degree program while also empowering residents to pursue careers that put them on a pathway to the middle class.

Job Ready Indy
Job Ready Indy, in partnership with the Indy Chamber and the City of Indianapolis, is a workforce development initiative that aims to validate the attainment of job skills by participants through its online ​badging system.

Talent Bound
Talent Bound seeks to provide Marion County students with access to authentic work-based learning experiences, leveraging EmployIndy’s network of engaged businesses to provide activities that increase informed decision making and develop critical skills needed to succeed in the future of work. This includes the recently launched Modern Apprenticeship (MAP), a paid two- to three-year career readiness program, where students will engage with local employers and emerge with a high school diploma, college credits, relevant credentials, and professional experience.

Existing programs within EmployIndy that have also expanded and/or been overhauled to better serve Marion County residents include: YES Indy, Jobs for America’s Graduates and WorkOne Indy. To support existing and growing initiatives like the Rapid Re-Employment Response and  Indianapolis New Skills Ready Network, it was necessary for EmployIndy to embark on re-envisioning its human capital needs. 

Over the past six months, EmployIndy has been creating a thoughtful, complex and innovative organizational redesign. The purpose of this restructuring is to improve internal operations and, as a result, serve a greater number of Indianapolis residents as Marion County’s Workforce Development Board. There are currently 49 individuals on staff full-time with plans to hire over 15 new positions in the coming year.

This image displays EmployIndy's new organizational structure.

Through the guidance of First Person Advisors, EmployIndy’s leadership and staff journeyed through the unique process of re-inventing the company’s structure. Each member of the EmployIndy team participated in providing recommendations for the organizational redesign – from restructuring teams to inventing new positions and organizational workflows. Through participation and input, EmployIndy’s goal was to not just improve holistically, but improve intentionally in the following areas:

Create a long-term vision and build excitement.

Understand present and future needs as well as design a workflow to accommodate both.

Build the right connections to delight customers and partners.

Match capabilities of current and prospective staff to find the best roles.

Motivate, measure and recognize success.

Current and future intentional shifts in behaviors.

During this process, we also furthered our core values of Empowerment, Integrity, Innovation, Customer Service, Collaboration, Inclusive and Results-driven to become a more equitable, engaging, and accepting organization. We know that in order to serve Marion County job seekers and our ecosystem of workforce partners well, we must keep these core values front and center in our daily work.

As a result of the organizational redesign process, many of our staff made upward or lateral moves within EmployIndy in an effort to make sure that our talent goal was being met. This also resulted in many of our employees receiving new position titles as well. In an effort to be both transparent and to ensure our partnerships throughout the community remain strong, below we’ve included a list of staff members who have been promoted (^), who have a new title and adjusted job description (*) or have been recently hired (+).

Executive Team

Rodney Francis, Chief Programs Officer ^
Tehea Harding, Chief Financial & Administrative Officer ^
Marie Mackintosh, Chief Strategy Officer ^
Chelsea Meldrum, Chief Development & External Affairs Officer ^
Belinda Denning, Senior Executive Assistant ^

Finance & Administrative Team
Carla Montgomery, Associate Director, Grants and Procurement ^
Pamela Bean, Manager, Human Resources ^
Quanece Carter, Associate Director, Grants and Contracts ^
Jefferson Raber, Grants and Contracts Manager ^
Natasha Pepper, Employee Relations Specialist *

Development & External Affairs Team
Kevin Duffy, Senior Director, Ecosystem Advancement ^
Ashley Downey, Associate Director, Learning and Tech Assistance ^
Robin Kildall, Associate Director, Development ^
Dawn Newerth, Associate Director, Performance Improvement ^
Kate Ryan, Associate Director, Strategic Communications ^
Connor Tomasko, Learning Management Systems Manager*

Strategy Team
Betsy Revell, Vice President, Talent Solutions ^
Mechelle Polter, Director, Talent Bound ^
Cait Potter, Director, Strategic Initiatives ^
Jennifer Walde, Director, Talent Network ^
Tracy Hartman, Business Partnerships Development Manager*
Charlie Harris, Talent Bound Manager, CBO ^
Matt Simpson, Talent Bound Manager, High School ^
Ryan Brown, Youth Apprenticeship Manager +
Hope Lane, Youth Apprenticeship Manager +
Marie Wright, Youth Apprenticeship Manager +
Tammy Green, Recruitment Manager *
Mileah Gray, Recruitment Manager *
Tiffani McLaurin, Recruitment Manager +
Abby Smith, Recruitment Manager +
Addie Buzas, Data Analyst *

Programs Team
Erika Cheney, Vice President, K-12 ^
Penny Dunning, Vice President, Career Services ^
Matt Impink, Vice President, Post-secondary and Executive Director, Indy Achieves ^
Esther Woodson, Director, Indy Achieves ^
Dionne Smith, Director, Neighborhood ^
Beth Bowling, Director, K-12 ^
Mary Ann West, Director, Career Services ^
William Hall, RES Manager +
Kevin Lema, Indy Achieves Student Success Coach, IUPUI +
Jeermal Sylvester, Neighborhood Programs Manager *


Posted on November 4th, 2020 in Success Story

The following excerpt is a success story shared by a student from the MSD Washington Township Adult Education Program:

My journey began in 1990 when I was expelled from high school.  It involved a situation where I unknowingly assisted someone whom I should not have.  I went to Warren Township and took the GED test, but when I didn’t pass it, I was devastated and gave up.  I then started working at Wendy’s and with having a job, did not think I would need my high school diploma.  I was still young and naïve at this time.

I eventually went back to school at Howe High School as they were offering GED classes.  But honestly, I preferred hanging out with friends, and so I missed a lot of class.  I took the GED exam again, and failed it, so I pretty much continued this pattern for the next three years.  Finally, I just gave up.

As the years passed, it seemed as though my world was crumbling around me.  I lost my dad in 2006 and my husband was sick and hurting all of the time. My mother passed in 2016 and I felt as though I was going crazy.  I did promise my mom that I would get my high school diploma and so I decided to begin again.  I would say to myself, “no matter what has come against me, I was now determined more than ever to achieve my goal!”

I found the MSD Washington Township Adult Education Program online and that is where I once again began my journey, after so many years had passed.  It was then I met my teacher, who continued to encourage me.  She would say, “I know you can do it!”  With her support, and my determination, I felt I was unstoppable.  In my first attempt in taking the TASC (High School Equivalency Diploma), I passed all subjects but science and math.  On my second attempt, I passed science, but not math.

I then began to work diligently in the online programs provided.  My teacher would not give up on me and continued to work with me providing me the math knowledge I needed.  Even in the last couple

of years, I continued to have adverse circumstances come against me, but I promised myself, “I am really going to do it this time!”

On Friday October 16, 2020, I am happy to report that I passed the math portion of the TASC exam and as such, passed the entire exam. I achieved my goal after so many years!

I am now enrolled in PharmTech training and once I am certified, I am looking forward to “A Whole New World.” (As in the song for the movie, Aladdin 😊).

Thank you Washington Township Adult Education! This program offered me hope when my whole world was crashing down around me.

Check out FOX 59’s recent feature on the work being done by the MSD Washington Township Adult Education Program here.

Through the federal CARES Act, the City of Indianapolis has appropriated approximately $2.6 million towards Rapid Reskilling Grants to be distributed by EmployIndy to local adult education providers. These funds aim to increase the opportunities available to adult students seeking their high school equivalency, high school diploma, or postsecondary certifications. You can view partnering adult education programs, view available trainings or find additional resources by visiting:

Posted on October 27th, 2020 in Organizational Updates, Press Releases

INDIANAPOLIS (Oct. 27, 2020) – EmployIndy and Ascend Indiana today launched a new apprenticeship model for Indianapolis high school students to prepare them for the future in high-demand industries. Modern Apprenticeship (MAP) is a paid two- to three-year work-based learning experience with local employers, where students will emerge with a high school diploma, college credits, relevant credentials and professional experience. This pilot apprenticeship program starts during an Indianapolis student’s junior year of high school.

Up to 30 students from five Indianapolis-area township school districts and charter schools* will be hired by one of 16 employers* representing a variety of growing, high-demand industries including information technology, financial services, healthcare and advanced manufacturing. Additional apprenticeship opportunities are also available in business operations including human resources, sales and marketing.

Modern Apprenticeship enables high school students to attain soft skills, technical skills and relevant work experience, while excelling in their high school and postsecondary coursework. During the first two years of the apprenticeship, students spend a portion of their day in school and a portion of their day working. In their third year, they focus primarily on their job while finishing the requirements for their industry recognized credential. This schedule provides students with the flexibility to maintain extracurricular activities and social connections while in high school. EmployIndy will also come alongside employers, supervisors, mentors and students by providing support to ensure students are developing professionally and progressing successfully through the program.

“As employers’ demand for highly skilled talent continues to grow in our community, we must establish a system of support to close the equity gap for Indianapolis students,” said Marie Mackintosh, chief strategy officer, EmployIndy. “We have partnered with regional and national career readiness initiatives to pilot a program that provides students with quality, career-relevant experiences combined with classroom learning that will prepare young people for a successful transition to college and jobs of the future.”

The occupations currently available to apprentices include junior coder, quality assurance tech, IT support tech, medical assistant, billing and coding specialist, staff accountant, maintenance technician and project coordinator. Students in the program will earn an average of $13 per hour for their work.

“By providing work-based learning opportunities to high school students from diverse backgrounds, Indianapolis will be able to prepare a strong workforce aligned with 21st century employer demand,” said Jason Kloth, president and CEO, Ascend Indiana. “In addition, having work experience will be especially critical for students as the economy reshapes following COVID-19 and the job market becomes even more competitive.”

“We are thrilled to work alongside Marion County’s workforce development board, EmployIndy, and Ascend Indiana to explore ways to deliver paid employment, on-the-job learning, and related high school and postsecondary classroom-based instruction for the jobs of today and tomorrow,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “To further support the Modern Apprenticeship program, the City of Indianapolis will hire up to five apprentices to work in various departments within the City-County enterprise.”

Momentum has been building in Indiana and nationwide to develop models for connecting employers and high school students, with Modern Apprenticeship being one approach. Through the generous support of the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation, this model is being established in Indianapolis, with plans to coordinate learnings and share best practices statewide.

“In 2019, an Indiana coalition came together to create a modern apprenticeship strategy by benchmarking with established programs in Switzerland and emerging initiatives in Colorado, Washington and South Carolina,” said Claire Fiddian-Green, president and CEO, Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation. “What we learned has guided our plans for the modern apprenticeship pilot and our vision for a statewide system. At the core, Modern Apprenticeship is an options multiplier that provides more than one structured pathway for Indiana’s high school students to achieve success following graduation.”

*Participating Indianapolis-area Township School Districts and Charter Schools: Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS), Phalen Leadership Academy, Pike High School, Washington Township and Victory College Prep

*Participating Employers: Ascend Indiana, Ascension St. Vincent, City of Indianapolis, EmployIndy, Katz Sapper & Miller, iLAB, Indianapolis Airport Authority, Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS), Indy Chamber, Ivy Tech Community College, OneAmerica, Roche Diagnostics, Skillful Indiana, TechPoint, The Heritage Group and UnitedHealthcare

  • To learn more about Modern Apprenticeship (MAP), visit
  • Modern Apprenticeship video can be found HERE.
  • Quotes from the Modern Apprenticeship pilot employers can be found below.

About EmployIndy
EmployIndy guides the local workforce ecosystem and makes strategic investments to remove barriers to quality employment for underserved and underrepresented residents. Our vision is for all Marion County residents to have access to services and training necessary to secure a livable wage and grow in a career that meets employer demand for talent. As the workforce development board for Marion County, guided by 24 business, civic, education and nonprofit community leaders, EmployIndy invests $20 million in public, private and philanthropic funds for both youth and adults annually. Learn more at

About Ascend Indiana
Ascend Indiana is the talent and workforce development initiative of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP), an organization that brings together industry, higher education and philanthropic leaders to advance our region’s prosperity and growth. Ascend’s vision is for Indiana to be a place of economic opportunity for all. To achieve this, Ascend bridges talent and communication gaps by creating connectivity between people and employers. Ascend has focused its efforts around three core priorities: connecting job seekers to career opportunities through the Ascend Network talent platform, catalyzing transformative employer and education partnerships through Ascend Services, and informing workforce research and public policy through thought leadership. To learn more, visit

About the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation
The Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation strives to advance the vitality of Indianapolis and the well-being of its people by addressing the city’s most significant challenges and opportunities. The Foundation is focused on three issue-areas: education, health, and the vitality of Indianapolis. To advance its work, the Foundation implements a three-pronged approach: strategic grant-making, evidence-based advocacy, and cross-sector collaborations and convenings. Learn more at

Quotes from Modern Apprenticeship Pilot Employers:

Ascension St. Vincent: “Ascension St. Vincent is thrilled to be partnering with Ascend Indiana and EmployIndy to improve the attraction of a diverse healthcare workforce through several innovative work-based training and education programs for high school students. We share the mutual goal of not only promoting an inclusive culture of engaged associates within the workplace, but also strengthening the communities we serve.”
Cindy Adams, chief nursing officer, Ascension St. Vincent 

Indianapolis Airport Authority: “The Indianapolis Airport Authority believes incorporating an apprentice program into our workforce development initiatives will develop the skills needed to address 21st century workforce challenges by creating a pipeline of skilled employees, better matching of employee skills and character with our needs and culture as well as development of future managers.”
Mario Rodriguez, executive director, Indianapolis Airport Authority

Indy Chamber: “The Indy Chamber is pleased to support the launch of the Modern Apprenticeship initiative, as well as the broader workforce programming of EmployIndy and Ascend Indiana. Partnerships like this allow the Chamber to provide our business community access to top-tier resources for their workforce development needs while staying true to our core mission.”
Mark Fisher, chief policy officer, Indy Chamber

 Ivy Tech Community College: “Ivy Tech has been a partner each step of the way in the movement to create and implement a robust youth apprenticeship strategy in Indiana. In addition to our involvement in developing strategy, policies, and practices, we believe the best way for us to demonstrate our commitment to youth apprenticeships is to be an early adopter. We like to think of this as putting an outstanding idea into action as one of the first employers in our state to hire students through the emerging Modern Apprenticeship program.”
Chris Lowery, senior vice president of Workforce and Careers, Ivy Tech

Katz, Sapper & Miller:
“As a pilot partner in the Modern Apprenticeship program, Katz, Sapper & Miller is excited to explore a new avenue for identifying and nurturing young talent, while providing meaningful work-based opportunities for high school students who otherwise might not be exposed to a career in public accounting. It’s a win all around – for participating students, for their schools, and for us as an employer.”
Jim Nestor, chief human resources officer, Katz, Sapper & Miller

OneAmerica: “OneAmerica is eager to be a Modern Apprenticeship employer partner. Through our Pathways Program, we’ve seen firsthand how workforce development innovation can make a positive impact for students and employers. Modern Apprenticeship extends this work, and we are delighted to create a pipeline of talent by introducing even more students to careers in financial services.”
Scott Davison, president and CEO, OneAmerica

Roche Diagnostics: “Roche understands the importance of cultivating a career-ready workforce, which is why we invest heavily in our collegiate Summer @ Roche internship program, our Accelerated Development Program and our Roche Academy partnership with the University of Indianapolis. Through the Modern Apprenticeship program, we’ll be able to extend our outreach even further as we develop and learn from area high school students.”
Terra Doyle, Integrated Workforce Strategies Practice lead, Recruiting Americas, Roche Diagnostics

Skillful: “We are delighted to support the new Modern Apprenticeship for Indianapolis high school students, both as a contributor to the development of this program, and as an employer.  With the focus on skills-based practices which this initiative has adopted, employers can more easily match the skills they need with those a student can provide, and provide crucial on-the-job experience for students.”
Bill Turner, executive director, Skillful Indiana and National Rework America Alliance Delivery, Markle Foundation

TechPoint: “Apprenticeships provide a compelling model for harmonizing education with employment and expanding diversity and equity in the talent pipeline. TechPoint is happy to partner in this pilot both as an employer and in support of our members, who are the state’s most important tech employers.”
Mike Langellier, president and CEO, TechPoint

The Heritage Group: “We are excited to partner with Ascend Indiana and EmployIndy on this important initiative. This investment in talent, education, and experiences will help connect the next generation of talent to careers at The Heritage Group and build a pathway for economic mobility in our community.”
Betsy McCaw, executive vice president of People + Organizational Capabilities, The Heritage Group