To our Ecosystem Partners, Supporters and Influencers –
Over the past decade, Indianapolis has seen an 80 percent increase in individuals living in poverty. This is unacceptable. In an effort to discontinue impoverishing more families, EmployIndy aims to not only grow our programs and initiatives, but to invest in services for residents directly impacted by lack of access to education and training and jobs not paying a living, middle class wage.
In 2017, EmployIndy made a promise to the community to be a catalyst for change. Through addressing systemic barriers for entry-level workers by supporting employers; creating a positive trajectory for young adults by providing them with increased opportunities; and allocating resources to invest in our most marginalized neighborhoods, EmployIndy has recently concluded the second year of its strategic effort to establish a comprehensive workforce ecosystem for Indianapolis.
While there is still more work to be done, I invite you to peruse the highlights of our efforts throughout program year 2018. As EmployIndy reflects on year two of our Strategic Plan, we call out the barriers to quality employment for residents living in poverty and identify the tactical solutions that serve as a cornerstone to our programs and initiatives for underserved and underrepresented neighbors. By expanding our community reach through high school and postsecondary initiatives and increasing our access to individuals who are upskilling and re-engaging in the workforce, EmployIndy has played a major role in investing in the education, training and job placement of tens of thousands of residents.
We could not have done this without our partners. From educators in the K-12 space to passionate and committed employers to community and faith-based organizations working directly with previously incarcerated workers, we have come together to provide hope, encourage determination, inspire resiliency, reduce barriers and open doors for success.
Thank you to all our stakeholders who have played a role in identifying and executing on solutions that focus on increasing access and opportunity for our fellow Indianapolis residents. EmployIndy continues to grow these pivotal relationships as we endeavor with your help to build a pipeline of workers for a strong regional economy, invest in young people and contribute to reversing the growth of poverty in our community.
– Angela Carr Klitzsch, EmployIndy President & CEO
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Posted on October 3rd, 2019 in Events
The fourth annual JAG Leadership Development Conference took place on Tuesday, October 1, 2019 at Jameson Camp. Brandon Warren, Founder & CEO of We LIVE, opened the day by explaining the importance of supporting one another and encouraging students to work together to make a difference.
After hearing from Brandon, the students split up into groups and went outside for a couple hours of team-building activities. One student from George Washington High School spoke about her favorite activity from the day, which was called Raging River. Students would set up blocks to in order to traverse an area, problem-solving together to ensure their blocks don’t “wash down the river.”
“There was a lack of communication at first because we didn’t really know each other, but then we worked together to figure it out.”
Team-building exercises like these sometimes get a negative reputation, but business leaders note that in practice they are worthwhile investments that develop trust, learn conflict resolution strategies, build communication skills, and collaborate toward a common goal. These sound a lot like employability skills, don’t they?
After lunch, IndianaFIRST set up their frisbee-throwing robot for students to try out. One of the JAG specialists made sure to connect with IndianaFIRST after watching the demonstration. “It would be cool to have you guys come out and talk to our JAG classes as well as our school’s engineering and programming classes,” she said.
The day concluded with a drum circle session led by Arts with a Purpose and a presentation about Innovate WithIN from Don Wettrick at STARTedUP Foundation. In January, Innovate WithIN’s call for proposals opens for student entrepreneurs looking to build or expand a business.
IUPUI and Ivy Tech students among those to receive funds to remove barriers to completing postsecondary education
19 SEPTEMBER 2019 – INDIANAPOLIS – One in three students who enroll in postsecondary education never receives a credential. Mayor Joe Hogsett and Indy Achieves are committed to changing that by investing nearly $500,000 in completion grants for the Fall 2019 semester. These grants will help enable successful students to complete their postsecondary degree or credential at Ivy Tech Indianapolis and IUPUI. The effort is designed to help cover any financial deficits affecting students’ ability to pay tuition and other academic costs.
“Too many Indianapolis college students are not completing their degree – not because they aren’t succeeding academically, but because of financial need,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “Our partnership with Indy Achieves, Ivy Tech and IUPUI will enable Marion County residents to complete the degrees that employers are demanding.”
Indy Achieves will now help students stay enrolled or re-enroll at Ivy Tech Indianapolis and IUPUI in order to complete their degree. Based off a successful model from Georgia State University in Atlanta, the Indy Achieves Completion Grants will prioritize students closest to graduation and those in high-demand degree fields. All recipients are required to complete a financial literacy module and an academic plan so there is a definitive date on the calendar for when they intend to graduate.
“Indy Achieves Completion Grants recognize the reality that too often for our students, life circumstances get in the way of their path to graduation,” said Dr. Kathleen Lee, chancellor of Ivy Tech Central Indiana. “We are proud that so many of our students stepped up to take advantage of the opportunity at a fresh start.”
Indy Achieves staff worked with financial aid offices at both schools to pilot 53 grants in Spring 2019, which led to comparatively higher graduation and retention for recipients. Based on its initial success, both institutions decided to award more completion grants for the 2019-2020 school year. More than 200 students across both campuses will now receive funding to help them complete college.
“I’ve been working so hard to complete my degree,” said Ivy Tech completion grant recipient Marina Arila. “After years of balancing work, family, and my education, this completion grant will finally give me the chance to finish my last five classes and graduate in December.”