EmployIndy Welcomes Youth Apprentices from Modern Apprenticeship’s Inaugural Cohort
7 September 2021 – The modern age has brought about major changes within the world of work. Emerging technologies and globalization are impacting the very nature of workforce dynamics while employers’ demand for highly-skilled, versatile talent continues to grow. A combination of technical and soft skills, as well as comprehensive, real-world experiences, are prerequisites for the majority of entry-level jobs. The opportunities to obtain these credentials, however, are not readily accessible, creating a widening gap in career-ready skills amongst the workforce.
In an effort to bridge the gap between the supply of talent and the demand for multi-skilled employees in the local community, EmployIndy and Ascend Indiana piloted a new apprenticeship model for Indianapolis high school students that prepare them for the future of high-demand industries.
Modern Apprenticeship (MAP) is a paid three-year work-based learning experience for Central Indiana high schoolers with local community employers. Beginning their junior year of high school, apprentices will split their time between the classroom and the workplace. By the end of the MAP experience, students not only graduate with a high school diploma and obtain invaluable social capital, but they will also earn industry-recognized credentials and transferable college credits.
“Modern Apprenticeship helps to diversify talent pipelines while increasing the economic mobility of local youth and providing the critical experience needed when taking the next steps towards a career,” says Betsy Revell, Vice President of Talent Solutions at EmployIndy.
The inaugural MAP cohort, consisting of 30 students and 16 employers, signed their certificate of acceptance in May of 2021, establishing a system of career-connected learning that will create equitable opportunities for high schoolers throughout Marion County. The youth apprentices completed two MAP boot camps this summer to prepare them for their upcoming apprenticeships this fall and begin connecting with their employers and peers.
In addition to piloting the Modern Apprenticeship program, EmployIndy and Ascend Indiana both hired apprentices from the inaugural cohort.
“Hiring internal apprentices was important to EmployIndy because we wanted to navigate the Modern Apprenticeship program alongside our business partners and have a legitimate experience as a MAP employer,” says Revell. “Hosting apprentices also aligns with our goals associated with creating long-term talent pipelines and EmployIndy’s strategic priority of building career pathways for young adults.”
Salematou Diaby, Kimorah Waites, and Melanie Garcia began their apprenticeships at EmployIndy on August 9th. All three apprentices have been placed in different departments within EmployIndy; Diaby with the Career Services team, working with WorkOne Indy; Waites with the Talent Solutions team, working with Talent Bound and MAP; and Garcia with the K-12 and Postsecondary team, working with K-12 programs (photos at end of post).
“It is exciting to have youth apprentices within these EmployIndy teams because, in many cases, high school students are our target audience,” says Revell. “Our apprentices offer an opportunity for EmployIndy to get real-world feedback in real-time, and we need that real-time insight to continue to expand our programs.”
Workforce development is facing a new set of stipulations in adequately preparing young people for the future working world. The demand for well-rounded, experienced employees requires targeted services that leverage existing talent pools from a young age. Competent workers are abundant, but the training needed to fortify their skills is not always accessible. Modern Apprenticeship creates accessible opportunities for young talent while enhancing the skills needed to succeed in today’s in-demand industries.