November, 2021 | EmployIndy

Recent News & Blog

Posted on November 24th, 2021 in Local News, Success Story

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) holds the Young Adult Services (YAS) Summit annually to facilitate collaboration amongst youth service practitioners throughout the state. From workforce development to career engagement to educational accessibility, the YAS Summit presents an integral opportunity for service providers to align on best practices, develop ongoing strategies, and recognize successes each year. 

At this year’s YAS Summit, the Indiana DWD recognized Julie Barrett, Workforce Development Program Manager at the Martindale-Brightwood Community Development Corporation (MBCDC), as the Innovator of the Year for creative programming in support of Young Adult Services. 

Barrett was selected amongst the entirety of YES Indy’s Career Navigators to receive this award, remaining as one of the top Career Navigators in Indiana who serve the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act’s (WIOA) youth population. Her exemplary leadership has enhanced the scope of available services offered to Marion County’s young people, and her unwavering commitment to serving Hoosier youth continues to change countless lives across our community. 

“Julie’s passion, encouragement, and guidance help her build the trusting relationships that are important to improve the trajectory of young people’s lives. She coaches, she models, she cares; she provides tough love, and she gets results,” says Dionne Smith, Vice President, Neighborhood at EmployIndy. “Julie has helped numerous Opportunity Youth reach their own definitions of success, all because she believes in them and helps them believe in themselves.”

Martindale-Brightwood CDC has been very successful as the employer of record for the Disaster Recovery Grant. In this capacity, Julie Barrett and her team have placed nine WIOA Youth in promising jobs, servicing a community severely impacted by COVID-19. The Martindale-Brightwood CDC team is the only mobile WIOA program provider in Central Indiana. With an innovative delivery system, MBCDC is able to provide YES Indy services that are tailored to each individual they serve.

As a mobile provider, MBCDC is able to uniquely impact Opportunity Youth– people ages 16-24 who have become disconnected from school and/or work– with the support they need wherever their location might be. As a result, Barrett and her team receive all of the referrals from the DWD’s youth Department of Correction (DOC), all of Outreach Indiana referrals for young people experiencing homelessness, and all of the Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) referrals for youth who do not graduate from High School. Barrett and her team work with Youth Build Indy to enroll those participants in WIOA programming as well. 

“Julie is an all-star service provider and an invaluable asset to Marion County’s Opportunity Youth as well as our community as a whole,” says Charlie Harris, Director, Opportunity Youth at EmployIndy. 

EmployIndy thanks Julie Barrett for her unwavering passion and dedication in serving Marion County’s young people. Her award is undoubtedly well-deserved. Congratulations on being honored as the YAS Innovator of the Year!


Posted on November 19th, 2021 in Local News, Organizational Updates

Central Indiana is home to over 30,000 Opportunity Youth– young adults, ages 16 to 24, who have disengaged from secondary education or are disconnected from the workforce upon graduation. Basic financial education is a need that often goes unmet for this group of individuals, making progress and stability difficult for themselves and their families. Due to being disengaged and disconnected, accessing basic financial education is often difficult or sometimes impossible.

Thanks to a partnership between Fifth Third Bank and YES Indy, however, Opportunity Youth now have an avenue through which they can access basic financial education, by participating in the YES Indy Power Huddle program. In efforts to re-engage Marion County’s Opportunity Youth and create a positive trajectory for these young people, EmployIndy launched YES Indy REC in 2018. Shortly thereafter, the Power Huddle, a two-week job readiness experience that helps Opportunity Youth get connected and improve their daily mindsets, was launched as the forward-facing program of YES Indy REC.

The Power Huddle supports overall YES Indy efforts by teaching young people ways in which they can change their future trajectory as well as engage in a variety of employability skills that will help them map out and work towards reaching their academic, career, and life goals. With a growing inventory of both experience and participation, the YES Indy team sought to expand the Power Huddle curriculum to include additional pillars of comprehensive wellness. The two-week intensive is already designed to focus on mindfulness, character, purpose, resilience, visioning, time management, work ethic, and learning strategies, but financial education as a key component of sustainable livelihood was missing. 

To address the need for financial education within this population, YES Indy’s Power Huddle was financially assisted by the Fifth Third Foundation through a grant award in partnership with EmployIndy. This investment will allow YES Indy to integrate Fifth Third Bank’s Financial Education for High School course into our Power Huddle programming. Additionally, participants without a High School Diploma or Equivalency will go through High School Equivalency/Adult Basic Education courses. 

“Fifth Third Bank is excited to partner with EmployIndy and integrate the Bank’s financial education for high school students through their Power Huddle program. We are committed to deepening the financial resources and education throughout the communities in which we live and serve, and EmployIndy is a great partner in making this vision come to life.” said Nashelle Frazier, Community and Economic Development Manager at Fifth Third.

In September of 2021, the Power Huddle incorporated a new program practitioner, Tawnya McCrary, a consultant with Training for Success, LLC., who has numerous years of experience in working with Opportunity Youth. Fifth Third Bank’s investment will allow the Power Huddle service provider to add one part-time employee, a Financial Education Coordinator, to facilitate the course as well as identify participants who will benefit from this opportunity and connect them to enrollment. Funding will be utilized to provide a $200 Earn ‘n’ Learn stipend as an incentive for each individual who completes the Power Huddle successfully, and an additional $100 deposit for completing the Financial Academy course. 

Based on a Power Huddle cohort from 2019, the goals of implementing this grant from Fifth Third Bank are as follows: 

  • Out of the 60 Opportunity Youth participants enrolled in this experience. . . 
    • 75% will complete Power Huddle and Job Ready Indy Badges (45 Opportunity Youth participants)
    • 50% will gain skills in basic reading and math (30 Opportunity Youth participants)
    • 25% will earn a High School Equivalency credential (15 Opportunity Youth participants)
    • 75% will complete Financial Literacy Education (45 Opportunity Youth participants)
    • 75% of participants without a bank account will create one (45 Opportunity Youth participants)

The project will immediately be implemented from the award date for 12 months, from November 1, 2021, to October 31, 2022. During this grant period, 6 cohorts of 10 students (60 participants total) will attend Power Huddle sessions, with each cohort lasting two weeks, Monday through Friday. Short-term outcomes include Opportunity Youth gaining knowledge of financial wellness, improved workplace readiness skills, and barriers reduced to education and employment. The long-term impact of this programming includes a positive youth trajectory, a better workforce ecosystem, and a reduction in the regional poverty rate.

The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent those of the Fifth Third Foundation.



Posted on November 19th, 2021 in Local News, Press Releases

Apprenticeship Week in Indianapolis celebrates apprenticeship programs in conjunction with National Apprenticeship Week organized by the U.S. Department of Labor

INDIANAPOLIS – 19 November 2021 – Today, Major Joe Hogsett highlighted the second full week in November as “Apprenticeship Week” in Indianapolis. This week-long celebration, occurring annually and in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Labor’s National Apprenticeship Week, will be lifted up by stakeholders who strive to promote both registered and youth apprenticeships throughout Central Indiana. In particular, youth apprenticeships prepare students for their future by providing them with in-demand skills and relevant job experience so they can thrive in a fast-changing job market. These apprenticeships throughout Central Indiana have provided a model of success for introducing our future workforce to expanded career pathways. High school students who complete Modern Apprenticeship, a youth apprenticeship program, have the opportunity to participate in hands-on work experience that complements their traditional coursework, in growing fields such as business, advanced manufacturing, healthcare and information technology (IT). Afterward, they can continue on to a college degree or jump right into the workforce. As the cost of college continues to rise, youth apprenticeships also offer a rare opportunity to get paid to learn while reducing student debt.“At such a time of transformation at every level of the economy, it is critical that Indianapolis youth have numerous and varied routes to finding a career,” said Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett. “Through programs like Modern Apprenticeship, we are creating pathways to good-paying jobs that go beyond traditional 2- or 4-year degrees. By recognizing Apprenticeship Week, we are highlighting those efforts while pledging further strides towards equity and opportunity.”As job candidates need more skill-based, hands-on training to thrive in 21st century jobs, youth apprenticeships also give Central Indiana employers a new way to build next-generation talent pipelines as well as create a viable option for advancing commitments to increasing racial and ethnic diversity.

  • Partner organizations and apprenticeship stakeholders throughout Central Indiana can celebrate Apprenticeship Week by accessing our media toolkit.

About Modern Apprenticeship Modern Apprenticeship was launched in 2020 by EmployIndy and Ascend Indiana for Indianapolis high school students to prepare them for the future in high-demand industries. This program is a 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. Learn more at:

About EmployIndyEmployIndy 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

TIF Training Grants

The funding for TIF Training Grants comes from the NextLevel Jobs program, overseen by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. These grantees are reimbursed for their work to hire, train, and retain Indianapolis workers. It removes the financial barriers that many employers face during the hiring process and allows them to provide opportunities for growth and employee success throughout the training process.

Story of Impact

Increasing Employer and Workforce Engagement

The vision behind NextLevel Jobs stems from the need to engage the current workforce and provide individuals with opportunities to grow within their company. In order to receive reimbursement for hiring and training, the employee must stay on for at minimum six months.

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