Recent News & Blog

Posted on August 20th, 2020 in Press Releases Tags: ,
Indy Achieves completion grants, adult education programs expanded through federal funds

 

INDIANAPOLIS – AUGUST 20, 2020 – Today Mayor Joe Hogsett joined City-County Council President Vop Osili, Ivy Tech Community College Chancellor of Central Indiana Dr. Kathleen Lee, IUPUI Associate Vice Chancellor Boyd Bradshaw, and EmployIndy Chief Operations Officer Marie Mackintosh to call attention to expanded postsecondary education programming made possible through federal CARES Act spending.

“Postsecondary education will be just as big a part of gainful employment post-pandemic as it waspre-pandemic,” said Mayor Hogsett. “If our community is dedicated to a return to an even better Indianapolis, we must find ways to provide a realistic path to prosperity for all residents. Our success as a city depends not just on attracting the business of the future, but on educating the workforce of the future. Today, we take a step toward that goal during a difficult time.”

“The City-County Council is proud to support Indianapolis students and our institutions of learning,” said President Osili. “Quality education is a powerful force for equity, and these education grants will make an incredible difference in the lives of residents from neighborhoods across our city.”

The appropriation included $327,500 for Indy Achieves completion grants, which cover debt, unpaid bursar bills, and other substantial debts preventing IUPUI and Ivy Tech students from continuing their postsecondary education. Students are able to use these newly allocated funds and return for the Fall 2020 term. While the deadline for IUPUI has passed, Marion County residents who want to return and complete their postsecondary degree or credential at Ivy Tech can still request a Reconnect Completion Grant by going to indyachieves.org/completion-grants.

The appropriation also included $1.1 million in additional funding towards Rapid Reskilling Grants to be distributed by EmployIndy to seven local adult education providers. The funds can be used for expenses related to e-learning and short-term postsecondary certifications that lead to better job opportunities. The City had previously allocated $1.5 million towards the program in the June 8 CARES Act package in order to increase the opportunities available to adult students seeking their high school equivalency, high school diploma, or postsecondary certifications. Local partners include Washington Township, Wayne Township, Warren Township, Goodwill Excel Centers, Marian University, Indy Reads, and the YMCA.

“This appropriation allows for individuals to overcome barriers to pursuing and completing their secondary or postsecondary degree, which will better prepare them to land a good job in Indianapolis as the economy recovers,” said Marie Mackintosh. “Adult education providers are now able to serve a wider range of Indianapolis residents and a greater number of Ivy Tech and IUPUI students have the unique opportunity to continue pursuing their degree.”

The City-County Council passed the second package of federal CARES Act funding on August 10, adding $16 million in public health, social service, technological, and economic recovery investments on top of the $76 million allocation passed on June 8.

 


Posted on August 10th, 2020 in Events, Press Releases

Local leaders, national figures to recognize Marion County businesses and organizations making equity, diversity, and inclusion a priority during digital event

10 August 2020 – Indianapolis – This year Mayor Joe Hogsett’s Celebration of Diversity, taking place virtually, will be focused on not only recognizing the diversity within Indianapolis organizations, it will challenge all people and employers to improve the work they are doing to make their workplace one that emphasizes and demonstrates the importance of true equity, inclusion, and equality.

Join emcees Fanchon Stinger and Dan Spehler of Fox59 on September 16, 2020 from 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM, to celebrate Indianapolis and challenge your organization to make a difference or simply to learn more about what it means to have an inclusive, equitable workplace.

As we celebrate those who are striving to build inclusive organizations, join us in diving deeper with well-known speakers and local influencers from all over the nation. Hosting this year’s event virtually provides the flexibility to hear from people who are on the ground, actively engaged in building inclusive environments. As a special feature, attendees will have the opportunity to hear a special message from Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett as well as information about workplace resources available to organizations through Indy Chamber, Office of Minority and Women Business Development, and EmployIndy.

 “I am looking forward to speaking alongside such a powerful group of individuals who are making a difference in their community and challenging each of us to do the same,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett, City of Indianapolis. “We are stronger together. I hope you will take time on September 16th to join us.”

This year’s keynote will be Janet Stovall, executive speechwriter, cultural change agent, and TED speaker. She will be emphasizing the true power of a diverse workforce and demonstrating actions businesses can take to build a culture of inclusivity.

Alongside Stovall, the Mayor’s Celebration of Diversity will host Tamika Catchings, local business owner of Tea’s Me Cafe Indy and former U.S. Olympic gold medalist, who will provide insight into the impact that a diverse workforce makes on an organization. The event will also host Dr. Sean L. Huddleston, president of Martin University and advocate for diversity who focuses his efforts on establishing conditions for success for individuals historically underserved and underrepresented. Deputy Mayor of Economic Development, Angela Smith Jones, will provide closing remarks.

Derris Ross, founder of the Ross Foundation, will also be joining – emphasizing the work that his organization is doing to ensure diversity and the impact it is having on Indianapolis. Among other populations, Ross works most closely with young people who are no longer engaged in school or in the workforce and provides them with employment opportunities while they gain employability skills.

If you think your workplace exemplifies what it means to be diverse, consider submitting a nomination for one of five prestigious awards. Nomination applications are open until August 12th at employindy.org/connect/mcod-nominate.  Sponsorship opportunities and tickets available to the public as well at employindy.org/connect/mcod-sponsor.

Proceeds from this event go towards Mayor Joe Hogsett’s program, Project Indy, a location-based job portal for Indianapolis youth and young adults – many of whom are underserved and underrepresented. Please consider donating to continue funding this program that has connected nearly 15,000 youth and young adults to employers over the past four years.


Posted on July 2nd, 2020 in Success Story

As the world has shifted to a virtual atmosphere these past few months, many organizations have transformed their funding and programs to continue serving Indianapolis residents in new and unique ways.

Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana is no exception. Goodwill is one of EmployIndy’s YES Indy providers, serving Marion County opportunity youth looking to overcome barriers to success. Over the past few months, the Goodwill IGNITE grant, the Google Digital Career Accelerator (GDCA) grant, and Senior Community Service Employment Program have supported three Nurse Family Partnership participants and one Excel Center graduate as they worked to achieve their education goals.

These four deserving students, Arzoo “Zoey” Bakhtiary, Adriana Marin, Jessica Spencer, and LeighAnn McGregor, had their tuition covered by the GDCA grant so they could enroll in the Vincennes University Certified Clinical Medical Assisting training program, hosted at Wayne Township Adult Education Center.

As COVID-19 hit Indiana in mid-March, the CCMA program was forced to go completely virtual. This transition is difficult for any students but feels near-impossible for those who are without a laptop and resources to purchase their own – and Jessica and Adriana fell into this category.

When the Goodwill family learned of this barrier, they immediately began brainstorming ways to remove obstacles hindering these two young women from pursuing their education with the hopes of moving into middle-skill work. The answer was loaning out two laptops from Goodwill’s Senior Community Service Employment Program so they could continue their studies.

Goodwill continued to provide these two young ladies with resources and other supports beyond providing laptops, such as bill payment assistance, food, and professional attire through the IGNITE grant.

Despite in-person training coming to a halt, dealing with barriers to success, and needing to transfer everything online, Zoey, Adriana, Jessica, and LeighAnn each have successfully completed the CCMA course and passed the National Healthcare Association exam on June 11, 2020.

Goodwill is one of many organizations who altered their funds and programs as they utilized their resources to fill resident’s newly established barriers to education and employment. Congratulations to the students in their achievement and thank you to Goodwill staff and ecosystem partners that played a part in helping these students achieve their goals!

Thank you to the Goodwill team for sharing your story so that we may also celebrate in your successes.