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Posted on August 17th, 2017 in Press Releases Tags:

EmployIndy and Public Allies Indianapolis support Foundation’s mission of creating pathways to opportunity

(Indianapolis, Ind.) EmployIndy and Public Allies Indianapolis announced today that they each have received Opportunity for All grant awards from The Starbucks Foundation.

The Opportunity for All initiative builds on The Starbucks Foundation’s long history of investing in organizations that create job and education opportunities. The Opportunity for All initiative deepens the foundation’s focus on three populations – youth, veterans and military spouses, and refugees.

This year, the foundation is making $1.41 million in Opportunity for All grants to 41 nonprofits in 27 U.S. cities, ranging from $10,000 to $100,000. Additionally, Starbucks partners (employees) will engage and volunteer to help those receiving each organization’s services become job-ready and develop skills to continue on the pathway of opportunity. To learn more about the initiative, please visit:

“We are proud to extend our partnerships with EmployIndy and Public Allies Indianapolis to support their ongoing efforts to create long-term economic opportunities for youth through job readiness, training and additional educational programs,” said DeShonne Jackson, regional director for Starbucks operations in Indiana. “This work forms a key part of our strategy to invest in organizations that are implementing proven, as well as innovative, solutions to help youth get the skills and training they need to succeed in a rapidly changing global economy. Our Starbucks partners (employees) in Indianapolis look forward to working with EmployIndy and Public Allies Indianapolis to serve even more young people in the community.”

The Starbucks Foundation awarded EmployIndy with $40,000 to fund a variety of youth services. EmployIndy will catalyze a re-engagement center that holistically integrates best practices and promising approaches for serving youth and young adults, ages 16-24, who are disconnected from either education or employment due to significant barriers that preclude labor force participation. This integration is based off of seven key elements: engagement, empowerment, exposure, explore experience, education, employment. The E^7 Essentials Center will operate in and around the 46235 high-priority zip code in Indianapolis at Community Alliance of the Far Eastside, a neighborhood multi-service center.

“This comprehensive model will co-locate participant services and activities that supportively effect all E^7 essential elements,” said Rodney Francis, senior director of Opportunity Youth Services at EmployIndy, “as well as the 14 WIOA youth elements, developing work, life, and leadership skills that ultimately empower meaningful pathways to employment.”

Public Allies Indianapolis received $30,000 from the foundation for program services. Public Allies is a partnership between the Indianapolis Neighborhood Resource Center and Public Allies, a national AmeriCorps program. In Indianapolis, non-profit partner organizations “host” a Public Ally, who fills key roles within the organizations. The Ally serves for ten months, ultimately increasing the organization’s capacity while building the Ally’s leadership skills. More than 80 non-profits have hosted a Public Ally since 2009. Seventy-eight percent of Public Allies graduates stay in Indiana, and 75 percent of graduates are employed by non-profit organizations.

“The financial support from the Starbucks Foundation provides us with greater opportunity to reach populations who face unique challenges in accessing education and employment,” said Vicki Rubio, program director, Public Allies Indianapolis. “We believe ‘everyone leads’ at Public Allies. These funds will help us identify and foster emerging leaders in our community, while increasing the capacity of the non-profits we serve to meet the needs of more youth, veterans and military spouses, and refugees.”

EmployIndy guides the local workforce ecosystem and makes strategic investments to remove barriers to quality employment for underserved and underrepresented residents. As the workforce development board for Marion County, guided by 21 business, civic, education and non-profit community leaders, EmployIndy invests $20 million in public, private and philanthropic funds for both youth and adults annually.

The Indianapolis Resource Center, through facilitation, training and coaching, strengthens the capacity of neighborhood-based organization and neighbors to mobilize existing assets, support grassroots leadership and foster collaboration. INRC was established in 1994 as a private, non-profit organization.

Lara Beck, 317-727-0016 (INRC)
Joe Backe, 317-713-7601 (EmployIndy)