Neighborhood Framework—Strategic initiative 3 | EmployIndy

Strategic Initiatve #3

Neighborhood Framework

Traditionally, the means of obtaining employment services in areas that are chronically and disproportionately impacted by poverty, crime, and unemployment have been riddled with barriers, and during a pandemic this has compounded. Underserved and underrepresented residents of Indianapolis chronically lack equitable access to education and training opportunities, despite needing them the most. Combating this disproportion requires meeting workers where they are at and ensuring coordinated, tailored resources in Marion County’s most disinvested neighborhoods for quality services that enable more workers to enter or return to the labor force.

Win #1

WorkOne Indy

More than 350,000 Marion County workers were dislocated this year due in large part to the economic impact of the pandemic. To upskill residents and or get them back to work, WorkOne Indy assisted 22,603 job seekers with career navigation services specific to individualized job readiness, job training, and job placement needs — 73% of these individuals were assisted from January to June 2021.

A network of co-located and coordinated partners, via EmployIndy Career Services, is essential to integrating a continuum of employment and training services at WorkOne Indy. This includes career navigation services delivered by Eckerd Connects, adult education services offered by Warren Adult and Community Education, re-employment services for individuals exhausting unemployment insurance benefits run by DWD, job seeker workshops presented by JobWorks, and 1st Maker Space supporting learning experiences for students. Over a quarter of the job seekers served visited WorkOne Indy to access the technology necessary for today’s job search.

Partner Highlight

MSD Warren

Warren Adult and Community Education provides onsite high school equivalency classes at WorkOne Indy, as well as English language classes and career training. MSD Warren Township is one of seven local Adult Education partners providing adult education and literacy services throughout Marion County.

Win #2

Resident & Neighborhood Services

An estimated 30,000 Opportunity Youth, ages 16-24, have disengaged from either secondary education and or the workforce in Central Indiana. Additionally, the pre-pandemic labor participation rate for Marion County was stagnant at 67.1%.

To intervene and re-engage these populations in the labor force and ensure accessible services in target impact areas, EmployIndy partners with a network of community- and neighborhood-based organizations through YES Indy and the Community-Based Workforce Development program funded annually through a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from the Department of Metropolitan Development.

The YES Indy REC (re-engagement center) welcomed 421 youth and young adults to the Finish Line Boys & Girls Club this year, resulting in 396 new enrollments and more than 700 youth served in YES Indy. YES Indy employer-driven training included partnerships with the National Association of Insurance Professionals, Project Azul, Catapult Indiana, and Champion Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Indianapolis.

CDBG connected 306 underrepresented residents to employment services, including job readiness and occupational skills training, while implementing the same participant tracking and data collection system utilized across the YES Indy network.

Partner Highlight

The Ross Foundation

Through a Disaster Recovery Dislocated Worker Grant from DWD, EmployIndy supported disaster recovery jobs at The Ross Foundation to support Far Eastside residents seeking referrals to employment services and basic needs resources.

Win #3

Learning Hub + Resource Library

Two years ago EmployIndy launched a learning management system (LMS) with initial focus on improving WIOA performance. Online learning soon expanded through a partnership with Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana in support of the Annie E. Casey Foundation Generation Work initiative to adapt the coaching and employer-engagement model developed by The Excel Center to expand its reach to more young people through adult education.

Last year, LMS expansion centered around improved career coaching through professional development offered at Ecosystem Enrichment and quality service delivery via additional course curation aligned to the Certified Workforce Development Professional skills and competencies.

This year EmployIndy’s Learning Hub transitioned to a new platform to accommodate broader program needs and user groups, expanding course offerings, technical assistance, best practices and resources for Modern Apprenticeship, Job Ready Indy, JAG and Indy Achieves. The Resource Library serves as a supplementary index where all course documents and sources are accessible for use.

Over 50 organizations across the Marion County workforce ecosystem registered participants to the platforms, which now contain a multitude of trainings and resources for various user groups, including nearly 60 learning modules.

Partner Highlight

Thomas P. Miller & Associates (WIOA Partner)

As the regional One-Stop Operator, Thomas P. Miller & Associates assists with implementing the strategic vision of EmployIndy by focusing on coordinating partner and provider activities and building relationships with Marion County ecosystem partners. TPMA leads partner negotiations and quarterly convenings of WIOA required partners, monthly Ecosystem Enrichment for workforce development professionals, analysis of career coaching throughout Marion County, and introductions to all EmployIndy programs and initiatives for participant referrals.


Neighborhood Framework

Improving access to and the quality of workforce development services for residents in areas that are chronically and disproportionately impacted by poverty, crime, and educational attainment are integral strategies for growing a skilled workforce and the community’s overall well-being. By creating more equitable employment services through a strategic and collaborative approach that utilizes various partners in the workforce ecosystem more workers are able to more readily enter or return to the labor force.

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Strategic Initiatives
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