Since Mayor Joe Hogsett’s June 2016 announcement to renew Indianapolis’ workforce development efforts, EmployIndy has established a commitment to finding pathways that work for Indy residents to achieve the American Dream. Additionally, Mayor Hogsett assured a targeted, integrated approach that would focus on meeting the needs of residents in areas of the city most affected by poverty, crime, and unemployment.
EmployIndy’s new leadership embarked on the challenge by commencing a thorough and comprehensive strategic plan development. This process started with EmployIndy’s Board of Directors coming together to articulate two strategic priorities:
- Reduce barriers for individuals to allow them to progress from A Job, to a Better Job, to a Career
- Reduce barriers for employers to meet this demand for low- to mid-skilled workers
Through numerous focus groups, community listening sessions, interviews, and surveys, EmployIndy collected feedback from key target populations to clearly and transparently identify priorities.
These populations included:
- Adults and youth living in poverty in disinvested neighborhoods
- Individuals facing barriers to workforce advancement
- Community-based service providers who work to reduce barriers for individuals
- Employers seeking skilled workers to build their workforce pipeline
These efforts, along with research and collaboration with other organizations, led to a strategic plan that starts with 13 Target Impact Areas, among five neighborhood clusters, and ends with three strategic goals designed to build a comprehensive workforce ecosystem and guide EmployIndy through 2022.