INDIANAPOLIS, IN – January 30, 2020 – Today Mayor Joe Hogsett kicked off the fifth year of connecting young people to summer employment opportunities through Project Indy, the mayor’s youth jobs program. In partnership with EmployIndy, the program has expanded throughout Indianapolis – with 175 employers actively posting jobs on the portal and nearly 8,000 youth connected to job opportunities.
“When we launched Project Indy in 2016, it was with the intention of removing barriers to opportunity and expanding the number of options for Indianapolis young people. When we launched the unified location-based job board we saw opportunities address transportation challenges young people face, while also investing in small businesses that act as the backbone of Indianapolis neighborhoods,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “We want this program to have a lasting impact on our city and the residents who live here.”
Project Indy impacts all residents in Marion County – both directly and indirectly – by:
- Providing employers with an eager, entry-level workforce;
- Increasing employability skills for young people which will help them as they progress in their careers; and
- Growing community collaboration, business capacity, and overall stability.
“EmployIndy has made a promise to the community to provide resources impacting young people and the neighborhoods in which they live,” said Angela Carr Klitzsch, president & CEO of EmployIndy. “By working together we are establishing a pipeline of individuals who not only have the employability skills to excel in the future and contribute to the economic growth of the city, but are able to meet employer demand for talent now.”
Tea’s Me Cafe Indy is a prime example of a small business that puts forth an effort to impact their neighborhood. Located in Fall Creek Place, Tea’s Me hosts many community events and puts extended efforts towards hiring Indianapolis young people as baristas. Beyond simply hiring these young people, Tamika Catchings, owner of Tea’s Me Cafe Indy, strongly believes that through this process individuals grow skills needed to excel in the future as they further progress in the working world.
“We are super excited to join the mayor to celebrate the kickoff of Project Indy’s youth and young adult hiring season,” said Tamika Catchings, owner of Tea’s Me Cafe Indy. “At Tea’s Me Indy, we don’t take lightly being a part of our young people’s journey to reach all of their dreams and goals. It is our goal to prepare them to reach new heights and through our Mayor and Project Indy’s commitment, we are able to do just that.”
Employment opportunities available through Project Indy directly impact the growth of a continuum of support for Indianapolis young people to not only grow as individuals, but steer towards future career opportunities. These opportunities create a positive trajectory for youth which will have a lasting impact on not only the next generation, but on Indianapolis as a whole. Regardless of company size or resources, every organization can make a difference in their community through Project Indy. Start your journey today at projectindy.net.
Staff increases to support admitted student retention and boost awareness of 21st Century Scholars program as June 30 deadline approaches
From growing staff to partnering with over 100 community and business leaders to mentor young adults, Indy Achieves is making progress in its first year. This initiative was established by Mayor Joe Hogsett and is housed at EmployIndy to support Marion County students as they pursue a postsecondary degree or credential. Over the past few months, Indy Achieves has furthered relationships with IUPUI, Ivy Tech Community College, and the Commission for Higher Education to make it possible to bridge the education attainment gap in Marion County.
The broad goal of Indy Achieves is to address the Indianapolis skills gap of 215,000 residents who need job-ready credentials by 2025. EmployIndy is also putting the personnel in place to improve summer retention for students and increase public awareness of available (and often overlooked) financial aid for their postsecondary education.
One of the key components of Indy Achieves is the mentorship program. Yecenia Tostado, Associate Director of Indy Achieves, has taken lead in making this program a reality as the first connections were made between mentors and mentees in February 2019. Since its inception, this program has connected over 100 business and civic leaders with two to three college-bound students each by utilizing a text messaging system to send reminders about important deadlines, such as filling out an application, attending orientation, registering for courses, and more.
“Yecenia Tostado has been integral in building the Indy Achieves mentorship program from the ground up,” said Matt Impink, Executive Director of Indy Achieves. “Under her direction, we surpassed our recruitment goals and she has established a lasting model that provides flexibility and ease for students and mentors alike.”
With the mentorship program underway, the Indy Achieves team is focusing their efforts on an even younger population: middle school students. In 2017, only 51% of the eligible 8th grade Marion County students were registered for 21st Century Scholars, a program from Indiana’s Commission for Higher Education that grants full tuition scholarships for Hoosier students to attend an Indiana two- or four-year college after they complete high school.
Esther Gamble, Indy Achieves Manager of Student Progress, recently joined the team and is working to increase awareness of 21st Century Scholars. From meeting with guidance counselors and sharing a 21st Century Scholars Enrollment Toolkit to speaking on the news, Gamble is going school to school, encouraging parents and educators to register their students before time runs out for graduating 8th graders on June 30, 2019.
In addition to grassroots promotion, EmployIndy is furthering awareness for Indy Achieves via an online and radio advertising campaign targeting parents and guardians as schools are reaching summer break.
“The growth of this program fulfills the vision of EmployIndy to remove barriers for all Marion County residents so every individual has the opportunity to excel,” said Angela Carr Klitzsch, president & CEO of EmployIndy. “Indy Achieves creates an avenue to improve the future of the workforce by addressing the projected skills gap in Indianapolis.”
With available funding from Commission for Higher Education programs like 21st Century Scholars, students currently experiencing financial barriers have the opportunity to invest in their education. More good and promising jobs now than ever before require individuals to have some form of postsecondary training or education. In order to build up Indianapolis and open doors for our young people, it is crucial to utilize the education funding available.
The due date to register all Indianapolis graduating 8th graders for 21st Century Scholars is June 30th, 2019. For Marion County residents seeking application assistance, Indy Achieves aims to help so students can achieve their dreams – learn more at indyachieves.org/21cs.