To our Ecosystem Partners, Supporters and Influencers –
Over the past decade, Indianapolis has seen an 80 percent increase in individuals living in poverty. This is unacceptable. In an effort to discontinue impoverishing more families, EmployIndy aims to not only grow our programs and initiatives, but to invest in services for residents directly impacted by lack of access to education and training and jobs not paying a living, middle class wage.
In 2017, EmployIndy made a promise to the community to be a catalyst for change. Through addressing systemic barriers for entry-level workers by supporting employers; creating a positive trajectory for young adults by providing them with increased opportunities; and allocating resources to invest in our most marginalized neighborhoods, EmployIndy has recently concluded the second year of its strategic effort to establish a comprehensive workforce ecosystem for Indianapolis.
While there is still more work to be done, I invite you to peruse the highlights of our efforts throughout program year 2018. As EmployIndy reflects on year two of our Strategic Plan, we call out the barriers to quality employment for residents living in poverty and identify the tactical solutions that serve as a cornerstone to our programs and initiatives for underserved and underrepresented neighbors. By expanding our community reach through high school and postsecondary initiatives and increasing our access to individuals who are upskilling and re-engaging in the workforce, EmployIndy has played a major role in investing in the education, training and job placement of tens of thousands of residents.
We could not have done this without our partners. From educators in the K-12 space to passionate and committed employers to community and faith-based organizations working directly with previously incarcerated workers, we have come together to provide hope, encourage determination, inspire resiliency, reduce barriers and open doors for success.
Thank you to all our stakeholders who have played a role in identifying and executing on solutions that focus on increasing access and opportunity for our fellow Indianapolis residents. EmployIndy continues to grow these pivotal relationships as we endeavor with your help to build a pipeline of workers for a strong regional economy, invest in young people and contribute to reversing the growth of poverty in our community.
– Angela Carr Klitzsch, EmployIndy President & CEO
VIEW THE ANNUAL REPORT
Posted on October 3rd, 2019 in Events
The fourth annual JAG Leadership Development Conference took place on Tuesday, October 1, 2019 at Jameson Camp. Brandon Warren, Founder & CEO of We LIVE, opened the day by explaining the importance of supporting one another and encouraging students to work together to make a difference.
After hearing from Brandon, the students split up into groups and went outside for a couple hours of team-building activities. One student from George Washington High School spoke about her favorite activity from the day, which was called Raging River. Students would set up blocks to in order to traverse an area, problem-solving together to ensure their blocks don’t “wash down the river.”
“There was a lack of communication at first because we didn’t really know each other, but then we worked together to figure it out.”
Team-building exercises like these sometimes get a negative reputation, but business leaders note that in practice they are worthwhile investments that develop trust, learn conflict resolution strategies, build communication skills, and collaborate toward a common goal. These sound a lot like employability skills, don’t they?
After lunch, IndianaFIRST set up their frisbee-throwing robot for students to try out. One of the JAG specialists made sure to connect with IndianaFIRST after watching the demonstration. “It would be cool to have you guys come out and talk to our JAG classes as well as our school’s engineering and programming classes,” she said.
The day concluded with a drum circle session led by Arts with a Purpose and a presentation about Innovate WithIN from Don Wettrick at STARTedUP Foundation. In January, Innovate WithIN’s call for proposals opens for student entrepreneurs looking to build or expand a business.
Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) students from Indiana School for the Deaf and Arsenal Technical High School participated in a Talent Tour at ProLogistix on Thursday, September 5, utilizing hands-on stations and learning about multiple facets of the logistics industry.
ProLogistix is a staffing firm that prepares job seekers for logistics careers by training them in the technology that they will use in their job, including forklifts and item scanners.
Kristen Bevins, ProLogistix division vice president, voiced enthusiasm for the value that experiences like this can provide students. “I think that it’s important for people to know what kind of jobs are out there and to know what kind of career to go after. In high school there are so many options – how do you pick? You don’t know until you actually go out and see it firsthand whether or not it’s something you like.”
ProLogistix is one of many local businesses that EmployIndy is working with to provide work-based learning experiences for Indy residents, particularly young adults, as part of its Talent Bound initiative. Utilizing a grant from JPMorgan Chase from earlier this year, Talent Bound is currently being built as a connective platform to match schools with employers for these types of events, and other activities like classroom talks, internships, job shadowing, mentoring, and apprenticeships.
Business/education partnerships like these “could be a way for students to learn how to drive a forklift and go into the workforce right out of high school,” said Johny Anderson, JAG specialist at Arsenal Technical High School. “I think this experience was great for the students to actually try out the forklift simulator and learn more about the forklifts as well as learn about different careers and opportunities in logistics itself.”
In addition to these hands-on experiences, the students spoke with a ProLogistix sales representative, a human resources generalist from Meritor, and Laura Steele from the Hendricks Logistics Sector Partnership, learning about various career paths in the industry.
Nigel Franklin, a junior at Arsenal Technical High School, moved to Indianapolis from Virginia this summer. “During enrollment, my counselor gave me this class and I’ve loved it ever since,” he said. His favorite part of the day was learning about the different types of machines and getting to try on the harness for the cherry picker forklift. After spending the day learning about the logistics industry, he said, “I am definitely interested in logistics. Hopefully I have more tours like this coming up.”
Talent Tours are a great chance to share the core mission of your business with young learners, while also showing the variety of employment opportunities and skills needed to keep your business moving. By providing a better understanding of your work to young adults, you can plant a seed for potential future talent to consider the varying areas of your industry as a they make decisions that lead them into their career. EmployIndy can help facilitate your organization’s involvement in work-based learning through a menu of options in our Talent Bound work-based learning toolkit – learn more by connecting with an employer engagement manager.
Students watch as Kristin Bevins demonstrates the cherry picker forklift.
Student tries the virtual reality forklift simulator.
JAG students from Indiana School for the Deaf
JAG students from Arsenal Technical High School