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 May 9th, 2019 in Success Story
Tags: job ready indy
Some job seekers assume employers are exclusively seeking individuals with a specific skill set, such as mowing, mulching, or irrigation for a professional landscaping company. However, more skills applicable to any job are defined by character, communication and attitude. Melissa Harris, BrightView Landscape Vice President and General Manager, highlights that their organization “looks for character first. We ask a lot of situational-type questions rather than landscape or horticultural. We want our employees to demonstrate good character and positive decision-making skills in the past.”
DaShawn Mitchell is a BrightView recent hire from Fathers and Families, an Indianapolis community-based organization focusing on helping get men into employment or education in addition to being a recipient of Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act funds through EmployIndy. While he was at Fathers and Families, DaShawn took Job Ready Indy courses where he was taught workplace and social skills, self-management, and learning strategies for success.
Job Ready Indy is an EmployIndy employability skills program that was developed in partnership with and vetted by the Indy Chamber and the City of Indianapolis. This program was established to assist young job seekers in becoming valuable employees and to provide employers with high-quality individuals who have completed over thirty hours of employability skills courses.
Alex Vetter, a Regional Market Recruiter at BrightView Landscape, mentions that DaShawn was one of the best candidates that he had interviewed since starting at BrightView. “He wants to do a great job, learn skills, and grow in the organization. His attitude was exactly what we were looking for.” Job Ready Indy prepares participants for the workforce by arming them with the skills they need to excel on the job – meeting immediate employer needs by cultivating applicants who have learned the importance of actions like dressing appropriately, being timely, valuing their position, and demonstrating positive character and genuine respect for themselves and others.
EmployIndy’s mission is to bridge the ever-growing skills gap in Indianapolis. It is no secret that employers are struggling with retention and that many job seekers struggle to meet employer needs because of their lack of soft skills displayed on the job. In addition to job ready participants, EmployIndy also utilizes a Referral Portal where individuals who have received services from community organizations are vetted to ensure they have the employability skills needed to succeed in a workplace setting.
“Having a high school diploma is always a plus,” says Alex. “But someone with a great attitude and looking to grow within the organization can be trained on the job and gain skills that can be used to benefit us in the future.”
Job Ready Indy works for both the supply and demand side of the workforce by preparing job seekers for work while also providing employers with eager candidates who have the skills to succeed – ultimately building and strengthening the workforce in Indianapolis and encouraging inclusive economic growth in the city.
Businesses interested in becoming an “employer champion” for Job Ready Indy should visit jobreadyindy.org.
The program, developed in collaboration with Mayor Joe Hogsett and the Indy Chamber, prepares young adults for work with the competencies that businesses need
Parents of Indy teens may still be looking for productive ways to fill their children’s time over spring break. For young people anticipating a summer job, boosting their resumes by earning Job Ready Indy (JRI) badges over the next two weeks is a great way to prepare for future employment.
Job Ready Indy is housed at EmployIndy and was developed through collaboration with the Indy Chamber and Mayor Joe Hogsett’s office to provide young people a way to boost their employability skills for local jobs. With 855 participants already badged, EmployIndy is eager to see more earned in the six competencies offered: mindsets, self-management, learning strategies, social skills, workplace skills, and launch a career. Thirty-three organizations are currently approved to provide the curriculum, offering access to residents throughout Marion County.
“Employers continue to tell us ‘soft-skills’ are increasingly hard to find. The Indy Chamber worked closely with EmployIndy to develop a practical curriculum, engaging our members to identify critical workplace competencies and ensure that ‘Job Ready Indy’ lives up to the name,” said Michael Huber, Indy Chamber president and CEO. “We are very encouraged by the work being done by EmployIndy and partners to continue to grow the program and provide top level talent for our future workforce needs.”
Over spring break, free courses to receive four of the JRI badges will be offered at the Marion County Commission on Youth (MCCOY) on the near northwestside on March 26 and 27, and the Finish Line Boys & Girls Club on the far eastside April 1 through 5.
Signing up for a course at jobreadyindy.org provides participants with valuable experience and credentials – something important for young job seekers who may otherwise lack a robust resume. Badges earned through JRI are automatically displayed on a participant’s Project Indy profile, visible to employers who are using Mayor Hogsett’s youth jobs platform to fill openings for summer work.
“Local employers are starting to take notice,” said Angela Carr Klitzsch, president and CEO of EmployIndy. “Prioritizing interviews or consideration for badged applicants does more than just say ‘we value your effort’ – it gives businesses a greater return on investment because of the researched, practical soft skills that these workers will bring to their jobs on day one.”
It is an immediate win-win for both the employees and the businesses that hires them, but the program is meant to strategically go beyond the short-term benefits and impact the future overall talent of Indy’s workforce.
“When young people focus their energy on learning skills to become valued workers, they accomplish a number of significant things: they provide needed talent for our local economy; earn, and learn the importance of working for, a paycheck; and set themselves up to refine those skills and achieve in-demand careers with higher earning potential in adulthood,” said Mayor Joe Hosgett.
Marion County residents who are interested in signing up or learning more should visit jobreadyindy.org and click “Spring Break JRI Sessions” for spring break courses, or click on the “Participants” tab to connect to other JRI organizations who regularly offer courses.