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Posted on August 19th, 2021 in Uncategorized Tags: ,

Local diversity advocates support, recognize and inspire employers to adopt diversity framework best practices to improve success within their community and workplace

INDIANAPOLIS – 19 August 2021 Today marks the 20th Annual Mayor’s Celebration of Diversity. This year’s event took place virtually with over 200 attendees with a focus on how businesses can benefit by adopting a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion framework and best practices. EmployIndy, the City of Indianapolis, and the Office of Minority and Women Business Development are honored to have hosted an event celebrating high-achieving local employers with participation from many influential speakers and a special emphasis on the importance of supporting the employment of Indianapolis young people through Project Indy, Mayor Joe Hogsett’s youth jobs initiative.

Project Indy is a location-based job search platform for Indianapolis residents ages 16-24. With over 200 local employers registered, thousands of young people have been connected to employment opportunities. This platform not only connects youth to jobs, it provides an opportunity for employers to diversify their organization and encourage leadership amongst team members.

“It is critical we take time to celebrate our community’s commitment to diversity,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “Engaging young people is more important now than ever. Today, we commend the businesses and non-profits who are already leading the way toward a diverse and prosperous Indianapolis.”

With the financial support of many Indianapolis employers, the Mayor’s Celebration of Diversity hosted well-known local advocates. Attendees to the twentieth annual event learned and heard from the following community leaders:

  • DuJuan McCoy, Keynote speaker and owner, president, and CEO of Circle City Broadcasting;
  • Mayor Joe Hogsett, City of Indianapolis;
  • Angela Carr Klitzsch, president and CEO of EmployIndy;
  • Tehea Harding, chief finance and administration officer at EmployIndy;
  • Michael Huber, president and CEO of Indy Chamber;
  • Fanchon Stinger and Dan Spheler, news anchors at FOX59;
  • Kelli Jones, co-founder of Be Nimble Co. and Sixty8 Capital;
  • Pamela Ross, vice president of opportunity, equity and inclusion at Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF); and
  • Consuelo Poland Lockhart, founder of Latinas Welding Guild
  • Alan K. Bacon, GANGGANG
  • Malina Simone Jeffers, GANGGANG

 

“Today, and everyday, we are grateful to the employers who are actively making a difference for our young people through support of this event and are proud to celebrate employers in our community by shining a light on their efforts to increase diversity and inclusion,” said Angela Carr Klitzsch, EmployIndy. “Over the past six years, over 17,000 young adults have accessed jobs through Project Indy. These young people are the future of Indianapolis – the future of our workplaces and our neighborhoods. Creating equitable access to employment for youth provides employers with a pipeline for long-term talent needed in the workplace and individuals with the employability skills to be successful now and in the future.”

This event is a time to recognize employers who have made exceptional efforts to demonstrate inclusivity, diversity, and equity in their workplaces through their leadership, hiring practices, and focus on culture. This year’s award recipients are as follows:

  • “Sam H. Jones ‘Best of the Best’” was awarded to Citizens Energy Group for their “One Company, One Culture” action plan to strengthen workplace culture while maintaining a customer-centered workplace. Their Diversity and Inclusion team has also implemented several initiatives to support equity and belonging during the pandemic.
  • “Diversity in Leadership” was awarded to the Indianapolis Airport Authority for their targeted focus on building and sustaining a culture that fosters equitable inclusion and diversity in all aspects of business by optimizing organizational performance and employee respect and engagement.
  • “Diversity in Workforce” was awarded to Arcamed, LLC, for their work in partnering with a number of local organizations to increase diversity and improve hiring practices company-wide. They have also implemented interview strategies to reduce any potential biases when evaluating candidates.
  • “Excellence in Youth Employment” was awarded to OneAmerica for their support of young people in the development of their Pathways Program that introduces students from diverse neighborhoods to the business and finance industries while providing opportunities for mentorship and skills-building.

Due to the impact of COVID-19 in Marion County, many businesses have experienced temporary and permanent closures. Because of this, there is an even higher number of young residents who are facing unemployment.

To support and provide employment resources for these young people, all proceeds from the 20th Annual Mayor’s Celebration of Diversity go towards sustaining Mayor Hogsett’s Project Indy youth jobs program. This program introduces young people to what is often their first job, teaching them the importance of soft skills such as time management, teamwork, workplace etiquette, and more.

In order to donate and support the continuation of the Project Indy initiative, please go to employindy.org/donate. More information about Project Indy can be found at projectindy.net.


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.


Posted on April 29th, 2019 in Press Releases Tags:

Indy’s business community is charged to employ and engage young adults tor the betterment of the future economy

With school nearly out for Indianapolis students, attention for many young adults turns to summer jobs and Mayor Joe Hogsett’s youth jobs program, Project Indy. In an effort to spread awareness about opportunities, as well as the important role that our local employers play, Mayor Hogsett and EmployIndy are proclaiming “Hire Indy Youth Week” from April 29 through May 3.

The proclamation announcement was hosted by Crew Carwash, where afterward two young staff members showed Mayor Hogsett how to handle incoming vehicles as a wash associate. Crew Carwash was the recent recipient of the Excellence in Youth Employment award at the Mayor’s Celebration of Diversity luncheon earlier this month for their emphasis on providing employment opportunities to young adults, hiring 94 young adults in Indianapolis last year.

“Youth employment often starts as a fun high school job – in my case lifeguarding,” said Mayor Hogsett. “But it was more than suntans and blowing whistles. It was looking out for others, showing up on time to relieve the guard ahead of me, learning how to earn and save money. These all proved to be valuable lessons for the jobs I have held ever since.”

Lessons like customer service, reliability, punctuality, conflict resolution, and more have a big effect on young workers, setting them up with experiences and competencies to carry into future careers. Research from JPMorgan Chase & Co. supports this idea, with their findings showing that for every year that a young adult works, they earn 14-16% more money in their 20’s.

For the business community, hiring young people can address short-term talent needs while also preparing the future workforce with the needed skills for our local economy’s success. With a looming skills gap in Central Indiana, local employers stand to directly benefit from an investment in the future workforce of Indianapolis.

“As more employers provide work opportunities to young people, we will see a long-term payoff: the collective upskilling of the workforce of our future economy,” said Angela Carr Klitzsch, EmployIndy president and CEO. “Achieving broad results requires intentionality and action – so, for Hire Indy Youth Week we are calling on all Indianapolis employers to find ways to get involved.”

There are different ways for businesses to get involved in youth employment, including posting summer, part-time, and full-time jobs through Project Indy. However, for employers who are not in a position to hire, EmployIndy can help facilitate engagement opportunities such as site tours, classroom speaking, and internship support to help young adults learn more about the industries and opportunities available locally.

Organizations are encouraged to share their stories with the hashtag #HireIndyYouthWeek, sign up to post jobs on projectindy.net, or reach out to EmployIndy to learn about other ways to get involved in the future of our workforce.