Recent News & Blog

Posted on November 19th, 2019 in Press Releases Tags: , , ,

Indy Achieves mentorship program application opens to mentors for the 2020 cohort of Ivy Tech and IUPUI students

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – 19 November 2019 – As of today, community leaders, educators, and business partners are welcome to apply to become an Indy Achieves mentor for the 2020 cohort of incoming Ivy Tech and IUPUI students. As an integral initiative overseen by EmployIndy, Mayor Hogsett’s Indy Achieves provides resources that help fight the growing rate of poverty in Indianapolis. Offering this support to students as they transition into postsecondary education establishes a pathway to success for those who may have not persisted.

“We are committed to helping students achieve their educational goals by providing them with the guidance and mentorship needed to reach those next steps,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “With this vital support, we are all working together to remove barriers to postsecondary education for Marion County residents and ultimately improving the future for all of Indianapolis.”

When looking further down the road, the hope is that the mentorship program will have a positive impact on the completion rates as students receive the support necessary to persist through their degree or certification. This program uses a two-way text message system that focuses on engaging, supporting, and informing Marion County students as they pursue their path to enrolling in a postsecondary degree or certification. Conversation includes information about filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), registering for the first day of classes, navigating campus resources, connecting with academic advisors, and more.

“Last year, over 400 students went through the mentorship program alongside 100 dedicated mentors,” said Yecenia Tostado, Associate Director of Indy Achieves. “We are working to grow the number of Marion County residents who register as mentees with hopes to have an even greater influence on individuals successfully making the transition into postsecondary education.”

One of the most common obstacles that students face is “summer melt” – a phenomenon that occurs during the time between applying for school and showing up the following semester. Research finds that one in five college-bound high school graduates who have been accepted to and intend to enroll in college fail to show up on the first day of class due to unforeseen challenges they encounter during the summer months. This jumps to two in five students in underserved areas.

If you would like to apply to be an Indy Achieves mentor to help close the gap, please fill out the form on indyachieves.org/mentor. If mentorship isn’t the best way for you or your organization to engage with students, EmployIndy’s Talent Bound program houses many other opportunities such as hosting site tours, job shadows, internships, and more. To get involved in any of these ways, please visit talentbound.org.


Posted on September 5th, 2019 in Events Tags: , , , ,

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.

Students learn about forklift operation at ProLogistix

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.”

Business/education partnerships like this “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.


Today freshmen at Crispus Attucks High School participated in mock interviews at their Future Center, conducted by local business organizations, such as EmployIndy, Ivy Tech, and St. Vincent/Ascension. These students spent their semester in the course ‘Preparing for College and Careers’ taught by Polly Brelage. This course taught them about the importance of two of the three IPS School ‘Three E’ mentality: Enroll and Employ. Although the students had been preparing for these interviews, many of them still struggled to demonstrate the necessary skills for success.

Beth Bowling (EmployIndy) interviews Crispus Attucks student

“The largest barrier for these students during their interviews was not being able to supply different examples of work experience they have had,” said Beth Bowling, EmployIndy’s Associate Director of In-School Engagement. “With many students being so young and not yet having an employment history in the traditional sense, many of them had a difficult time thinking outside the box and translating their life experience into a workplace setting.”

However, not all students struggled with this part of the prompt. Brian, one of the interviewees, shared a bit of his experience with the mock interview:

“The hardest part was definitely when they asked about my experience and why I would be good for the job since I’ve never worked anywhere before,” he stated. “But then I remembered that I could pull from examples in my own life. I talked about different jobs I’ve had around the house and how I’ve been mowing the yard and tied that into how it makes me a hard worker and good at multitasking.”

“I was so proud of Brian. This entire semester he has been quiet and hesitant to speak up and his performance today truly impressed me,” said Polly, reflecting on her students’ experiences. “Many students don’t understand how important it is to participate in mock interviews. Although they don’t see it now, down the road they will realize what they learned in this class made a difference in their life.”

Mechelle Polter (EmployIndy) interviewing Brian (Crispus Attucks student)

By participating in conducting mock interviews, employers and business leaders can truly impact a student’s future. It may seem mundane during the practice, but this kind of work-based learning experience is one of many that shapes an individual as they prepare for the workforce. As a workplace professional, you have the skills to not only help young adults get ready for job interviews, you also know some ‘tricks of the trade.’

“You need to remember you are interviewing the company just like they are interviewing you,” shared Mechelle Polter, EmployIndy’s Work-based Learning Manager, during a Q&A at the end of the mock interview session. By helping students’ practice, they are gaining more than just basic interview skills – they are having life experiences.

Robert King (Ivy Tech) interviews Crispus Attucks student

Robert King, Assistant Director of K-12 Initiatives at Ivy Tech Community College, chose to take this one step further as he tied in not only how it is important to interview well, but also how crucial it is to expand their education in order to pursue a good and promising career. Through Ivy Tech’s dual-credit program, Crispus Attucks students have the opportunity to earn over one semester of transferrable course credits, saving them thousands down the road.

If you want to participate in a work-based learning experience but don’t know if an off-site mock interview is the right fit for you, EmployIndy offers connections to many other opportunities for students to experience the workforce first-hand. We are able to provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to conduct an on-site tour, participate in job shadowing or guest speaking, establish an outline for a successful apprenticeship or internship, and other work-based learning opportunities for young people.

Contact our business solutions and talent team at businesssolutions@nullemployindy.org to get started today!