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Posted on December 19th, 2018 in Success Story Tags: ,

LaKeshia Hardy was raised in a single-parent home and became a mother just after graduating high school. She was on welfare in her younger years, but even in hard times strived to stay positive – she knew that she wanted more for herself and her family. She began to look for steady work and LaKeshia filled out a simple application on one sheet of paper and landed a job on the assembly line at Carrier. Over the years, she realized she wanted to be challenged in a role she could achieve if she gained experience beyond her high school education.

Initially, this job changed her world. LaKeshia was able to finally get ahead. She started working overtime to pay off bills, earned seniority to take better shifts, and reached a point where she was saving money. She and her husband worked different shifts to accommodate their children, and life was good – busy and stressful, but good.

Suddenly, after 13 years, Carrier announced they were moving hundreds of positions to Mexico. LaKeshia had built a life around a job that was going away and now had the opportunity to make this change she had been imagining. As a Carrier worker, she had a limited skill set and she knew with further training and education she would be able to achieve whatever goals she set her mind to – and inspire her children to dream big along the way.

“I had been making money – it was a job – but it never felt like a career,” says LaKeshia. “Going back to school, that felt like a path to a career.”

Interested in learning about a new career options, she took full advantage of meeting with a WorkOne Indy career navigator. LaKeshia was informed about different manufacturing training and certification opportunities, detailed in materials created by CAEL specifically for Carrier workers. But she decided to go down a different path and make choices that would directly impact the future of her career.

As she decided to utilize this opportunity to make a transformative change, her career navigator did a thorough analysis of her skills and interests, urging LaKeshia to hone in on a career that she would love. Because of her own life experience, the idea of helping troubled high-schoolers overcome barriers, struggles, and emotional difficulties was a passion she wanted to pursue. Then, identifying social work as a correlating field of study, she was connected to Ivy Tech and enrolled in an associate’s degree in human services.

Working towards her goal, LaKeshia is set to graduate in May 2019 with intent to receive her bachelor’s in social work from IUPUI. She is involved with her department’s charitable student group, maintaining a 4.0 GPA, made the Dean’s List, and is eager to be the first in her family to earn a degree. “The services available have not failed me, and what you put in is what you will get out of it,” she says. “I can’t wait to walk across that stage.”


Posted on November 30th, 2018 in Events, Organizational Updates Tags:

WorkOne Indy staff members serve a wide variety of audiences and this week the focus was on veterans. At the JVSG Veterans Conference, Career Navigators and Service Providers from all over the state gathered to learn more about best practices, programs, and tools available to better assist this population. Many of these individuals have served in the armed forces and have passion in their hearts to help other veterans take the next steps to navigate back into the workforce.

“With every military person that I have come across, there is a sense of commitment and dedication to whatever they are working on at the time.”
– DWD Commissioner Fred Payne

Darrell Johnson, Commissioner Payne, and Joshua McDonald

A major point of discussion revolved around the importance of partner organizations working together to invest in these individuals and continue to grow the numbers of veterans served, especially amongst this time where employers are actively seeking individuals with a wide variety of training and qualifications. There were several staff members from service providers who were recognized throughout the state as individuals who excel in this practice, and two of them were from Region 12 (Marion County): Joshua McDonald and Darrell Johnson.

Joshua was one of five recipients of the “Annual Performance Incentive Award,” recognized for his “never take no for an answer” approach and his work in exceeding expectations by reaching out to other organizations in order to retain positions and “going above and beyond” to connect with veterans.

Darrell was given the “Service Provider of the Year Award,” a state-wide award for one individual who excels at work, actively honors all veterans, and “raises the bar” for team members. Darrell has been called upon to share his experience serving veterans and his passion for this population far exceeds job requirements.

EmployIndy is so proud to have WorkOne Indy staff members who go above and beyond to serve the residents of Marion County. With the goal of breaking down barriers for all individuals and providing opportunities and connections so that they can take the next step in their career, service providers and career navigators are the individuals on the front lines who are making things possible.

This recognition is well deserved and the hope is this success will continue to grow as WorkOne Indy services expand into different areas throughout Indianapolis, such as libraries, adult education centers, and Ivy Tech, in order to serve more residents.


Annual Report CoverEmployIndy posted its 2017-18 Annual Report on September 25th, showcasing the accomplishments of the first year of work of our five-year strategic plan. Read the intro letter from our President & CEO, Angela Carr Klitzsch below – and be sure to sign up for our monthly newsletter to get EmployIndy info like this directly to your inbox.

ADVANCING THE WORKFORCE

Dear Ecosystem Partners, Supporters, and Influencers,

September annually celebrates and honors American workers and their impact on the well-being of our country. We at EmployIndy follow suit to commemorate another year advancing local workers on pathways that ensure self-sufficiency.

EmployIndy plays a pivotal role in the prosperity of our city’s economy and its underserved and underrepresented residents. Leading EmployIndy through notable transition to streamline investment towards a strategy of youth development, neighborhood prioritization and place-based workforce development, and career pathway creation for low- to mid-skilled residents, has been both gratifying and a worthy challenge.

The Marion County Workforce Ecosystem is made up of many unique stakeholders – the work of an intermediary to coordinate these critical partners is no small task. Parts of this local system have historically been fragmented, and our focus in year one of EmployIndy’s five-year Strategic Plan has been on building organizational capacity to unify and advance the system. In year two EmployIndy will continue increasing investment in programs, providers, and initiatives that ensure inclusion and equity to effectively increase labor participation as the economy continues to grow.

It is with immeasurable pride that I share the distinguished work of our entire team in EmployIndy’s 2017-2018 Annual Report.

All my best,
Angie

Angela Carr Klitzsch
President & CEO, EmployIndy