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With recent layoffs and closures, the City collaborates with partners to provide resources to ensure a smooth transition for dislocated workers

INDIANAPOLIS – September 6, 2019 – Recently, Nestle USA Inc. and Nestle Dreyer’s Ice Cream Co. announced that they will close a frozen distribution center on the southside of Indianapolis, directly impacting 172 employees by the end of 2019 (as cited by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development WARN notices). In order to assist these dislocated workers, the City of Indianapolis is working with partners to provide resources that will help in preparing them for the next step in their career.

As with previous large-scale worker dislocations in Marion County, the City of Indianapolis, EmployIndy, Indiana Department of Workforce Development, and many community partners are working in tandem to directly address the needs of these workers. Historically, EmployIndy has partnered with the employer to provide on-site career services for dislocated workers in order to assist them in taking the next step towards a new job.

Since May of 2019, nearly 1000 Indianapolis workers have been identified by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development as potentially being affected by a company layoff or site closure. In order to best serve these residents, every effort will be made to ensure the dislocated workers are positioned to continue their careers at comparable wages if possible and be provided necessary services.

“It is important that we work together with our partners at the State to deploy all the resources available to us in order to provide assistance for these dislocated workers,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “Utilizing the services and tools available through WorkOne Indy, we will be able to better serve these residents as they search for the next step in their career.”

WorkOne Indy, Marion County’s full-service American Job Center overseen by EmployIndy, has workshops available for dislocated workers to advance their job search skill set and connect with local providers to pursue job training, a high school equivalency degree, or higher education credentials as they prepare for success in in-demand industries. EmployIndy and WorkOne Indy currently have grant funds specifically available to aid dislocated workers with opportunities for training and upskilling to ensure a positive transition in their career. 

To provide further career assistance, WorkOne Indy career navigators work closely with individuals to identify transferable skills, refine resumes, apply for jobs, prepare for interviews, and more. Every Wednesday, WorkOne Indy hosts Wednesdays @ WorkOne featuring local employers looking to fill open positions. In addition, they keep a calendar of job fairs, workshops, and events – such as the upcoming JobNewsUSA.com Indianapolis Job Fair on September 11, the Southeast Community Services’ 901 Job Fair on September 18, and many others throughout Indianapolis.

“In addition to offering career services, WorkOne Indy career navigators can identify supportive social services to ease the burden often felt by those going through this sudden life change,” said Marie Mackintosh, Chief Operations Officer at EmployIndy. “Our goal is to make this transition as smooth as possible for the affected workers as we work quickly to maximize available resources and minimize personal and professional hardships often associated with job loss.”

Given the increased need for these services, WorkOne Indy will be open to the public Monday through Friday at the main office at 4410 N. Shadeland Avenue and during the week at many community partner organizations located throughout Indianapolis. Hours, events, and more information can be found at WorkOneIndy.com.


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.