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Twenty-six students throughout Central Indiana sign a certificate of acceptance as they begin their apprenticeship journey

Event recording
INDIANAPOLIS (May 15, 2021) – This morning at Ben Davis High School, 26 Central Indiana high school sophomores signed the Modern Apprenticeship certificate of acceptance to work as apprentices for 16 local employer partners*, piloting the first-ever cohort of EmployIndy’s Central Indiana youth apprenticeship program, Modern Apprenticeship. Of the 100+ students that expressed interest, these 26 apprentices were chosen among their peers to participate in Modern Apprenticeship, a two- to three-year paid experience launched in coordination with Ascend Indiana in Fall 2020. EmployIndy, Marion County’s workforce development board, and Ascend Indiana, the talent and workforce development initiative of Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP), actively support the apprentices, employers, and general programmatic outcomes for Modern Apprenticeship.

Click to see recording from event.

For the apprentices, the journey will officially kick off this summer as they attend a bootcamp to develop their employability skills and start their jobs at their new employers. Beginning their junior year of high school, apprentices will split their time between the classroom and the workplace. By the end of the experience, they will have obtained not only a high school diploma and invaluable social capital, they will also earn industry-recognized credentials and transferable college credits.

“The Modern Apprenticeship opportunity is an excellent example of K-12, higher education, and industry partners strategically working together to help Hoosier students maximize their success,” said Dr. Katie Jenner, Indiana Secretary of Education. “Student-centered, future-focused partnerships like this are essential to helping students access quality work-based learning and earn postsecondary credentials while they’re still in high school.”

Today, at the inaugural Modern Apprenticeship Signing Day, both apprentices and employers signed a formal certificate of acceptance, signifying the beginning of their journey together. As part of this commitment, the employer will mentor and support the student as they navigate an in-demand role within the organization. Through their participation in Modern Apprenticeship, these employers demonstrate their commitment to being co-producers of talent alongside education partners.

“We’re excited to witness this program’s progress and evolution during its pilot year,” said Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett. “The City of Indianapolis is proud to be part of the first cohort of employers to hire an apprentice who, beginning this summer, will work part-time as a member of our staff.”

As employer demand for highly-skilled talent continues to grow, it is necessary to establish a system of career-connected learning that will create equitable opportunities for all Indianapolis students. EmployIndy and Ascend have partnered with regional and national career readiness initiatives to pilot a program that provides students with quality, integrated work experiences combined with classroom learning that will prepare young people for a successful transition to college and jobs of the future.

“As the economy continues to evolve due to automation and globalization, it is increasingly critical to ensure all students in Indianapolis have access to education and training that align with changing employer demand.” said Jason Kloth, president and CEO, Ascend Indiana. “Modern Apprenticeship is a responsive model that can be expanded to create work-based learning opportunities for youth across the state.”

Ascend Indiana and EmployIndy are continuing to partner closely to grow the program, increasing engaged schools, apprentices, and employer partners as they strategize for the 2022 cohort.

“EmployIndy is excited to celebrate our inaugural class of apprentices today,” said Marie Mackintosh, chief strategy officer, EmployIndy. “Our employer partners are thrilled to welcome the students into the workplace where they will add value while building skills on the job. As our economy continues to recover and demand for talent increases, we look forward to scaling the Modern Apprenticeship program in Central Indiana and creating more real-world experiences that benefit students, employers, and our community.”

Congratulations to the first cohort of Modern Apprenticeship students:

  • Akinwale Adesakin, George Washington High School – Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS)
  • Daniel Camacho, Ben Davis High School – Katz Sapper & Miller (KSM)
  • Jordyn Collins, Pike High School – OneAmerica
  • Ja’Kyra Cox, George Washington High School – Ivy Tech Community College
  • Ramiro Delgado, Arsenal Technical High School – Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS)
  • Salematou Diaby,  Pike High School – EmployIndy
  • Aanaiah Evans, North Central High School – Roche Diagnostics
  • Ruby Galvan, Ben Davis High School – City of Indianapolis
  • Melanie Garcia, North Central High School – EmployIndy
  • Isaiah Gebrekidan, Victory College Prep – Ivy Tech Community College
  • Anthony Golden, North Central High School – TechPoint
  • Nicholas Graves, Ben Davis High School – Indy Chamber
  • Nyema Hillman, North Central High School – Ascension/St. Vincent
  • Kinaya Hines, North Central High School – Roche Diagnostics
  • Clarissa Hunt, Pike High School – Pepper Construction
  • Sydney Johnson, North Central High School – Ascension/St. Vincent
  • Virginia Martinez, North Central High School – Ascension/St. Vincent
  • Evelyn Ogundare, Ben Davis High School – Roche Diagnostics
  • Abigail Ortiz Amado, Ben Davis High School – AES Indiana
  • Zion Peterson, North Central High School – OneAmerica
  • Sophia Pimental, Pike High School – Ascension/St. Vincent
  • Ariana Rodriguez Shinault, George Washington High School – Ascend Indiana
  • Fatoumata Sylla, Pike High School – Skillful Indiana
  • Jada Taylor, George Washington High School – Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS)
  • Will Valentine, North Central High School – Ascend Indiana
  • Morgan Wilson, North Central High School – Indianapolis Airport Authority

*Participating Employers: AES Indiana, Ascend Indiana, Ascension St. Vincent, City of Indianapolis, EmployIndy, Katz Sapper & Miller, Indianapolis Airport Authority, Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS), Indy Chamber, Ivy Tech Community College, OneAmerica, Pepper Construction, Roche Diagnostics, Skillful Indiana, TechPoint, and The Heritage Group

Participating Indianapolis-area Township School Districts and Charter Schools: Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS), Phalen Leadership Academy, Pike High School, Victory College Prep, Washington Township, and Wayne Township

To learn more about Modern Apprenticeship (MAP), visit

Mayor Joe Hogsett, EmployIndy encourage parents of 7th and 8th grade students to file before June 30 deadline

June 17, 2019 – Indianapolis 7th and 8th grade students and their parents are encouraged to take a moment to think about something further in the future than summer break: college tuition.

Led by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, the 21st Century Scholars program provides income-eligible Hoosier students up to four years of college tuition at any participating college or university in Indiana. An crucial part of the process is that the application must be completed by June 30th of a student’s 8th grade year, which can sneak up on families currently focused on the transition to high school. In recent years, only about half of eligible Marion County students have enrolled.

“As a community, we leave a significant amount of money on the table every year – money that could provide an education and a path to a promising future,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “That is why it is so important for Marion County residents to apply for 21st Century Scholars before the June 30th deadline, to make sure all available resources make it into the hands of our students and families who need it most.”

Boosting promotion and applications for 21st Century Scholars is a key component of Indy Achieves, an initiative established by Mayor Hogsett and housed at EmployIndy to support Marion County students as they pursue a postsecondary degree or credential.

“Partnerships with local organizations like Indy Achieves are critical for the success of this program, as we find awareness of the Scholars program is one of the barriers to student enrollment,” said Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers.

Indy Achieves staff have been working to increase awareness of 21st Century Scholars (which is a statewide program) by working with guidance counselors, coordinating digital advertising and attending school functions, encouraging parents and educators to register their students before the June 30 deadline.

“With school ending for the summer and the June 30th deadline looming, we ask our partners in the community to spread the word about this important opportunity,” said Matt Impink, executive director of Indy Achieves. “Utilizing existing postsecondary aid programs like 21st Century Scholars qualifies Marion County students for additional scholarship dollars and support services through Indy Achieves.”

Learn more and access the application at

Many young people, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, or background, struggle to find their path during one of the most transformative periods of their lives: their late teens and early twenties. In a recent report by the Brookings Institute, studies show that this specifically applies to individuals within this population who fall in the low income bracket and with little hope of upward mobility. Many people in this population do not believe they have the opportunities available to pursue a good and promising career or postsecondary education. The mission of EmployIndy’s YES Indy program is to break down these financial and mindset barriers so all people, regardless of their history, are able to excel not only in the workforce, but as individuals.

Many of these young men and women are placed into the stereotype of being a ‘troublemaker’ while in reality they have been proven to be some of the most dedicated workers because they have the most to lose. Through the YES Indy Re-Engagement Center (YES Indy REC; formerly the Pivot Re-Engagement Center), EmployIndy and service providers throughout Indianapolis are making an effort to engage these young people to break down and rebuild the mindsets they may have developed based on what society has told them about themselves.

“If more people join the program, they can take the step to be exactly what they want to be in life. They need to know that you can have goals in life and not everything has to be the end of the road. The most important part of life is to not give up – to keep trying against all odds,” said Jervell Jackson, one of the early participants of the Power Huddle program through YES Indy REC.

The first time Jervell joined the Power Huddle he dropped out because he didn’t believe people would want to waste their time and resources on him. He didn’t think he was worth it. He had given up at the age of 21. After hearing what he believed were rumors of other people receiving support and getting jobs, he made the conscious decision to take a risk and join the Power Huddle. “I took this information I learned and put it to use. Not only have I become a better man, I learned how crucial it is to find what you want your career in life to be and to not settle for anything less.”

Since then, Jervell has become closely involved with YES Indy and encourages his peers to join by sharing his story of how it has impacted his life. He is seen as a leader at the REC and pushes others to take a chance to change their life.

Jervell (second from left) and the young men who attended the Beautillion alongside Senior Director of Opportunity Youth, Rodney Francis (third from right)

Recently, Jervell and five other young men who completed the Power Huddle, attended the 100 Black Men Beautillion. With the help of YES Indy, they were able to not only attend but to receive new attire for the event. The Beautillion is a ‘rite of passage’ for individuals from 100 Black Men who have undergone a mentorship experience and are making a commitment to themselves and their community to be individuals who are positive representatives in society, to raise their family in the same way, and accept responsibility for all their actions.

“It was amazing how quickly they adapted to the environment. You could truly see how they transformed from a from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset which reinforced what they learned in the Power Huddle,” said Katrina Owens of GO Consulting who attended this event with the young men.

In addition to attending powerful experiences such as this, Jervell has been working closely with YES Indy career navigator at CAFE, Jamarro Johnson. “Jervell was tired of living in the ‘right now’ and being told he couldn’t chase his dreams. He is now moving forward and taking serious steps to excel.”

When Jamarro found out that Jervell had the dream of being a CDL driver, he used YES Indy funds to make this possible by buying him a book to study for his commercial drivers license (CDL) test. While working part-time as a basketball referee, Jervell studied and passed his test. He was recently hired by Midwest Landscaping and is actively taking the steps to reach his overall dream of driving and eventually purchasing his own truck.  

Many young people like Jervell are looking for a second chance and YES Indy provides that opportunity. By becoming an employer partner, businesses have the confidence that they are hiring people eager to learn and have the support of community based organizations throughout the city to assist in getting them on the right path to personal and professional success. Employers should connect with EmployIndy’s business solutions team to learn more.