Programs Target Long-Term Jobless

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The chief executive officer of EmployIndy is moving forward with two programs designed to help "disengaged" and long-term unemployed workers find jobs. Brooke Huntington says the organization has been awarded a nearly $8.4 million grant to launch Employ Up, a program which will help provide training for technology and health care careers. She says about 50 companies and several hundred workers are participating in another program, PowerTrain Indy, which partners with companies to provide certification and employment opportunities in manufacturing.

October 15, 2014

News Release

Indianapolis, Ind. -- EmployIndy was awarded an $8,364,602 grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, to invest in training for long-term unemployed individuals. The grant, which runs through 2018, will create Employ Up with the goal of equipping participants with STEM-related skills in technology and healthcare to reduce the need for area employers to rely on H-1B visas to fill local positions with foreign workers.

As the Workforce Investment Board for Marion County, EmployIndy leverages public and private funding to develop training and employment programs ensuring residents are qualified to meet the needs of employers in the area. This new grant, which came from the nearly $170 million U.S. Department of Labor "Ready to Work Partnership" initiative, will target local residents who have exhausted unemployment benefits, which exceeds twenty-seven weeks. In December of 2013, long-term unemployed made up 9.1 percent of the local unemployed population, including a large number of veterans.

Between 2012 and 2013 Central Indiana employers applied for 1,457 H-1B visas and 69 percent were for STEM-related occupations. These applications came mainly from local employers in the technology and healthcare industries, which account for 17.6 percent of the private sector jobs in Central Indiana, and are expected to grow by 21.5 percent over the next decade. EmployIndy will use the $8.4 million awarded to fund the Employ Up program designed to reach the long-term unemployed population in Marion County, and provide them with the necessary skills required to do technical jobs in these industries.

"This investment is designed to provide local employers with the skilled, local workforce they need to continue to grow and thrive in our area. With 80 percent of STEM-related occupations requiring some form of post-secondary certification or degree, we cannot ask our area employers to hire local residents unless we have a pipeline to supply them with the qualified talent they require," said Brooke Huntington, president and CEO of EmployIndy. "Employ Up will target a population that has had difficulty re-engaging in the workforce and provide them with pathways to successful careers in industries that will continue to grow and drive our region’s growth into the future."

The U.S. Department of Labor "Ready to Work Partnership" initiative provided 23 organizations nationwide with funding to support job training programs connecting ready-to-work Americans with ready-to-be-filled jobs. In addition to the focus on long-term unemployed individuals, grants funded will incorporate outreach, recruitment, training, support services and placement strategies. Grantees will also work with employers, industry groups and state agencies to strengthen public-private partnerships and increase awareness of effective workforce development strategies.

EmployIndy’s Employ Up program will begin service April 1, 2015 and plans to serve 800 residents with a combination of assessment, training and employment services. Services, outreach and employment partnerships will come in collaboration with local organizations including TechPoint, Apparatus, hc1.com, Interactive Intelligence, Ativio, IBM, RN/Allied Specialties and SmartIT. For more information visit EmployIndy.org or contact Brian Van Bokkelen for media availabilities.

About EmployIndy

EmployIndy is a Marion County nonprofit organization that provides expertise, identifies tools and prioritizes resources to develop, create or find the best talent needed to power the Marion County economy. Guided by a 27-member board composed of business, civic, education and nonprofit community leaders, EmployIndy guides the investment of public and private funds to meet the needs of Indianapolis businesses and residents. Formed in 1983, EmployIndy is led by president and CEO Brooke Huntington. For more information visit www.EmployIndy.org or view the 2012-2013 Report to the Community.

Source: EmployIndy