Partnerships Fueling Youth Employment Movement

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The fair is set for Thursday, March 16. The fair is set for Thursday, March 16.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett says growing public and private partnerships are helping a push for youth employment gain steam. Hogsett joined representatives from Indiana Black Expo, the Indianapolis Parks Department and others today to announce a Youth Resource Fair for people ages 16-24. He says the Project Indy youth jobs initiative has already topped its goal of 1,000 jobs, and he expects, with corporate partners like Lowe's, Starbucks and McDonalds, the program could top that number this year.

The Youth Resource Fair is set for Thursday, March 16, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the Fervent Prayer Church on 38th Street in Indianapolis. The event will connect participants with job, housing, health and legal resources.

EmployIndy Senior Director Rodney Francis says it's important for Indianapolis businesses to know that young Indy workers have skills and talents. He says The organization is looking to help all young people, whether they are just looking for a summer job or may have dropped out of school and need skills and training to find a new passion in life.

Indiana Black Expo President and Chief Executive Officer Tanya Bell says she is an example of what youth employment can help accomplish. "I wouldn't be where I am today without working at the age of 16," Bell tells Inside INdiana Business, "and really having that impact my mindset, giving me some skills and the confidence I needed to succeed." IBE is partnering with the city on the resource fair as well as the Project Indy initiative.

Hogsett launched Project Indy last year, calling it the city's first comprehensive youth jobs program. The city was also named one of the U.S. Department of Labor's Summer Impact Hubs, which provided federal support for the effort. Gary was also selected.

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