Ascend Indiana, the talent and workforce development initiative of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, is expanding its efforts to provide high school students with college and career apprenticeship pathways. The organization says it is spearheading an effort of statewide leaders to guide the expansion of youth apprenticeships in the state.
Ascend Indiana has received $1 million in support from Bloomberg Philanthropies in New York.
“As the economy continues to evolve, it is increasingly important that youth have access to flexible college options that provide paid work experience and structured pathways to degrees,” said Jason Kloth, president of Ascend Indiana. “In addition to supporting pilot programs like Modern Apprenticeship, it is critical that we develop a coordinated education and employer ecosystem that provides all students throughout the state with the opportunity to develop strong skills that align with employer needs.”
The organization says the investment will “strengthen and grow the regions in Indiana working to launch and scale youth apprenticeship programs that meet the needs of both Indiana youth and employers across high-demand industries.”
“With high-quality youth apprenticeships, Indiana’s students gain experience through work-based learning, as well as earn in-demand credentials that are critical to preparing them for future success,” said Dr. Katie Jenner, Indiana Secretary of Education. “By blurring the lines between K-12, higher education, and the workforce, it’s energizing to see these partnerships scale statewide, ultimately improving student outcomes and helping our students build a bright future right here in Indiana.”
Through the funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies and support from PAYA, Ascend Indiana says it will work alongside local partners to support regions in accelerating new pilot efforts. Ascend is inviting organizations to apply for planning subgrants and will distribute a total of $350,000 in funding.