Indianapolis-based workforce development initiative Ascend Indiana and EmployIndy have received $6 million from the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation. The partners say the grant funding will support growth of the Modern Youth Apprenticeship program in Marion County.
Ascend, which is an initiative of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, says the grant will help improve the connection between employers and education providers to expand youth career pathways. Ascend is set to receive $4 million to provide project oversight and systems leadership, while EmployIndy will receive $2 million to continue implementation of the program.
MAP is a three-year, work-based learning experience that starts in high school and offers paid employment, on-the-job training, related academics, and college credit.
“Through this renewed funding, EmployIndy and Ascend have the opportunity to establish modern youth apprenticeship opportunities for nearly 400 Marion County students over the next three years, expand school and community based partnerships, and put employers in the driver’s seat of co-developing the next generation of talent,” said Marie Mackintosh, chief strategy officer of EmployIndy.
Ascend and EmployIndy launched the pilot MAP program in Marion County in 2020. The initial cohort included 30 apprentices at 16 employers.
“Ascend and EmployIndy are charting the course for meaningful career pathways leading to higher rates of credential completion, degree attainment, and placement into good and promising jobs,” said Claire Fiddian-Green, chief executive officer of the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation. “Together, these efforts will cement modern youth apprenticeship as a mainstream talent solution for employers as well as a successful education and career option for Indianapolis students.”
Earlier this month, Ascend says the second cohort of apprentices attended MAP Signing Day to begin work as apprentices for local employers over the next three years.