Project Indy, Mayor Joe Hogsett’s initiative to find meaningful summer employment for high school students, has added another partner. The Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association’s Indianapolis Kitchen Cabinet has signed on to help youth interested in finding summer jobs in the industry.
"The fact that the Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association has become a full partner in our Project Indy effort, I think is very important," said Hogsett. "It’s great for the kids and it’s great for the industry."
Last month Hogsett said Project Indy, now in its second year, is aiming to provide 2,000 jobs for the city’s youth ages 15-18, primarily through TeenWorks, a subset of Project Indy headed up by Ivy Tech.
"It’s really just expanding the TeenWorks opportunities all across the board," says Hogsett. "We will have kids working in parks. We will have kids working at Indy Urban Acres. And now we will have kids working in restaurants and hotels throughout the downtown area."
The President and Chief Executive Officer of the Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association believes this new partnership will not only benefit Indianapolis youth, but also those who serve in leadership roles in the restaurant and hotel industry.
"It is not just about being a boss but also exposing folks to being a good mentor, whether that’s a manager at a restaurant or the owner of a restaurant," said Patrick Tamm. "It also exposes teenagers to somebody in the business world that cares about them."
Tamm also adds that a very high number of restaurant owners started out in entry level positions.
The industry continues to grow in Indianapolis, with more than 77,000 residents working in travel, tourism or hospitality fields. Last year, more than 28 million people visited Indianapolis – generating almost $5 billion in economic impact for the area.