INDIANAPOLIS , Ind.-–Wednesday morning Mayor Joe Hogsett joined the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee, EmployIndy, Indy Chamber, community partners and area employment providers to introduce Project Indy, Indianapolis’ first comprehensive youth jobs program. Project Indy will convene resources from across the private and non-profit sectors to provide job training, internships, and employment opportunities to Indianapolis teens beginning this summer.
“Together with our non-profit and corporate partners, Project Indy will give hundreds of local young people job experience, useful skills, and productive alternatives to crime and gangs, ” said Mayor Hogsett. “By leveraging our city’s current standalone programs and convening community stakeholders in a visible, coordinated effort, we will be able to better serve the children of our city for years to come at no additional cost to taxpayers.”
With the help of the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee, the City of Indianapolis has worked to identify more than 1,000 teen employment opportunities with service providers such as:
- TeenWorks: Assisting Indianapolis youth with resume building, instilling job skills and involving students in volunteer projects to give back to the community, TeenWorks has helped provide summer jobs opportunities since 1981. This year TeenWorks will add an additional 100 youth employees to their existing program, making their program one of the largest in the city.
- Keep Indianapolis Beautiful (KIB): Keep Indianapolis Beautiful has a proven summer youth employment program, giving teens the opportunity to create pocket parks, beautify existing green space, prevent and clean up litter and educate the community about recycling. This year’s leaders program has grown by an additional 18 youths, with plans to significantly grow the Youth Tree Program over the next three years.
- Groundwork Indy: Groundwork Indy supports the Youth Green Team program which hires teens ages 14-17 that will take part in hands-on improvement projects, in which Green Team members lead environmental initiatives; learn more about local food and nutrition through gardening and several service projects.
- Department of Parks and Recreation: The city’s parks and recreation department hires youth as summer counselors, life guards and cashiers each summer. Youth are able to achieve certifications in life-guarding, water rescue, CPR and first aid in addition to gaining experience with customer service and teamwork. This year’s youth employment outreach specifically targeted previously under served populations of Indianapolis youth.
Wednesday’s press conference was followed by an announcement that the White House that has designated Indianapolis as a “Summer Impact Hub.” The designation offers Project Indy support and resources from 16 federal agencies for youth summer jobs, education, meals, and violence reduction programs. As a result of the designation Project Indy stakeholders will also receive assistance from a Department of Labor “Summer Ambassador” to leverage federal resources, break down agency siloes, and establish new local and national partnerships.
In addition, Project Indy and Mayor Joe Hogsett assisted in securing a $2 million federal grant to provide the city’s first employment and workforce training program targeted at teens. Under EmployIndy’s leadership and Mayor Hogsett’s direction, YouthWorks Indy will provide year-round work readiness training and employment opportunities for teens. A job search is currently underway for a Youth Manager, who will exclusively serve young adults seeking employment and a call has gone out to organizations who are able to further expand their summer youth employment programs with the help of additional funding.
Growing Project Indy to serve more Indianapolis youth remains a priority for Mayor Hogsett. Under GIPC’s leadership, Project Indy has already begun planning for next summer by seeking to expand private sector engagement, increase opportunities for youth skills development, grow outreach efforts for underserved populations and nurture connections between existing programs and local enterprises.
Teens still interested in applying for unfilled summer jobs for 2016 can visit http://indygipc.org.