2019-2020 Annual Report

91% of individuals in Indianapolis who have filed for unemployment had an income level of $50,000 or below, with the average annual wage of all claimants being $27,861.


people are currently living in poverty in Marion County.

Over the last decade there has been an 80% increase of people in poverty in our community.


Insufficient education and training does not prepare workers for good and promising jobs.

Growing jobs are not paying a living, middle class wage.

53% of individuals in Marion County who have filed for unemployment since March have a high school education or below.

President & CEO
Angela Carr Klitzsch

Two years into our five-year strategic plan, EmployIndy began assessing performance outcomes and reporting out to the community via a set of indicators that would measure the impact of the public workforce ecosystem on improving economic self-sufficiency and breaking the cycle of poverty.

These levers for decreasing poverty and increasing
economic mobility include growing the number of:


Students who graduate on time with a high school diploma.


Students who complete a postsecondary degree or credential.


Workers who are upskilled and placed in jobs with increased wages, earning $18+ per hour.


Workers who enter or return to the labor force.

In one year, the number of people living in poverty in our community had decreased by 1.8%, and then a global health epidemic completely turned our community, economy, and workforce upside down.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has left no one unaffected, it has disproportionately impacted the most vulnerable residents in our community and exposed systemic failures and inequities across EmployIndy’s target zip codes.

According to analysis by SAVI, in Indianapolis zip codes where the
COVID-19 impact score is high:


of residents are people of color


of residents are living in poverty


of residents are under the age 18


of residents age 25+ are without a high school diploma or equivalency


of residents are living with a disability

In the absence of certainty, EmployIndy has already received and continues to pursue millions of additional dollars to ensure the availability of and access to sufficient education and training, increased jobs paying a living, middle-class wage, and the services necessary to help residents return to work as quickly and safely as possible.

In program year 2020, EmployIndy plans to increase human capital with the recognition that our programs and initiatives will serve tens of thousands of additional customers for the foreseeable future. Most importantly, we have not slowed down the launch of critical new initiatives like Rapid Re-Employment Response, Modern Apprenticeship, and the New Skills Ready Network. EmployIndy will steadily continue to do the work to safeguard our residents against job and economic insecurity by preparing our neighbors for long-term success and ensuring employers have access to a qualified and diverse talent pool, while maintaining focus on job quality.

All my best,

Angela Carr Klitzsch
President & CEO

2019-2020 EmployIndy Annual Report

K-12 Students

In 2019, 1,483 Marion County students dropped out of high school.

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Postsecondary Students
Postsecondary Students

By 2025, 60% of jobs in Indiana will require some form of postsecondary credential, yet just 40% of Marion County residents have the education and training needed.

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Upskilled Workers
Upskilled Workers

In the next ten years, 51% of existing Marion County jobs would not create a pathway to middle class wages.

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Re-Engaged Residents
Re-engaged Residents

In 2019, the labor force participation rate for Marion County increased by 3.78% to 70.88%.

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The Challenge

The number of residents in our community without a high school diploma or equivalency was on the rise prior to the pandemic, increasing to 88,886. In 2020, nearly 13% of Marion County residents left unemployed between March and August had no high school diploma or equivalency.

The Strategy

To combat this rising issue through career awareness and an understanding of the market value of a diploma, EmployIndy invests in programs and initiatives to create a dual system of education and career-connected learning that ensure high-quality pathways and prevent high-school dropouts, prepare students for successful transitions to postsecondary and/or jobs of the future, and connect students to real-life work experiences.

Prevention & Preparation

In 2020, Indy Achieves processed 915 21st Century Scholar applications, an 81% increase over the previous school year. With the move to a virtual atmosphere, a greater number of Marion County parents and guardians submitted digital applications.

Indy Achieves and the Indiana Commission for Higher Education translated applications into several languages and promoted digital sign-ups.

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The Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) program connects students to a JAG Specialist and mentor who encourages them to stay on track and provides academic accountability. During the most recent school year, JAG had 1,013 students enrolled and a graduation rate of 98%, a 1% increase over the previous year.

With the support of JAG Specialists, students persisted onto postsecondary.

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Only 31% of eligible Marion County students completed the 21st Century Scholars application. This is a 16% decrease from the previous year with thousands of students missing out on available financial aid for postsecondary education.

21st Century Scholars is Indiana’s premier financial aid program since it pays for up to four years of tuition at Indiana colleges. We need more students to participate in the 21st Century Scholars program as, historically, less than half of eligible Marion County students enroll by the deadline at the end of 8th grade.

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The number of students that graduated from Marion County schools in 2019-2020 grew to 75.3%, an increase of 579 students over the previous year.

While graduation rates increase, students still face difficulties progressing through high school and into postsecondary education.

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There is approximately a 5% difference in the high school graduation rate for Marion County students above the poverty level vs. those below the poverty level. Research shows that lifetime incomes and overall life outcomes correlate to educational attainment as it is a critical economic development factor in growing, high-quality jobs.

While overall graduation rates increase, the students residing below poverty level continue to struggle with opportunity for economic mobility and face barriers to future success.

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Connection to Real-life Experiences

In its second year, Talent Bound implemented 2,766 career exposure, career engagement, and career experiences throughout Marion County – providing learning opportunities through guest speakers, job shadowing, mentorship, and more. Career exploration is now being delivered in a virtual format – helping students, educators, and employers to navigate the changing workplace.

Career exploration is now being delivered in a virtual format – impacting students, educators, and employers to navigate the changing workplace.

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Jobs for America’s Graduates students participated in 26 work-based learning experiences in the 2019-2020 school year. This is 11 less than the previous year, largely due to virtual schooling and employers no longer hosting on-site tours.

EmployIndy developed a virtual summer work experience for students, titled JAG Indy Summer Leaders Internship, that challenged students in critical thinking, budgeting, marketing, and leadership abilities.

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YES Indy had 140 work-based learning experiences, 15 more than the previous year. However, a large number of planned opportunities were delayed until fall and winter of 2020.

Mentorship through the YES Indy Power Huddle continues to support young adults looking to further their education and workforce success.

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291 Job Ready Indy participants earned all six badges in program year 2019 – 200 less than program year 2018. With many training organizations temporarily suspending services in April due to COVID-19, a lower number of individuals were able to receive employability skills training that could lead to a higher paying job.

Job Ready Indy created virtual classrooms to provide trainers with the resources to continue teaching the value of employability skills.

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Only 51 new employers registered for Project Indy, a decrease from 124 the previous year. Although employers were registering at a slower rate, there were still a total of 4,167 jobs posted on the platform.

Project Indy is a growing resource, providing youth with a location-based portal for job searching.

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178,987 residents living in poverty will decrease if more students graduate on time with a high school diploma

In Marion County, high school graduates increased by 0.32% from school year 2017-2018 to 2018-2019; however, it is plausible that while the graduation rates may increase or maintain for school year 2019-2020, many students may not be prepared for postsecondary education or the workforce. The pandemic has illuminated inequalities of families in our community and the ability, or lack thereof, to quickly and successfully adapt to e-learning, ultimately risking a year of lost learning and adequate postsecondary preparation for K-12 students.



The Challenge

Prior to the pandemic, it was projected that Indianapolis would need about 215,000 more adults with postsecondary education or training by 2020 to fill the available jobs in Marion County, while only 42% of Indianapolis residents had the requisite credentials. More than 53% of Marion County residents left unemployed between March and August had no postsecondary education.

The Strategy

To provide career navigation and academic support to the residents in Marion County, EmployIndy invests in programs and initiatives to increase enrollment and support persistence and completion in postsecondary education and training that lead to middle skills jobs in good and promising careers.


Mentor participation decreased in part by design and in part by the pandemic. With an increased interest in the mentorship program, Indy Achieves decided to recruit fewer mentors in 2019-2020 to improve the experience, however, 63 Indy Achieves mentors dropped out of the program due to increased responsibilities at home – such as remote work and becoming home school teachers overnight as they navigated e-learning.

Indy Achieves mentors provide value to students that is unmatched by traditional resources.

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The number of mentees that participated in the Indy Achieves mentorship program in 2020 decreased by 38, totaling 294. When COVID-19 caused a transition to virtual schooling in March, some students opted to move into the workforce or delay their education, thus leaving the mentorship program. All indications are that many students decided much later in the summer to enroll in postsecondary, if they did at all. With the pandemic preventing an in-person postsecondary experience, some students changed or delayed their postsecondary plans.

With the barriers and difficulty that comes with the nontraditional postsecondary experience, Indy Achieves hired additional Student Success Coaches to provide wraparound supports at Ivy Tech and IUPUI.

Meet Our Team

131 opportunity youth enrolled in training or postsecondary through YES Indy programs throughout Marion County – an additional 31 individuals when compared to program year 2018.

Although many organizations closed due to COVID-19, YES Indy Career Navigators continued to support Indianapolis young adults.

Goodwill funds allowed opportunity youth to enroll in training

Through school year 2019-2020, Indy Achieves awarded a total of 800 Promise Scholarships and 455 Completion Grants to Indianapolis students to pursue postsecondary education at Ivy Tech or IUPUI.

Through the CARES Act, scholarship funding expanded in order to continue removing financial barriers to postsecondary education for Marion County students.

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During the 2019-2020 school year, nearly 50% of high school seniors filed their FAFSA in hopes to pursue postsecondary education.

While FAFSA numbers increased, it is predicted that postsecondary enrollment may decrease due to individuals no longer wanting to engage in virtual education.

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93 opportunity youth completed their training or postsecondary education through YES Indy – a 37% completion rate increase over program year 2018. Many of these training opportunities stemmed from dual-training and enrollment in high-demand industries.

Through Community Corp, YES Indy connected young people to work experiences while they participated in the Power Huddle training program and received social and emotional support from local health providers.

Learn about other available training opportunities

In program year 2019, 47 residents completed postsecondary education or training through WorkOne Indy. This is a nearly 57% decrease when compared to the 109 residents who completed their programs in program year 2018.

WorkOne Indy suspended services while temporarily closing to the public due to COVID-19.

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While nearly 100 additional individuals completed industry-recognized credentials through workforce programming, Adult Education providers sought assistance to continue serving residents in a virtual or limited environment.

Local partners offer free education and training with financial support through newly allocated CARES Act funding.

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There was little change seen between the number of Associate’s degrees conferred in 2018 vs. 2019, 1,156 compared to 1,131, but there were over 100 less Bachelor’s degrees conferred, totaling 2,628 in 2019.

In an effort to provide residents with increased training, Ivy Tech offered free classes.

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While short-term certifications increased by 84, totaling 822 throughout the county, long-term certifications decreased by 270, totaling 1,262.

As an increased number of individuals need additional skills to excel in the workforce, Indiana Department of Workforce Development expanded opportunities for free training.

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178,987 residents living in poverty will decrease if more students complete a postsecondary degree or credential

In Marion County, the total number of postsecondary degrees and credentials conferred decreased by 5.3% from 2018 to 2019, a number that will likely continue to decrease as postsecondary enrollment has been projected to decrease for 2020-2021.



The Challenge

Prior to the pandemic, Indianapolis needed to create 120,000 good and promising jobs to address the skills mismatch that contributes to underemployment and limited job opportunities. In the wake of COVID-19, 45.2% of all jobs lost in Marion County were in manufacturing, retail, transportation and warehousing, healthcare and social services, and accommodation and food services, some industries of which were among the top for increasing good and promising jobs.

The Strategy

To remove barriers for workers and create opportunities for economic mobility, EmployIndy invests in strategies like work-based learning as well as integrated education and training programs to upskill workers for placement in better jobs and increased wages while also helping employers to increase productivity.


Although a lower number of residents were placed in jobs during program year 2019, there was a 22% increase in total individuals that are now in jobs paying over $18 per hour with opportunities to grow within their current organization and throughout their career.

To overcome this employment barrier, the team launched a robust platform, connecting residents to resources based on their skills and work-readiness levels.

Discover the Process

With an increase in barriers to employment services in program year 2019, there was a significant decline in the number of individuals who obtained employment through WorkOne Indy programming.

EmployIndy partnered with local organizations to launch the Rapid Re-Employment Response initiative that will connect residents with higher-paying jobs to combat the growing unemployment rate.

Find Out More

An additional 48 individuals were placed in YES Indy services in program year 2019, totaling 257 young adults who were placed in employment or education opportunities.

YES Indy Career Navigators go above and beyond to provide barrier-busting, supportive services to opportunity youth.

Hear Aliyah’s Story

Although Wednesdays @ WorkOne came to a hault in March of 2020, the average monthly number since the March 2019 launch has increased from 260/month to 280/month. In addition, the number of unique employers increased to 173 from the 88 represented in March – June 2019.

The temporary discontinuation of Wednesdays @ WorkOne has led to promotion of additional WorkOne Indy and partner resources.


Due to COVID-19, many employers stopped hiring or experienced temporary and, oftentimes, permanent closures. This led to a decreased number of jobs listed on Indiana Career Connect by over 10,000, with 54,778 listed as of June 2020.

See currently available job opportunities listed on Indiana Career Connect.

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Dislocated workers participating in Trade Adjustment Assistance services were placed in jobs with an average wage of $18.60 per hour, compared to $20.00 per hour in program year 2018.

Many individuals are disheartened as they look for opportunities in today’s workforce.

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Placed adults and dislocated workers participating in Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act services earned $20.82 per hour average wage, an increase of $2.21 since program year 2018.

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development partnered with EmployIndy in July 2020 to train employers so they can skill-up their current workforce, with a goal of partnering with 25 employers. As of November 2020, EmployIndy has already formed training agreements with 97 employers to upskill their organizations.

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Youth placed in jobs through Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act services saw a decline in average pay per hour, from $12.45 to $11.37.

Young people struggled to obtain employment after mass dislocation due to COVID-19.

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Youth placed in jobs through YES Indy services had an average increase in pay, from $11.42 per hour in program year 2018 to $11.87 per hour in program year 2019.

Goodwill of Central Indiana, one of EmployIndy’s YES Indy providers, utilized funding to provide work experiences for young adults impacted by COVID-19.

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178,987 residents living in poverty will decrease if more workers are upskilled and placed in jobs with increased wages, earning $18+ per hour

In program year 2019, the average wage of adults participating in EmployIndy programming increased to $19.71 from $18.89 in 2018. It is probable that this will decrease as hours and pay are cut for workers, including those who upskill, while productivity recovers.



The Challenge

Pre-pandemic the percent of residents ages 16+ not working or not actively looking for work, in other words, those not actively participating in the labor force, was 29.12%. This includes approximately 30,000 Opportunity Youth in the Indianapolis area that are disconnected or detached from the workforce due to a lack of education or training, involvement in the justice system, or a disability. More than 200,000 Marion County residents filed for unemployment insurance between March and September due to being displaced from their jobs or unable to work.

The Strategy

To gain the skills necessary to enter or re-enter the workforce, EmployIndy invests in efforts to intervene and re-engage residents in career services, education, and job training that enable them to build resilience to return and/or participate in the workforce.


Less individuals were able to connect with outreach events, many due to cancellations. These opportunities decreased from 521 in program year 2018 to 294 in program year 2019.

With limited opportunities for in-person events, organizations all over Indianapolis have turned to virtual job fair opportunities. See a list of upcoming events.

Upcoming Events

Due to an increased number of resources offered across EmployIndy programs, total web visitors increased by over 10,000 with pageviews increasing by over 50,000. WorkOneIndy.com alone had a user increase of 194.7% and a pageview increase of 161.7% over program year 2018 – further demonstrating the need for re-employment services due to COVID-19.

See updates to our websites.

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As COVID-19 directly impacted residents, WorkOne Indy utilized virtual career services, such as trainings and over the phone meetings with Career Navigators.

WorkOne Indy resources change due to remote assistance.

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With the temporary library closures starting in March, the number of hours career services staff were available for off-site job seeker services decreased by 183.

See where services are typically offered.

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While less individuals registered for Project Indy in program year 2019, there was a surge in sign ups during February and March of 2020, most likely due to the increase in job loss by Indianapolis youth. In total, 14,788 young adults have registered for Project Indy since the launch in 2016.

Learn how thousands of local youth struggled to find summer jobs.

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With the YES Indy REC locations temporarily closing, the number of new and returning participants was directly impacted. To foster engagement, the Power Huddle experience was taught virtually and EmployIndy launched a series of virtual basketball tournaments to continue building connections and supporting young people during a difficult time.

Find out more about YES Indy REC.

Watch Now


By partnering with employers and community organizations, EmployIndy is able to increase the number of opportunity youth served throughout Marion County. In program year 2019, an additional 86 young adults were served through YES Indy services and resources.

The Power Huddle program teaches young adults who are disconnected from education or employment the true value in changing their mindset to ultimately connect with a higher-paying, fulfilling career.


In program year 2019, 16,001 residents received basic career services through WorkOne Indy – an additional 114 individuals over the previous year.

Indianapolis job seekers can receive both virtual and in-person resources. To help individuals excel, WorkOne Indy has expanded the Resources page on their website.

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Although RESEA services were suspended in March, an additional 188 residents were served during program year 2019 – 114 more individuals than the previous year.

While temporarily suspending RESEA services, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development has built an extensive unemployment resource web page to assist job seekers.

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There was a nearly 50% decrease from program year 2018 to 2019 in residents supported through TAA services.

Trade Adjustment Assistance programming provide job seekers with education, training, and support to rebuild their career.

See available education and training opportunities

A decrease of 52 individuals were enrolled in community-based workforce development services in 2019-2020. Prior to COVID-19, the number of young adults served was forecasted to exceed last year’s program numbers.

Hear from individuals who grew the confidence they needed to be successful and move forward in their job search.

Watch Now

Without being able to connect in-person, many hard to reach residents struggled to receive services, oftentimes due to a decrease in digital resources. For this reason, EmployIndy received CARES Act funding from the City of Indianapolis to distribute to local Adult Education Providers in order to provide residents with resources and funding for e-learning. Even with these hurdles, an additional 1,009 residents were served in program year 2019.

Washington Township utilizes funding to virtually support adult education students.

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In 2019, the Excel Center focused on continually teaching their currently enrolled students, leading to 984 residents with high school diplomas graduating this year.

Continue learning about the services and resources offered through the Goodwill Excel Center.

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Christel House School DORS focused on serving their students, graduating 132 residents this past year – 42 more than the year prior.

Learn more about DORS programming and other Christel House workforce services.

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178,987 residents living in poverty will decrease if more workers enter or return to the labor force

In Marion County, the labor force participation rate increased 3.78% from program year 2018 to 2019; however, the road to economic recovery is unpredictable and uncharted, and full confidence to return to the workplace has not resumed. These realities could reverse the incremental increase in regional labor participation in recent years if residents choose to not engage in the workforce in the wake of COVID-19.



Expenditures by Strategic Goal
1 Address systemic barriers preventing a strong pipeline of entry level workers and employment opportunities.
2 Create a positive trajectory for young adults to actively participate in the workforce.
3 Create an employer-driven urban neighborhood workforce development framework that can be replicated throughout Indianapolis.


Funding Sources

Annie E. Casey Foundation

AT&T Indiana

Bank of America

Central Indiana Community Foundation

Griffith Family Foundation

Indianapolis City Bond Bank

Indiana Commission for Higher Education

Indiana Department of Workforce Development

JPMorgan Chase Foundation

Lilly Endowment, Inc.

Lumina Foundation

Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust

PNC Foundation

Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation

Starbucks Foundation

The City of Indianapolis

The Indianapolis Foundation, a CICF Affiliate

U.S. Department of Labor

2019 – 2020 Board of Directors

Katie Culp (Chairman)

KSM Location Advisors

Regina Ashley

Chief Unemployment Insurance and Workforce Solutions Officer
Indiana Department of Workforce Development

Kristina Blankenship

Director of Business & Community Engagement
State of Indiana FSSA/Bureau of Rehabilitation Services

Kim Brand

1st Maker Space

Aman Brar


Karly Cope

Executive Director of Talent Management
Community Health Network

Todd DeLey

Administrator of Adult Education
MSD Washington Township School District

Betsy Delgado

Vice President of Mission Advancement
Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana

Devon Doss

Executive Director
Indiana Plan

Frank Esposito

Managing Principle
The Windsor Group, LTG

Rachel Faulkner

Director of Public Relations

Jeff Gielerak

Business Representative
IN-KY-OH Regional Council of Carpenters

Tedd Grain

Executive Director
Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)

DeShonne Jackson

Regional Director of Operations
Starbucks Coffee Co.

James (Bubba) Johnson

Business Manager
Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 440

Kai Johnson

Community Initiatives Manager

Kelli Jones

Founder & CEO
Be Nimble Ventures

Dr. Kathleen Lee

Ivy Tech Community College, Central Indiana

Bryan Luellen

Director of Public Affairs

Damon Martin

Vice President Business, Development/Talent Acquisition Services

Reginald McGregor

Engineering Manager
Rolls Royce

Georgiana Reynal

Chief Advocacy Officer
St. Vincent/Ascension

Angela Smith Jones

Deputy Mayor for Economic Development
City of Indianapolis

Janet St. Peters

Team Leader, Craft Training Program
Eli Lilly & Company

William D. Turner, Jr.

Executive Director
Skillful Indiana