Lilly Endowment grants $5.2M to EmployIndy for youth programs

EmployIndy plans to strengthen its youth job-training and education programs with $5.2 million in grants from Lilly Endowment Inc., the groups announced Thursday.

Lilly Endowment said it gave EmployIndy, Marion County’s workforce development board, a $3 million grant to help the group pay for a capacity-building plan to make sure teens and young adults know about "employment options, educational assistance and job training that can help them find work and begin to build their careers.”

A second $2.2 million grant from the endowment is expected to provide support to EmployIndy’s Youth Employment Services program, which the endowment has been funding since 2003. The YES program has so far helped 5,570 low-income people aged 16 to 24 complete their education, get jobs and strengthen their work skills through job coaching, career counseling and financial support.

“These grants will enable EmployIndy to help expand and enhance the efforts of youth-serving organizations to improve significantly the employment prospects of youth in our communityespecially those most in need of job skills and resources,” said EmployIndy President & CEO Angela Carr Klitzsch in a written comments. “We are particularly grateful for Lilly Endowment’s support of our strategic efforts to help young people living in the city’s highest-need neighborhoods.”

According to EmployIndy, there are about 30,000 people aged 16 to 24 who are “disconnected from education and employment in central Indiana for a variety of reasons, such as homelessness, criminal history, lack of family support, and inadequate access to job training.”

The organization’s goal is to reach 6,000 young people during the next two years.

“The future prospects for thousands of youths in our community depend on their ability to find and qualify for jobs that will pay them a livable wage and place them on a promising employment pathway for the future,” said Clay Robbins, Lilly Endowment’s chairman, president and CEO, in written comments.  “We are pleased to provide this funding for EmployIndy’s strategic efforts to build an effective and comprehensive system of supports to help these youth succeed.”

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