Ascend Indiana CEO Jason Kloth stepping down

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Jason Kloth

Jason Kloth, president and CEO of Indianapolis-based talent-development and job-placement initiative Ascend Indiana, plans to step down from his position at the end of the year, the organization announced Tuesday morning.

Kloth “plans to focus on his family and spending more time with his two young children,” Ascend Indiana said in a news release.

Kloth helped launch Ascend Indiana in 2016. The initiative has since raised more than $50 million in philanthropic gifts from organizations such as the Lilly Endowment, the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation and Glick Philanthropies to support Hoosier job seekers.

During that time, Ascend Indiana says it has connected nearly 4,500 individuals to jobs, internships and training opportunities through partnerships with more than 750 employers.

The Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, the parent of Ascend Indiana, said it will work on a leadership transition plan over the next few months. Kloth will consult for Ascend Indiana after stepping down.

“It has been an honor to work with such wonderful colleagues and partners to advance our shared vision for Indiana to be a place of economic opportunity for all,” Kloth said in a written statement. “I am confident that Ascend’s momentum will continue.”

Ascend Indiana focuses on serving individuals from historically underserved backgrounds, including those from low-income backgrounds and first-generation college students. The organization has partnerships with 40 colleges and universities in Indiana.

Prior to his work with Ascend Indiana, Kloth served three years as Indianapolis’ deputy mayor of education under former Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard. Before that, he spent six years in several roles at Teach for America.

“Jason’s leadership and contributions to Ascend and to CICP have been invaluable,” Central Indiana Corporate Partnership CEO Melina Kennedy said in written comments. “He and his team have built an organization with a strong foundation of understanding the talent supply and demand in the state, bringing together leaders across philanthropy, industry and higher education in a shared vision that is making a positive impact on thousands of Hoosiers and developing a workforce for the future.”

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