Category: Uncategorized

Employ Up awarded “Most Innovative Bootcamp” at DOL convening

In October of 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) distributed “Ready to Work” funding to grantees with a mission to help Americans struggling to maintain employment, move from unemployment to Any Job, Better Job, then ultimately, a Career. This would result in building an impactful and effective workforce ecosystem for cities throughout the nation. (The ABC concept is a cornerstone of EmployIndy’s 5-year strategic plan.)

EmployIndy’s Employ Up program is the product of DOL’s “Ready to Work” grant. Employ Up focuses on working alongside individuals who are unemployed or underemployed by providing them with free skills training, job search support, and access to high-tech companies seeking local talent.

Today, Employ Up was awarded the “Most Innovative Bootcamp” award  by the US Department of Labor at the DOL convening in Washington, D.C. This award was given to the grantee who used a classroom-style career development, skills training bootcamp. Employ Up’s Career Prep course was specifically recognized for the depth of the elements covered, finding ways to implement new technology, and the “new school approach to the job search.” This program found a way to make career development a unique experience for the students by utilizing technology-driven, modern classroom activities such as video mock interviews.

Learn more about the Employ Up program at

Successes from JAG State Career Development Conference

On March 16, JAG Indiana hosted their annual State Career Development Conference. This is a competition between students around Indiana to express judges with their employability skills, such as public speaking, entrepreneurship, marketing, and more.

This year Marion County JAG cleaned house! Of the thirteen competitions, there were four first place winners, one second place winner, one third place winner, and one student with honorable mention. Governor Eric Holcomb presented the awards at Ivy Tech Community College. See some photos from the event below:

Success Story: Jason Leslie and Nelbud

Jason Leslie works full-time at Nelbud, a company that specializes in kitchen exhaust hood cleaning, fire protection and suppression systems, and grease trap services. Like many people, he went a roundabout way to obtaining his steady job.

Over the past 20 years, Jason had been in and out of prison on three separate occasions. During his final stay, he made a promise to himself that it would be his last time – a promise that started by making some serious lifestyle changes. While he was incarcerated, he enrolled in a year-long drug-free program, worked at a paint shop, and became a Kairos prison ministry member. Once Jason was out on probation, he knew it was crucial for him to find a job immediately. That was when he walked into a WorkOne office and was quickly connected with career navigator Anne Knapke.

Anne had worked with many people whose stories weren’t too different from Jason’s, so she had a game plan once they sat down and evaluated his job skills. For the next two weeks, Jason went in every day to work with Anne. She helped him create a resume and discover resources, such as utilizing local food banks. Once his resume was finalized, Anne connected him to Tammy Green, a recruiter at EmployIndy.

Tammy likes to refer to herself as “a professional matchmaker,” and for Jason, she did just that. He expressed an interest in heating and cooling and was offered an interview at Team 360 (now Nelbud), where he was told that he was a perfect fit and was hired on the spot! Within a week, Jason started his new position where he excelled immediately.

After working at Nelbud for only three and a half months, Jason has been promoted and is in training for a leadership position. “I was hesitant at first,” he says. “I have never been a leader. I was always a follower, which lead to my criminal past. But now I have a chance to be better, and I’m going to take it.” Little did he know, he had been a leader all along.