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Youth Employment Services Plans to Enroll 4,000th Youth in 10 Years of the Program

Indianapolis, IN, January 09, 2013 --( Youth Employment Services (YES) will continue to serve young people across Indianapolis for a tenth year with funding from Lilly Endowment. The Endowment has supported EmployIndy’s YES program since its inception in 2003.

Over the last nine years, YES has helped more than 3,800 disconnected young adults, ages 18 to 25, prepare for employment and find and keep jobs through a unique program that offers barrier-busting vouchers to provide support during the job training, job search and starting process.

YES services are currently provided through eight neighborhood and community centers.

· Christamore House
· Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center
· Fathers and Families Center, Inc.
· Keys to Work
· River Valley Resources
· Westside Community Ministries
· Martindale Brightwood Community Development Corporation
· Lutheran Child and Family

Since the program began, YES has served, on average, more than 400 young people in our community each year. The benefits of the program are easy to see when you look at the individual youth served. Shelly, for example, came to Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center in 2008. She had graduated from high school a few years earlier and was struggling to make ends meet working as a waitress. She had always dreamed of going to college and building a career as a nurse, but given her economic situation, her prospects seemed bleak.

Through YES, Shelly received one-on-one employment and financial coaching. With the help of her coaches, Shelly created her resume, signed up for low-cost health insurance, created a budget and looked for ways to minimize her expenses so that she could go back to school to become a Certified Nursing Aide.

Just a year later, Shelly successfully completed her CNA courses and found employment at a retirement home. Shelly continued her studies, has completed training as a Qualified Medication Aide and has received promotions and raises with her employer. She plans to attend Ivy Tech and take classes to become a registered nurse.

“When I got my first check, it was more than I’d ever made… and I just broke down crying. It was gratifying to bring the check home and feel like I was really contributing,” said Shelly.

Stories like Shelly’s are common through YES, and as such the YES program continues to grow and expand. In 2012, YES began to focus beyond stable employment to sustainable employment. This change means the difference between helping young people find a job and helping them build a career, according to EmployIndy President and CEO Brooke Huntington. The updated program still provides barrier busting vouchers (i.e., cash assistance) to support finding and keeping a job, but also incorporates post-secondary education and more seamlessly connects YES participants to other EmployIndy employment programs such as PriorITize, Healthcare Careers Initiative, CDL training, and Career Pathways.

About EmployIndy
EmployIndy is Marion County’s local workforce development organization dedicated to advancing workforce solutions for Indianapolis. EmployIndy manages the three WorkOne centers in Marion County and invests public and private funds for job training and education services to prepare a pipeline of skilled workers to fill the high demand jobs of today and in the future. Formed in 1983, EmployIndy is led by president and CEO Brooke Huntington. For more information visit
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Kallie Sulanke

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