INFORMATION FOR PROFESSIONALS IN INDY'S WORKFORCE ECOSYSTEM
The Role of Active Listening in Client Relationships
In January's edition of Ecosystem Enrichment, representatives from Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana shared best practices and insightful tools for “Effective Communication Through Active Listening”. With the aid of illustrations and group activities, participants had the opportunity to identify characteristics of active listening skills and their importance in serving clients.
During this session, participants also heard an organizational overview from Indy Reads, including data points around literacy in Marion County as well as ways to engage for both clients and volunteers.
Lastly, participants heard about a new Virtual Career Coach Training opportunity, in partnership with Rework America Alliance, offered virtually through EmployIndy's Learning Hub. Check out the presentation or video recording links to the right to see a recap of program details and instructions for accessing the courses.
Employment Barriers & Making The Right Referrals
In November, Ecosystem Enrichment participants had the pleasure of hearing from representatives from three important organizations that provide a variety of essential referral services for job seekers and community members: Indiana Family & Social Services Administration(FSSA), Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic, and findhelp.org.
Representatives from the Indiana FSSA took time during this session to share updates from Indiana 211, a free service that connects Hoosiers with help and answers from thousands of health and human service agencies and resources right in their local communities. Specifically, they outlined the Indiana 211 lines of business as well as walked participants through their website and various online resources.
Service providers who work with justice-involved clients had the opportunity to hear about several useful resources from the Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic, including their expungement services, Expungement Helpdesk, driver's license assistance and more.
Lastly, findhelp.org shared information on their free suite of program management tools and impact reports that are tailored to provide support for organizations, including intake tools, data collection forms/reports, referral tools and more.
The Basics of Career Training: What it Takes to Land Hot Jobs
The October edition of Ecosystem Enrichment welcomed three panelists including staff and facilitators from Marian University, IEC Indy, and Ivy Tech Community College, in a discussion on the basics of career training. Attendees had the opportunity to hear from panelists and join in the discussion around topics surrounding types of career training, the employment continuum, economic & financial stability for clients, career training & participant success, and more. Attendees were also presented resources to connect job seekers to postsecondary opportunities.
The session recording, presentation PDF can be accessed using the links to the right.
Career Assessments 101
During this month's Ecosystem Enrichment session, participants heard from Kylie Schreiber Wolf from Thomas P. Miller & Associates, WorkOne Indy's one stop operator.
Kylie provided career navigators and service providers with helpful information concerning the need for career assessments when working with clients as well as best practices for using career assessments. In attempting to gain information from clients, career assessments can be particularly helpful in determining a clients academic level, skill level, barriers, prior work experience, interests and more.
Kylie also presented attendees with suggestions for a number of helpful career assessment tools and gave advice on applicable situations for use.
You can find the entire session recording, presentation PDF, and career assessment links on the righthand side of this webpage.
DEI: The Importance of Understanding Social Identity
How do we define the terms diversity, equity and inclusion? How can social identity impact service delivery? Why is Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) important to Career Services Professionals? The August edition of Ecosystem Enrichment tackled these questions and more as attendees heard from workforce, economic development, equity, and access subject matter expert Nithya Pramekumar.
In focusing in on defining DEI, we learned that inclusion builds a culture of belonging by actively inviting the contribution and participation of all people. Attendees used a “social identity wheel” (found using the link to the right) exercise to understand and examine these concepts further. As a group, Pramekumar led the entire group through a deep dive into Occupational Segregation data relevant to Indiana. Important outcomes from this data include revelations such as the fact that “out of 25 broad occupational categories, 12 are so segregated by gender that they can be considered non-traditional occupations for men or women (meaning they account for fewer than 25% of the workers in the occupation).” Lastly, this session featured a robust group discussion around ways in which homogenous communities can promote DEI.
Use the links to the right to access session resources, download a PDF of the presentation or view the video recording.
De-Escalation and Conflict Resolution
In July's Ecosystem Enrichment, we learned about best practices for de-escalating and resolving conflicts from Bryan G. Ball Carvajal from Coalition For Homelessness Intervention & Prevention (CHIP) and Donita Smith-Foster from Vision Wealth Group, LLC. Topics discussed included:
Attendees also had the opportunity to hear from Ivy Tech Community College about several upcoming organizational focuses as well as Career Coaching and Employer Connection opportunities. Lastly, Eleven Fifty Academy presented on 3 Steps to a Successful Transition to a Career in Technology.
The difference between an essentialist and a non-essentialist is an essentialist thinks that almost everything is NOT essential whereas a non-essentialist thinks that almost everything IS essential.
June’s Ecosystem Enrichment offered insight on the notion of “Essentialism” through a comprehensive presentation from Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana. Using concepts from Greg McKeown’s New York Times bestselling book, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, Goodwill representatives guided attendees in understanding that, by defining what is actually essential in life, one becomes empowered to actually control and choose what they spend their time and effort on. Essentialism is described as being “more than a time-management strategy or a productivity technique.” Instead, it is defined as, “a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution toward the things that really matter.” Key topics discussed during the presentation include:
May's Ecosystem Enrichment attendees learned about Emotional Intelligence from Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana. Emotional Intelligence is defined as: “the ability to recognize one's own and other people's emotions, to understand different feelings and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior.” Session topics addressed include:
This month's Ecosystem Enrichment also included information on the COVID-19 vaccine (FAQs, availability, how it works) from Eskenazi Health and the Indianapolis Rental Assistance Program (eligibility, requirements, timeline) from the John Boner Neighborhood Center.
Intro to Co-Active Coaching
For April's session, Ecosystem Enrichment attendees participated in an engaging presentation on Co-Active Coaching. Representatives from Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana provided lessons and resources for Co-Active Coaching, which seeks to build conversational relationships and journeys where clients and career coaches share power and clients look inward to find the solutions. Session topics addressed include:
Use the links to the right to view the session recording or download the session presentation.
Dos and Don’ts in Career Services
The March edition of Ecosystem Enrichment focused on ethics and what it means for career navigators in their role as a part of Marion County's workforce development ecosystem. Attendees heard a robust presentation and participated in a discussion led by Kylie Schreiber Wolf, Workforce Ecosystem Coordinator with Thomas P. Miller & Associates. Topics discussed within this session included:
Attendees also heard a short presentation from representatives of Project WILL, whose mission is “supporting young adults with behavioral health challenges through life’s transitions while providing a launching pad for true growth and positive transformation.” You can learn more about Project WILL or get involved by visiting: www.projectwill.org.
Intro to Self-Care
February's virtual Ecosystem Enrichment provided attendees a look into the importance of self-care for service providers and their clients as well as examined why this area of our work is often neglected. Meg Kovacs, Behavioral Health Academy Coordinator at the Sandra Eskenazi Mental Health Center, presented an intro to self-care for frontline workers that included discussion on topics including:
Attendees also had the opportunity to hear from EmployIndy's Ecosystem Advancement team as they gave a comprehensive overview of EmployIndy's new Learning Hub + Resource Library. This online tool, free to all frontline staff and service providers, provides learning and training courses as well as the opportunity to participate in discussions with peers in forums. With a goal of providing best and emerging practices training for career coaches as well as knowledge about where & how to leverage strengths, tools & supports that exist in the ecosystem, the EmployIndy Learning Hub will have over 60 courses available by the end of 2021.
Addressing Generational Differences in Career Services
For the first edition of Ecosystem Enrichment for the 2021 calendar year, attendees had the opportunity to listen in on a roundtable discussion from Career Services representatives from Edna Martin Christian Center, Martin University and Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana. During this roundtable session, best practices for serving youth clients, adult clients and senior clients were shared in the areas of:
Use the links to the right to view the session recording or download the session presentation.
Serving Diverse Populations
November's edition of Ecosystem Enrichment welcomed administrators and facilitators from Wayne Township Adult Education to share their insights and tools as they serve diverse populations. During this portion of the webinar, we heard about:
We also heard a short presentation from Exodus Refugee Immigration, Inc on their efforts throughout Marion County. Since 1981, Exodus has helped thousands of refugee families from more than 50 different countries through language trainings, employment trainings, reception services and more.
Labor Market Information
October's edition of Ecosystem Enrichment provided an overview on labor market information from Goodwill Industries of Central & Southern Indiana, geared towards career navigators and service providers. Topics discussed include:
Participants also heard from Project Azul about their Logistics training courses and process. Topics discussed include:
Child Care Resources and More
During this month's Ecosystem Enrichment, we saw presentations from Child Care Answers (A program of Early Learning Indiana), Family & Social Services Administration (FSSA) and 10 East Voter Headquarters.
Presenters addressed solutions to barriers to child care for current workers, citizens returning to work, and discussed child care issues related to COVID-19. View the recap video using the link to the right to hear helpful information on topics including:
A representative from 10 East Vote Headquarters ended our session with valuable information for the upcoming election:
Hosted by staff from EmployIndy and Ascend Indiana, this month’s Ecosystem Enrichment served to provide Career Navigators and service providers with a high level overview of what’s available from the state’s rapid recovery efforts including Next Level Jobs, Workforce Ready Grants, Rapid Reskill, and 180 Skills and more.
Topics covered in more detail from both a job seeker and provider perspective include:
Resources for a Recovering Economy
Upskilling Job Seekers
Presenters from InvestED, EmployIndy, Ivy Tech, and Eleven-Fifty Academy discussed various methods and resources for upskilling jobseekers. View the presentation or watch the session recording to learn more about the following topics:
Virtual Client Engagement
Team members from Wayne Township Adult Education, Warren Township Adult and Community Education and Washington Township Schools presented on methods, tools and best practices for successful virtual client engagement from the perspective of adult education.
Workforce Ecosystem Resources & Tools to Combat COVID-19
Kevin Duffy shared information regarding WorkOne Indy and EmployIndy's immediate responses during this time as well as unemployment insurance and the CARES Act. Tracey Everett explained Skillful Indiana's vision and strategies, including links for career coaches to access resources and sign up for webinars. Bryan Gilbert from John Boner Neighborhood Centers emphasized the support that they are continuing to offer virtually.
Disability Inclusion Training
Angela Vandersteen and Curt Sutterfield from Tangram presented on disability inclusion. Tangram supports people with disabilities by designing services to meet their specific needs and desires. Disability inclusion training helps you to think differently so that you can best help your clients and be a better advocate for them.
Indianapolis Barrier-Busting Resources
Representatives from United Way of Central Indiana, IndyGo, Proteus, and the John Boner Neighborhood Centers spoke about the barrier-busting resources they offer. Some of the topics discussed include:
A Lesson on Trauma Informed Care & Resilience-Focused Culture
Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana engaged participants in an introduction to trauma informed care and emphasized the focus on resilience. Many of the clients that we serve on a regular basis have experienced trauma in one form or another and it's crucial to meet with them through an unbiased lens.
Introduction to Motivational Interviewing
Ashley Jones from Nurse-Family Partnership with Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana engaged participants in an introduction to motivational interviewing (MI) and encouraged audience participation through partner exercises to demonstrate the reasoning behind MI.
Motivational interviewing is a collaborative conversation style during which the practitioner aims to recognize the client's strengths and needs. It is important because it can help create lasting change by empowering the client.
The Importance of Coaching Financial Literacy
This week at Ecosystem Enrichment, Nathan Miller from Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana introduced attendees to the Your Money, Your Goals curriculum from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The many barriers that inhibit career progress for clients can also inhibit financial empowerment. One of the biggest barriers for those wanting to learn about financial literacy is simply finding the time to do so. Even if the financial literacy information and coaching is free, transportation and time away from work are sometimes hard to come by.
Question, Persuade, Refer: QPR Suicide Prevention Training
Whitney Nixon with Community Health Network led a QPR training this week at Ecosystem Enrichment. QPR – similarly to CPR – is a preventative method to identify that a person is at risk and then keep them alive long enough to get to a trained professional that can help.
Indianapolis Housing Agency: Resources & Section 3
The Indianapolis Housing Agency (IHA) joined us at this week's Ecosystem Enrichment. Aside from resident services such as community resources, programming and financial coaching, IHA highlighted their Section 3 Employment and Training program under HUD. This program is available to qualifying individuals with funds for additional job training, uniform assistance, employer connectivity, and more.
Additionally, all individuals meeting these income requirements are eligible to receive Section 3 HUD funding; including all IHA community residents and anyone qualifying for/residing in Section 8 or public housing. IHA partners with local businesses to host job fairs and workshops as well as utilizing their own IDA (Individual Development Account) with an asset development program with a 3:1 match:
When screening your clients, it is valuable to inquire about their income limitations and if they reside in Section 8 or public housing. Any resident meeting any one of these requirements will be eligible to receive free training dollars and benefits through Section 3 and IHA.
Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP) and the Gateway to Work Program
Throughout 2019 and into 2020, the Healthy Indiana Plan is integrating “Gateway to Work” requirements for its participants to remain eligible for benefits. Gateway to Work mandates that HIP participants begin logging work, education, or volunteer hours. The discussion also unveiled some discussion around exemptions and what activities qualify for logging hours. Much of this is because they are evaluated case-by-case. Download the PDF presentation, read through key takeaways, and watch the highlights video to learn more.
Family Social Services Administration: TANF, SNAP, and IMPACT
Representatives from the Indiana Institute for Working Families and Indiana's Family Social Services Administration (FSSA) shared info about Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and Indiana Manpower Placement and Comprehensive Training (IMPACT).
Preparing & Connecting Re-Entry Individuals to the Workforce
One of the largest challenges career navigators struggle with is the lack of assistance they are able to provide to the large number of re-entry individuals who come into their organizations. To solve this issue, Nick Reich from RecycleForce says “we need to work together to play to our strengths.” This was the overwhelming message from RecycleForce and the John Boner Neighborhood Center. RecycleForce hires mid- and high-level re-entry candidates (those who have the hardest time getting hired because of stronger offenses) to help them adjust to the workforce and get on their feet. Concurrently, Centers for Working Families, such as the John Boner Neighborhood Center, are pairing these individuals with case managers who assist with career navigation, financial stability, and personal support. By working together, the Ecosystem is able to best assist this population in re-engaging with society.
EmployIndy: Region 12 WIOA Data & Training Program Solutions
In this Ecosystem Enrichment, we reflected on EmployIndy’s (Region 12) WIOA data for Quarter 1.* Although EmployIndy met or exceeded most of the training goals for serving adults and dislocated workers, it was announced that there was a disconnect across the board when it came to serving and placing youth in training or education programs. We focused more in-depth on creating possible solutions in order to improve the number of individuals who receive credentials. Here were a few of the ideas:
*Because of glitches in the system at the time, the numbers may not be exact
LISC Indianapolis: Taking Barriers into Account
Connecting qualified clients to jobs, training, education, and resources is a day-to-day struggle. Part of this basic connecting starts at the beginning – helping clients overcome transportation barriers in order for them to receive jobs a comfortable distance from their home or directly on a bus route. This is just one of the more popular barriers to assisting clients. In a group discussion, ideas were shared about how we can overcome some of these challenges:
Helping a Job Seeker Create a Great Resumé
Jennifer Walde from EmployIndy's Business Solutions team highlighted some best practices for resume development based on modern ways businesses and recruiters receive, filter, and evaluate submissions. Download the presentation to learn more about the following key takeaways: