Ecosystem Enrichment


Ecosystem Enrichment, held on the fourth Thursday each month, is intended for career navigators, frontline staff, and other workforce development professionals to share best practices, learn new opportunities for clients, and provide a space for shared strategic direction of local workforce development. Browse the topics below for key takeaways and resources from previous Ecosystem Enrichment meetings.





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. 

  • The  HIRE (Hoosier Initiative for Re-Entry) program maintains a list of businesses who actively hire individuals from the re-entry population and prepares them for the workforce pre-release
  • There is no shortage of previously incarcerated individuals who need work and we need to partner together to assist this population in overcoming barriers such as housing, employment, and transportation 
  • To engage businesses, EmployIndy’s Employer Engagement Manger,  Tracy Hartman , is on the Marion County Re-Entry Coalition which is an outreach strategy to connect and educate employers on this population

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:

  • Increase number of clients in the referral portal
  • Increase awareness of local programs and the training opportunities they offer
  • Establish a central location for people to come and receive training, education, and resources
  • Exchange information between programs to brainstorm and share best practices
  • Create a form of employer engagement so there can be a ‘direct handoff’ 
  • Design a referral process so partners are not operating in silos

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:

  • Websites have made applying to jobs very easy – which means job postings get lots of applications, and competition has increased
  • Resumés should be short, specific, and tailored to the job being sought
  • Focus on accomplishments rather than job duties, and use action verbs
  • Include resumes or degrees that are started but not yet completed 
  • Bullet points are generally easier to read than paragraphs 

Download Resources