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Northeast Indiana Works Gets $380,000 for Career Awareness

Nov 19, 2021

Northeast Indiana Works has secured $380,000 in foundation grants to carry out two career awareness campaigns.

The initial groundwork for one campaign, called Your Future: Make It Your Own, was done by the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, the regional economic development organization. The campaign recently transitioned to Northeast Indiana Works.

The Dekko Foundation has granted $150,000 for the first year of the planned three-year campaign, which will focus on educating, empowering and exposing the region’s future workforce to the breadth of career paths and helping students align their strengths, abilities and passions to steer self-discovery. The campaign will target mostly high school- and middle school-age young people.

A Your Future: Make It Your Own advisory committee will help guide and promote the campaign.

The second campaign will focus on manufacturing career awareness. The first two years of the planned three-year campaign are being supported by a $230,000 grant from the Don Wood Foundation. Manufacturing is northeast Indiana’s largest employing industry and the goal of the campaign is to get more young people into the manufacturing pipeline. The campaign will focus largely on Industry 4.0 careers (advanced technology that includes autonomous systems) and will target primarily middle school-aged students.

Additional funding is being sought to bolster both campaigns, which will include interactive elements and link existing career awareness and hands-on learning opportunities.

“Northeast Indiana is in the midst of expanding career awareness opportunities and these campaigns will not only enhance and provide consistency to those efforts but also provide new opportunities,” said Rick Farrant, director of communications for Northeast Indiana Works. “Moreover, the campaigns will augment the significant private-sector financial commitments being directed toward programmatic and equipment costs related to talent pipeline development.

“It is essential that young people in northeast Indiana are informed about career options and what it will take to successfully enter those careers. While it is unreasonable to expect that all students will stay or return to the region once they’ve chosen and completed their career training or education, it is hoped that many will and by doing so ensure a skilled regional workforce.”