A program is available to help teens and young adults gain job training, learn life coping skills and complete their education. EmployIndy and YES Indy have partnered to create a multi-level initiative to help participants reach these goals. WFYI’s Terri Dee speaks with EmployIndy Vice-President of Neighborhoods Dionne Smith about the Power Huddle program.
WFYI Reporter Terri Dee: What is the process for a young adult to get involved in Power Huddle?
EmployIndy Vice-President of Neighborhoods Dionne Smith: A young adult can go to one of our 10 community based organizations and speak with a career navigator whether they're in the YES Indy program or not and say they're interested in Power Huddle, or there's a link on our website, or they can go to our YES Indy rec center, located at the Finish Line Boys and Girls Club on 38th and Post Road and ask about Power Huddle registration at that location.
Dee: Power Huddle is designed to help teenagers and young adults gain employment or finish school. So, share with us some of the skills that young adults will learn.
Smith: In the two-week Power Huddle intensive, we are working with young people to help them change their mindset from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. They are learning about accountability, self-confidence, attitude, teamwork, conflict management. We're trying to help them learn that they have the ability to achieve the dreams and the goals they had when they were younger. But right now, they may have a fixed mindset that is keeping them from acquiring those goals. So, the Power Huddle is a bridge experience. Once they complete the Power Huddle, they walk away with two job-ready Indy badges, which is honored by the Chamber of Commerce and the mayor of Indianapolis, and they walk away with a vision board. The vision board helps them work with their career navigator, and it gives them a continuous remembrance of what they want to do; and then the career navigator can help them create that journey to achieve their goals.
Dee: After young people have completed power huddle, then they transition over to YES Indy; is that correct?
Smith: That is correct. Within those two weeks of Power Huddle for anyone who does not already have a career navigator, we arrange for career navigators, located in their own community, to come to wherever the Power Huddle is being hailed. They are connected with a career navigator, meetings have been set up to where once the power huddle is finished, that young person already has their next step, which is to meet with the career navigator. Then that relationship grows for the next few years, as a young person talks about their goals, and they create a goal plan, and they have elements of leadership or housing support or whatever that young person needs.
Dee: So, YES Indy is designed to help these young people find jobs, particularly in the employment environment we're in where we're constantly seeing, pretty much in every industry staffing shortages?
Smith: YES Indy is designed to help young people with that; what we call an employee with either a job, a better job and a career. So, there's an ABC continuum. So the young people that are in Power Huddle, they have disconnected from employment or education. So, when they get into Power Huddle, we get those wheels turning and get them socially ready and their mindsets ready. The crew navigators support them in helping them find a job because now they just need a job to get started to get into the workforce to have some budgeting to be accountable and address all those transportation issues that they have had in the past. That's what the career navigator is there for; to help them be successful in a job. In that goal plan with the career navigator, the young person should be moved to a B job; that's the better job with a higher pay rate with more responsibility, and then lastly, possibly a career or post-secondary education.
Dee: That sounds great. I'm so appreciative of you taking time to talk to me about the program. Thank you again.
Smith: Okay, I appreciate it. Thank you, Terri.