Invest Hamilton County

Memos From Mike

Invest Launches Multiple New Programs
March 20, 2024

March and April 2024 have been and will be a period of growth and transformation for Invest Hamilton County. We have new initiatives launching in the disability employment, child care, reentry and K-12 spaces. These initiatives will help guide the continued growth and vitality of our community, while also addressing systemic barrier to economic vitality for or resident, families and communities.

In 2024 IHC is launching its new Invest-Ed program, centered around facilitating career exploration and work-based-learning activities for students in all six local school corporations. By centralizing employer connectivity, in collaboration with four local Chambers of Commerce, and prioritizing relationship management with employers, invested will help schools, and The Pursuit Institute build new, more dynamic, and individualized partnerships with local businesses and community organizations. Facilitated activities include but are not limited to; K-8 career awareness, freshmen academies, job shadowing, capstone experiences, CTE Apprenticeship connections, internships, and supports for local mentoring programs.

Since 2022, IHC has been piloting disability-focused career awareness and training programs in partnership with local advisory councils and service providers. In 2024 that program is expanding to deliver dynamic and inclusive career exploration services to students and adults throughout Hamilton County. Through partnership with local Chambers, and the Hamilton County Leadership Academy, IHC will facilitate 1:1 career discovery meetings for local students and adults with disabilities looking to learn more about a given career or occupation.

InvestAbility will also sustainably fund five community-based and paid adult training opportunities throughout the county managed by JANUS Developmental Services and supported through a partnership between the Hamilton County Commissioners and IN FSSA. Our goal is to have 130-150 participants per year in these training programs once fully operational.

Career Coach Hamilton County
IHC in 2024, in partnership with the Hamilton County Community Foundation (HCCF), has launched the “Hamilton County Career Coach” software program through a partnership with Lightcast (previously EMSI-Burning Glass). This powerful online service uses Lightcast’s comprehensive labor market data to help students and adults find careers that match their strengths and discover programs in higher education and community trainings that prepare them for success in their identified careers. Through Career Coach adults and students can:

  • Take an assessment or search for careers.
  • Get to explore broad career pathways that match their strengths and interests.  Compare careers within a pathway: salaries, required education and
  • Explore the programs that will train them for their favorite career.
  • Quickly apply for programs by jumping over to the institution’s program page
  • Create a profile and quickly craft a resume. Career Coach will even suggest tasks and skills to include based on their work experience. 

Since 2022 IHC has been facilitating multiple training programs for justice involved and/or recovery populations across Hamilton County. In 2024 IHC is launching and/or expanding multiple programs for justice-involved, mental health and underemployed populations across the community. Community partners include the Hamilton County Sheriff’s TOWER program, Hamilton County Community Corrections, Aspire Indiana Health, and the Hamilton County Township Trustees.

  • New Employment 101 training delivered in the Jail’s TOWER program and in Community Corrections (aka work release). This training is targeted toward individuals who have been unable to retain employment for extended periods, or who are rejoining the labor force. It helps participating individuals learn more about establishing career goals, adapting to feedback, communicating accommodations, building a resume and several other employment essentials,
  • Golden Opportunities program has helped facilitate placements and customer service skill development over the past multiple years of training. This partnership with Hamilton County Tourism and local hospitality employers will continue this year and expand into new training sites.
  • In late Q2 or early Q3 of 2024 IHC will also be launching a property maintenance training (curriculum in development) to help place participants into high-demand maintenance occupations across the community.

 Child care Action and Investment Plan
The Childcare Community Action and Investment Plan will be centered around child care availability/benefits and the lack of accessible inventory within our local market, and identifying key infrastructural opportunities for ecosystem improvement, with attached investment amounts needed to build and sustain those improvements. The development of a comprehensive community action and investment plan will help facilitate future investments in the ecosystem, engage providers and employers with workforce development and K-12 education professionals, and help develop consensus among philanthropic, corporate, and civic leaders regarding funding priorities and coordinated action plans. This will facilitate hundreds of local businesses being able to engage in coordinated and sophisticated child care solutions.

 Outcomes will include:

  • a comprehensive curation of gaps existing within the child care provider ecosystem, and a workforce and wage availability analysis.
  • Identified industries and employers within the County economy that see higher rates of child care barriers.
  • Gap analysis and investment planning document, including proposed investments and costs.
  • Guidelines and best practices for the establishment of a joint fund to address community-wide child care priorities.
  • Establishment of a county-wide “Child care Collaborative” that brings together civic, employer, philanthropic, education and nonprofit stakeholders.
  • Process for connecting joint child care provider priorities and challenges to county-wide audiences and transparently promoting the real state of availability and access within the county ecosystem.