Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) has been awarded more than $503,000 in funds from the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet. The IPS Education Foundation facilitated the development and coordination of partners for IPS’ application, and as a result, this grant will help the district leverage community partnerships to provide a variety of career coaching services to benefit IPS parents, teachers and students from kindergarten through 12th grade.

The grant project, AIM (Advancing Individual Mobility) Higher, will generate a collaborative effort to remove barriers to employment and postsecondary enrollment and attainment in order to increase economic mobility for students and families. In alignment with the district’s 3Es strategy to ensure every student graduates ready to enroll in a two- or four-year college or university, enlist in the armed services or be employed in a job that pays a livable wage, AIM Higher leverages community partners to:

  • Engage (students and teachers Grades K–5): Professional development training for teachers with Skillful and increase the number of schools participating with Junior Achievement (JA) through BizTown.
  • Explore (students and teachers Grades 6–8): Professional development for teachers and counselors in the Naviance career pathway training. IPS also plans to work with partners to host military career fairs and increase the number of schools that utilize JA school programming.
  • Experience (students and teachers Grades 9–12): Expand JA programming; create the Summer Bridge program; facilitate industry and college tours, a military career day, apprenticeships, and Job Ready Indy badging; expand the SOURCE BOSS Entrepreneurship Camp with IUPUI and the Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center.
  • Adult Services: Create a Parent Institute, implement the Summer Melt program, and encourage students to enroll in Indy Achieves (for those who have chosen enrollment as their “E”).

“IPS is grateful for this far-reaching grant,” said IPS Superintendent Aleesia Johnson. “While great progress has been made, IPS has barely been able to scratch the surface and much work remains to provide important support for students and IPS families. This funding will help the district implement the programming needed to close the gap.”

The importance of supporting a brighter future for IPS students upon graduation is evident by the significant matching, in-kind and cash commitments included in IPS’ application. One example includes the partnership with Trilogy Health Services to provide a $4,500 stipend for each student who completes the apprenticeship – for a total investment of up to $405,000 over the course of the three-year grant period.

“Trilogy Health Services is very excited to be partnering with IPS and their amazing students,” said Mike Eichberger, Trilogy Health Services job coach. “Our apprentice program can provide students with a great opportunity to begin a career in health care and we can’t wait to see these students grow toward a promising future.”

Other partners include Corteva Agriscience, Eli Lilly and Company, EmployIndy, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, IPS Education Foundation, IUPUI, John Boner Neighborhood Centers, Junior Achievement, Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center, Morales Group, Skillful, and various military organizations. With in-kind and cash support from these partners, the total investment of this grant is more than $2 million.

For more information, contact Carrie Cline Black, IPS communications manager, at 317-605-3797.