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Brightwood Community Center receives grant for employment services

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Brightwood Community Center was awarded $393,946 to increase employment training initiatives and specialized services among Black residents.

The employment initiative programming will include career services through Brightwood Community Center (BCC), and training through Hoosier occupational training Services, Star Training, Second Helpings, and the Indiana Plan for Equal Employment.

“We proposed to help train and find employment for approximately 100 Black people between the ages of 18-35, women included,” said BCC Executive Director Shonna Majors.

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“We previously did some workforce development last year and so this grant provides us another opportunity, a different opportunity to learn a skill set and then make a livable wage out of that training.”

The new initiative will start in the summer.

Brightwood Community Center grant

Funds were awarded in the third round of grants from the Indianapolis African American Quality of Life Initiative (IAAQLI).

IAAQLI is a place-based community change project established through a partnership between the National Urban League, the Indianapolis Urban League, and the African American Coalition of Indianapolis.

Funded through a one hundred-million-dollar grant from the Lilly Endowment, the goal of the IAAQLI is to acknowledge concerns and increase the quality of life of African American residents in Indianapolis.

“These funds will help us continue the critical work that we do in building community sustainability,” said Majors.

“Ensuring that residents receive employment training provides them with the opportunity to learn real job skills and enhance their own quality of life for themselves and their families.”

Carlos King is a resident living in the area who has been looking for jobs.

He said he has made his rounds through different community organizations to try to see who can help him with his unique situation.

Funded through IAAQUI

“I’m fighting a case. So, it’s hard when you have certain things on your record, or you’re worried about what’s next. The biggest thing isn’t even about getting a job, but it’s keeping one and being able to grow with more money,” said King.

“What’s the use of these smaller jobs accepting felons when it’s only paying you minimum wage or only so much money? I can’t live with that.”

When learning about the new initiative from the Brightwood Community Center, he said it was a good thing they are teaching people a new skillset to earn a higher paying wage than he is used to.

“Because it’s needed. I know so many people like me out here who just want to do better. I’m trying to see what skills they’re willing to help us learn,” said King. 

Contact staff writer Jade Jackson at (317) 762-7853 or by email JadeJ@IndyRecorder.com. Follow her on Twitter @IAMJADEJACKSON. 

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