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Sunday, September 19, 2021

Community partnership creating jobs for northeast side

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Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana partnered with Conexus Indiana and Cook Medical to create the Make & Move Up program to train 50 residents in advanced manufacturing and logistics. Kent Kramer, president and CEO of Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana, announced the program Sept. 9.

The training, called Catapult Indiana, was made possible by a $200,000 donation from JPMorgan Chase. Al Smith, state chairman for JPMorgan Chase, said the project aligns with the financial institution’s dedication to neighborhood investment.

“A skilled workforce and an inclusive recovery are key to Indianapolis’ growth,” Smith said. “Partnerships between community partners and business are critical to helping provide more people with the resources, skills and training they need to succeed. This investment helps prepare more Indianapolis residents for a more prosperous future.”

Conexus Indiana, a nonprofit focused on building and maintaining the manufacturing sector in Indianapolis, will play a role in creating jobs at a new production facility being built at 6190 E. 38th St. The Catapult Indiana training also comes from Conexus.

After completing the training, workers will have a national certification as well as several credits from Ivy Tech. Beginning salaries, Kramer said, will be over $15 an hour and includes benefits, as well as wrap-around services such as child-care and education.

“This partnership will show what can happen when we tap into a neighborhood’s human potential and put real opportunities on the table,” Kramer said. “I can’t wait to witness Make & Move Up’s long-term impact.”

Ashley Gurvitz, chief operations officer and executive director of United Northeast Community Development Corporation, worked with Kramer and Conexus Indiana CEO Fred Cartwright to introduce them to the northeast side and its residents.

“This is the activation of a whole neighborhood,” Gurvitz said. “… When you start to develop a neighborhood, don’t forget the neighbor. … Make & Move Up will strengthen both individuals and the community, which puts the community on a pathway to a brighter future.”

Gurvitz said it’s paramount that businesses and industries work with community members to ensure residents are having their voices heard and they aren’t displaced by rising costs.

“You have to build with us, not on us,” Gurvitz said. “We want people to have a say in what gets built in their neighborhoods, what kind of businesses come to the area. With this program, we’re creating jobs and developing the neighborhood without the community losing its identity.”

The new production facility is scheduled to being operations in March 2022.

Contact staff writer Breanna Cooper at 317-762-7848. Follow her on Twitter @BreannaNCooper.

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