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The Next Level:  Aligning Workforce and Education Data

by Indiana Business Research Center (IBRC)

Throughout Indiana, people are working long and hard to ensure that students and workers get the knowledge and skills they need to join the workforce and to move their careers to the Next Level.

The Governor’s Workforce Cabinet, created in the 2018 legislative session, is committed to bringing solutions to aligning our education and workforce training systems. The Indiana Data Partnership (IDP) is working to map two things about our workforce education ecosystem:  the existing and its potential.

The Who and How

The IBRC team began with the extensive data on organizations they already had in their databases and mapping the organizations identified as having either a workforce or education role or purpose.

We then added in the programs specifically connected to EmployIndy, the Marion County Workforce Investment Board (one of 12 throughout Indiana), whose job is to guide Marion County’s workforce to that “next level”.

EmployIndy has a strategic set of services that focus on targeted impact areas. They and their funded partners work with employers, help young adults both in school and out, and advance their goals through neighborhood frameworks to leverage their partner impacts. In short, cluster mapping ready!

Contracting with more than 70 organizations in the county to carry out specific programs, EmployIndy works with many high schools, career centers, Goodwill Industries, the Indianapolis Urban League and Flanner House of Indianapolis among many others – as you will see in our visualizations!

Because EmployIndy is in a unique position to help us visualize the ecosystem AND can share data that can extend and enhance what is known about how and where people obtain education or workforce assistance, we have been able to show how these local and state collaborations can work in real life.

At the same time, the university can introduce new organization-based data to help map out a “supply chain” cluster, provide its subject expertise, and identify organizations potential new connections and partners that can expand the network.

The What

We have now created a set of four visualizations. The first, an introduction, focuses on how we are currently using data to mapping the education/workforce systems. Next, we created three visualizations that focus on specific types of use cases that practitioners could find useful:

Use Case 1: Honing in on a specific EmployIndy program: Youth Employment Services (YES). This cluster map reveals the program’s context within the wider Marion County Workforce and Education cluster map.

Use Case 2:  Communities are key areas of focus in network analysis.  A cluster map of organizations that operate within that community and around a specific initiative can reveal both existing relationships and potential new ones. In this case, adding a new community organization as a provider for the YES program. (See Figure 2)

Use Case 3: Getting deeper into the cluster map, we can begin to see what may happen if a community organization or training provider closes shop and what effect that would have on the network. (See Figure 3)

More information on the YES Program

The Youth Employment System helps students and adults aged 16 to 24. The goal is to move youth through education, training, work and then self-sufficiency. There are currently 12 organizations that are EmployIndy network partners in Indianapolis that provide these services:

  • Edna Martin Christian Center
  • Fathers and Families Center, Inc.
  • Hawthorne SSA, Inc.
  • John H. Boner Community Center
  • Keys to Work
  • Martin Luther King Community Center
  • Martindale-Brightwood Community Development Corp.
  • Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center
  • PACE, Inc.
  • Rivery Valley Resources
  • Westside Community Ministries
  • YouthBuild Indy

EmployIndy works with these agencies to help them collect case-management data that can eventually identify what works.

  • Learn about the launch of the Indiana Data Partnership

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