Ascend Indiana enhances Network job platform in preparation for statewide expansion, raises more than $23 million
INDIANAPOLIS (November 3, 2021) – Ascend Indiana has raised $23.8 million to expand its organization and enhance the infrastructure for the Ascend Network, its proven online job platform that helps job seekers find a job, internship, or training opportunity in Indiana that matches their interests and skills. The Network features open roles at over 550 employers in the state and, through its collective efforts, has directly connected more than 2,300 individuals with their next career opportunity. The updated Network infrastructure, which includes improved accessibility for those with disabilities, makes it easier and more efficient for users to find a job. It also enables Ascend Indiana to expand statewide partnerships that would serve additional employers and job seekers across Indiana.
“Over the last year and a half, the employment landscape in Indiana has changed drastically, from the record high unemployment rates caused by COVID-19 to the surging demand for talent today,” said Jason Kloth, president and CEO of Ascend Indiana. “The Ascend Network is helping thousands of job seekers, including students of color and students from low-income backgrounds, navigate more efficiently to employment opportunities. Through generous support from many funders, the Ascend Network is strategically positioned to help more Hoosiers find quality employment and training opportunities in this rapidly changing labor market.”
Ascend Indiana is an initiative of Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP). In 2019, Lilly Endowment Inc. made a $12.75 million grant to the CICP Foundation to help Ascend scale its efforts. Since then, Ascend has raised an additional $11 million, including a $5.25 million match made possible through the Lilly Endowment grant as well as contributions from 45 employers, community partners, and other local and national philanthropies. Those philanthropic funders include the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, Central Indiana Community Foundation’s Glick Philanthropies, Eli Lilly Corporate Foundation and JPMorgan Chase Foundation.
The Ascend Network – through partnerships with higher education institutions including Indiana University, Purdue University, Ball State University, Ivy Tech Community College, and others – has accomplished the following:
- Held 11,000 career coaching meetings
- Driven more than 20,000 applications to Indiana work-based learning and jobs
- Connected more than 2,300 individuals with Indiana work-based learning and jobs
Though Ascend’s focus remains primarily on college students and recent graduates, particularly students from low-income backgrounds and students of color, recent Network infrastructure improvements have made it easier for education and workforce partners to help job seekers connect with opportunities through the platform. See a complete list of Ascend’s employer, education and community partnerships here.
The Ascend Network is also currently serving job seekers in Central Indiana through two partnerships with Marion County’s workforce development board, EmployIndy. The Rapid Re-Employment Response (RRR) program was created in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and serves as a streamlined process to connect dislocated workers with needed career services and individualized support to help them find meaningful employment or training. In addition, Ascend and EmployIndy have partnered on a program called Modern Apprenticeship (MAP), which connects high school students with work-based learning experiences in Central Indiana through the Ascend Network.
Indiana employers and eligible job seekers interested in joining the Ascend Network can visit www.ascendindiana.com.
About Ascend Indiana
An initiative of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP), Ascend Indiana is committed to making Indiana a place of economic opportunity for all. Ascend connects job seekers to good and promising career opportunities through an innovative job matching platform, the Ascend Network; catalyzes partnerships and provides consulting services to meet high-demand workforce needs through Ascend Services; and conducts research to enable systems-level change that positively impacts individuals throughout the state. To learn more, visit ascendindiana.com.