INDIANAPOLIS — The Community Alliance of the Far East Side (CAFE) is working to address unemployment and increase job sustainability in Indianapolis. CAFE is working to help connect people with the training and resources they need to start a career.
"I'm from 46th and Arlington and it is rough over there. It’s hard to find good jobs. It’s hard to find good people to be around,” said Jalin Ford.
Ford says she has always wanted to work in the medical field, but that dream and the career aspirations of many on the east side of Indianapolis can sometimes feel out of reach. That is why CAFE created their Career Pathways Program.
“It is meant for residents in the community to decide what career they might want to take,” said Kendra Nowell, Chief Program Officer at CAFE. The program connects residents with job training providers and works to eliminate any barriers that could hinder the resident’s success.
“We are able to assist with some of the costs that are associated with the actual training and then also with any barriers that may get in the way of the clients completing the program which might be transportation, cost, assistance with childcare and some of those other things,” said Nowell.
Residents can pick the field and program that interests them most. There are programs for the medical field, logistics, CDL licensing and more.
Leaders with CAFE say they are seeing success with this program. In 2020, they had 51 people sign up and complete training programs; 40 of them passed state certifications or received licenses they needed to start a career.
CAFE helped connect Ford with a Certified Nursing Assistant training program through Star Training.
“To be able to do this class and then know that I can better myself and keep going on and on that's great,” said Ford.
The owner of Star Training is a graduate of this CAFE program herself. CAFE paid for her CNA training. She went on to become a registered nurse and now is working to give back by partnering with CAFE and offering these classes to the community to help people find sustainable careers.
“They are looking more into a career like I stated with longevity with it which leads to sustainability, not just for the individual, but for the families which will transition into the community,” said Nowell.
Nowell said there is limited space in the job training program. Certain fields, such as medical training programs, do have a waiting list. They're working on increasing funding so they can help more Hoosiers start a career.
If you’d like to learn more about the Career Pathways Program at CAFE click here.