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News 8’s Alexis Rogers emcees 22nd Mayor’s Celebration of Diversity

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Recognizing employers who demonstrate inclusivity in the workplace.

The 22nd annual Mayor’s Celebration of Diversity awards took place Thursday morning.

Hundreds turned out to hear local leaders share insights, success stories, and best practices for advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace.

I had the honor of emceeing the morning event.

News release

INDIANAPOLIS – April 27, 2023 – This morning, Mayor Joe Hogsett, the Office of Minority and Women Business Development, EmployIndy, and over 75 local employers gathered at the 22nd Annual Mayor’s Celebration of Diversity Awards to recognize employers who demonstrate inclusivity in the workplace and are dedicated to supporting diverse individuals and continuing progress in our community. This year’s event took place in-person at Ivy Tech Community College, with over 425 in attendance to hear local leaders share insights, success stories, and best practices for advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace. 

“This event places a special emphasis on the importance of supporting youth employment in Marion County as proceeds go to support Project Indy, an initiative developed by Mayor Joe Hogsett in 2016 and housed within EmployIndy. Through Project Indy’s virtual platform that utilizes text messaging to recruit and onboard job seekers, nearly 15,000 young adults in Marion County have been connected to work experiences that build their employability skills and allow them to explore new career fields.

“’Now more than ever, we must recognize the Indianapolis organizations that bring people together, honor our full community, and value diverse perspectives,’ said Mayor Joe Hogsett. ‘And just as we have every year since 2016, this event will benefit ProjectIndy – the City’s youth employability initiative, benefiting thousands of young adults since it was launched.’

In recognizing employers who have made exceptional efforts to demonstrate diversity, equity, and inclusivity in their workplaces, six awards were given with unique focuses including celebrating the impact of youth apprenticeships, good wages and employee support, excelling in youth employment, diversity in leadership, and a focus on workplace culture. 

“‘We’re honored to play a pivotal role in recognizing employers who have invested in equitable practices around hiring, leadership, quality jobs and culture,’ said Marie Mackintosh, president & CEO of EmployIndy. ‘Our collaborative work with these employers will only grow larger as EmployIndy remains committed to ensuring sustainable and scalable interventions that systemically address some of the root causes for equity gaps in educational attainment, in good and promising jobs, and for our city’s youth.’

“Two new awards were added to this year’s event; the Choice Employer award and the Dr. Mechelle Polter Youth Apprenticeship Employer of the Year, with the latter carrying special significance due to the recent unexpected loss of Dr. Mechelle Polter, Senior Director of EmployIndy’s Talent Bound program. This award honors her passion and tireless effort to empower youth and young adults to make informed decisions about their future and serves to recognize employers who carry on her legacy through their dedication to advancing youth apprenticeships in our community. This year’s award recipients are as follows:

  • “Dr. Mechelle Polter Youth Apprenticeship Employer of the Year was awarded to Ascension St. Vincent for their dedication to providing high school students with a positive trajectory to actively pursue a career by providing valuable, paid apprenticeship opportunities that complement their traditional coursework.
  • “Choice Employer was awarded to Indianapolis Airport Authority for offering all full-time employees a good wage of $18 an hour and benefits and embodies the traits of “Choice Employer,” by creating a work environment that focuses on supporting Career Pathways, Culture and Diversity, and Employee Resources.
  • “Excellence in Youth Employment was awarded to TeenWorks for their commitment to offering youth and young adults in Indianapolis the opportunity for that first job and embraces a culture that promotes the personal growth of those individuals through mentoring and advancement
  • “Diversity in Workforce was awarded to Morales Group, Inc Staffing who, in the past year, successfully implemented best practices to support workforce diversity. 
  • “Diversity in Leadership was awarded to Indianapolis Public Schools who cultivated an atmosphere of growth, particularly when considering upper-level diversity as well as actively supporting a diverse organizational culture.
  • “Sam H. Jones ‘Best of the Best’ was awarded to Eli Lilly and Company for exemplary performance in all aspects of diversity.

“Individuals who are interested in supporting youth employment in Marion County through Project Indy can donate online at www.employindy.org/mcod-donate. More information about Project Indy can be found at projectindy.net.”

EmployIndy