Inside INdiana Business

Fort Wayne nonprofit creates workforce initiative

(image courtesy of Electric Works)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – Fort Wayne-based Joshua’s Hand has announced a new workforce development initiative. The nonprofit says the Joshua Works initiative was created to recruit, cultivate, and train a viable workforce to address unemployment and underemployment in construction trades.

The nonprofit is partnering with Delaware-based Broadway Redevelopment Partners and Weigand Construction in Fort Wayne and says the initiative will also advocate for contractual opportunities on the Electric Works project among minority, women and veteran business owners.

“Joshua Works will cultivate and train a viable workforce to help Allen County residents transition from poverty to self-sufficiency and beyond,” said Cedric Walker, Sr., founder of Joshua’s Hand. “We believe individuals tapping into their talents through education and training will help them experience the joy of independence, free from the need for public and private assistance—a feeling only self-sufficiency can provide.”

The nonprofit says the initiative aims to provide more opportunities for smaller businesses to bid for contracts related to the construction of the massive mixed-use innovation district.

A pre-bid meeting for Electric Works is scheduled for July 22 at 10 a.m. in Building 23, and bidders are encouraged to attend. Due to COVID-19, organizers say social distancing will be practiced during the pre-bid meeting and all site visits.

“Our vision is for Electric Works as an engine of inclusive growth in our region – growth that creates real opportunities for everybody,” said Kevan Biggs, member of the Electric Works development team and board member at Joshua’s Hand. “This agreement and partnership are also about expanding and strengthening the continuum of educational opportunities available at Electric Works.”

Joshua Works representative Yusanda Blackmon added, “The Electric Works project stands to bring transformation to our entire region. We are thrilled to work with the Electric Works team to address our community’s workforce needs. Our partnerships with veteran, minority and women-owned businesses will amplify the trades and pave the way for a brighter future for Allen County residents.”