Inside INdiana Business

Pilot program to address workforce inequity

INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — A joint venture between the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership and the Indy Chamber is launching a pilot program to help businesses address inequity in the workforce. Business Equity for Indy says the Workforce Pilot will provide companies with evidence-based strategies to reduce disparities, drive equity and support their business competitiveness.

“What we’re responding to with the Workforce Pilot is the continuation of the Great Resignation, the great attrition that we’re seeing, the talent challenges that are impacting employers across the spectrum,” said Taylor Hughes, vice president of policy and strategy at the Indy Chamber.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Hughes said around 60% of employers in the market today are considering quitting their jobs, about 25% above pre-pandemic levels.

“It’s particularly challenging for women and people of color. We’re seeing that 64% of women are considering leaving, and around 300,000 Black workers have left the labor force across the country even this year,” he said. “We are seeing significant and persistent talent challenges, particularly in the diverse hiring space.”

The two-year pilot aims to attract 30 participating companies that will complete a five-stage program with guidance from university partners and other subject matter and technical experts from throughout the country.

The BEI Workforce Pilot comes into that space to say, ‘Here are strategies we know have an evidence base that if you put them into practice, they will help to close racial disparities within your workforce and also help make a difference on your your business bottom lines, things like talent, attraction, retention, productivity, other competitiveness, metric metrics like that,’” said Hughes.

Hughes says BEI will also provide resources to help companies implement the strategies outlined in the pilot. The program will also be available at no charge to the participating companies.

Hughes says he believes demand for a first-of-its-kind program such as the Workforce Pilot is very strong.

“We want to be able to say regardless of where you’re starting from as a company, whether you’ve been working with a DEI consultant, you’ve got a plan that you’re working with already that we can help support, or this is the first time you’ve come out and you really are looking for a lot of help in putting something new into place, we want to have a good spectrum of those companies so that we can help your firm regardless of where you are in this journey, and articulate that equity is essential to innovation and competitiveness.”

Applications for the pilot are being accepted through August 31. Companies will be notified if they are selected for participation by mid-September.

You can learn more about the Workforce Pilot by clicking here.