- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 25, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - An organization in central Indiana has started a program with the goal of connecting local employers with job seekers.

The new Central Indiana Corporate Partnership initiative, called Ascend Indiana, aims to match the workforce’s skills with the employers needs through training, the Indianapolis Business Journal (http://bit.ly/2eOTXLS ) reported.

“We are creating lots of good-paying jobs. We do not have the supply of people with educational credentials aligned to those available jobs,” said Jason Kloth, president and CEO of Ascend Indiana.

The group found while researching the central Indiana workforce in the last year that the current supply of skilled talent and employer demand are uneven, with demand outnumbering supply.

Ascend Indiana officials said they hope to achieve this goal by working with companies to help them assess their talent needs, helping job-seekers get employment and training, building the pipelines that produce skilled workers, and conducting research, consulting and public policy work.

So far Ascend Indiana has raised $7 million for the effort.

Its first project includes providing funding for a local office for College for America, a program that helps existing workers earn two-year or four-year online degrees paid for through their employers’ tuition reimbursement programs.

In the future the group plans to partner with education providers which would include technical schools, universities and community based programs to train employees for high-demand jobs that are identified by employers.

Currently, Ascend Indiana is working on three projects with employers and plans to add more over time.

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Information from: Indianapolis Business Journal, http://www.ibj.com

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