Learning and Talent

Promote opportunity and access for all Black people to receive high-quality education and training opportunities so they are prepared for good-paying, 21st-century careers.
BEI promotes opportunities for Black talent to gain access to training, education, and business future.

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Learning and Talent
Learning and Talent
Learning and Talent

Key Takeaways

Black and Hispanic residents of our city and state face looming gaps in education opportunities and workforce outcomes compared to white residents at every stage of the education-to-workforce pipeline.

These disparities hinder individuals’ ability to prosper, businesses’ ability to thrive and the vitality of our community. Employers also struggle to fill knowledge and skill-based positions with the talent they need.

No single person or institution is responsible for this systemic inequality; it is a complex, community-wide challenge involving a myriad of issues, all with roots in the troubling history of race in America.

Phase One Recommendations

Summary of Programs

Learning and Talent Data

The following data highlight the pervasive disparities in education outcomes for Black and Hispanic children and adults in Indianapolis and Indiana and the troubling consequences. These data provide a basis for the recommendations for how employers of all sizes can support the success of Black and Hispanic children and adults in early learning, K-12, and postsecondary education.

Education and Workforce Development Catalogue

Academic Program

Early Childhood Education Programs

Financial Aid & Financial Literacy Programs

Job Shadow and Career fair Programs

Mentoring and Career Navigation Programs

Leadership Skills & College/Career Prep Programs

Work-base Learning Programs

Talent Pipeline Analysis

Learning and Talent

Focus Areas

  • Expand access to high-quality early learning programs:
      • Access to high-quality early learning is critical for ensuring children from low-income households are provided with a strong academic foundation when they enroll in Kindergarten. In Marion County today, there is an insufficient number of high-quality seats available, and the cost of high-quality programs can be an impediment for some families. A lack of early learning programs also impacts the ability of employees with children to remain in the workforce.
  • Enhance exposure to and preparation for college and careers for middle and high school students:
        • Too few Black K-12 students demonstrate proficiency in core subjects such as reading, math, and science, and these academic challenges are compounded by non-school factors such as food insecurity, the digital divide, insufficient mental health supports, and exposure to gun violence and other trauma.
        • Low proficiency in core subjects such as math and science are of significant concern, given the critical importance of a well-prepared STEM workforce for high-wage, high-demand jobs in Central Indiana’s advanced industries (as defined by Brookings in the GPS study released by CICP).
        • Because of Indiana’s new Graduation Pathways requirements, some form of work-based learning is required for all high school students in Indiana. Not every student currently receives exposure to Central Indiana’s advanced industries.
  • Increase access to and persistence through post-secondary education:
      • Too few Black students successfully enroll in college. This is driven in part by low application rates for state and federal aid, low participation in state-funded scholarship programs, limited capacity of college and career counselors, and a general lack of a college-going culture in Indiana.
      • Too few Black students persist in college and successfully graduate. Non-tuition expenses such as books, transportation, and childcare present barriers to completion.
      • Too few employees take advantage of employer tuition assistance benefits to earn additional degrees or credentials, in part driven by policies requiring expense reimbursement upon completion of training. This can serve as a barrier for low-to-middle income employees. In addition, not every employer offers a tuition assistance benefit program.




Richard M Fairbanks Foundation

Dr. Adrienne



Participating Businesses

Citizens Energy Group


Early Learning Indiana

Eli Lilly & Co. Foundation

Employ Indy


Glick Philanthropies

Indy Chamber

Ivy Tech


The Mind Trust


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