It Takes a Village – Community Town Hall

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It Takes a Village – Community Town Hall

We started a new initiative this year to meet monthly to collectively tackle issues advocating for our associates that are in need of jobs.

So far 15 organizations in the Indianapolis area have met with us.

May marked our fourth community town hall meeting where topics such as transportation, language barriers, and time and attendance were discussed and how we can work together to rectify these challenges.

Working with community leaders and dedicated clients, we strive to streamline communication and create connections between employers and employee resources.

A Climate Change

A hot topic during the meetings has been immigrant and refugee employment.

“Unemployment is at its lowest, but amongst the immigrant and refugee population it’s over three times higher,” said Monique Charlebois, Director of Human Resources at Morales Group.

There are many ways that businesses and organizations in the Indianapolis area can get involved or help one another out.

Exodus Refugee Immigration, a non-for profit organization that serves the needs of incoming refugees and immigrants in Indiana. They facilitate everything from housing and healthcare to employment.

Community Outreach – What can we do differently?

So far, 15 organizations in the Indianapolis area have met with us including Catholic Charities, Department of Workforce Development, Homeless Initiative Program, Immigration Welcome Center, Shalom Community Center, Esperanza Ministries, Mary Riggs Community Center, and the Burmese American Community Institute.

The inception of our Town Hall Meetings gave these organizations a chance to learn about the different services they provide. “It amazed me that most of the organizations were not aware of each other,” said Charlebois. “Instead of having the same vision and providing the same service, let’s work together and see how we can make it more efficient.”

One proposal  has been for one organization to help with ELL on lunch breaks. Another one suggested that the last hour of day the clients allow their associates to take an English course because in the long run that’ll benefit them and it’s an investment in the people that are working there.

Coming together as a group, ideas are brainstormed to create innovative solutions that foster a sense of security for our associates that are new to the country or re-entering the workforce.

“To me one of the biggest purposes is for our clients to have an open mind about hiring immigrants and refugees with a lower English level,” said Charlebois. “By doing this, they invest in a highly motivated workforce that are ambitious to learn, develop, grow, and sustain a future with the company.”

In four short months, we were able to execute solutions that have successfully been implemented with both our clients and our outreach partners.

Our intent is to include businesses dedicated and committed to working through these long-term initiatives that strengthen our Indianapolis workforce.

Looking Forward

In the coming months, our goal is to continue developing ways for employment opportunities to be accessible and change perceptions so that adopting a diverse workforce becomes the norm.

“We want to live our mission of building better futures one story at a time in every aspect of our business. What better way than to meet and open a space for conversation for all those involved. It takes a village to make an impactful difference, it truly does.”

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