Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) has received a grant of $7,313,200 from Lilly Endowment Inc. through its initiative, Enhancing Opportunity in Indianapolis. The grant will support a construction trade training program called BY Plus: Good People, Good Jobs, Good Careers. The program will be led by the foundation in collaboration with Indiana Construction Roundtable Foundation, Indianapolis Legal Aid and Neighborlink.
CICF is one of 28 grantees being supported through Enhancing Opportunity in Indianapolis, an initiative designed to improve the livelihoods of individuals and families facing complex and varied challenges associated with poverty and financial insecurity
Participants of BY Plus will receive onsite job training experience in the construction field while providing home repairs for seniors with limited financial resources. Trainees will be paid for their work and receive wrap-around services, including legal support, to better connect to meaningful employment and career opportunities in the construction industry, while overcoming barriers.
“Equitable access to a job with a career path is key to addressing poverty,” said Brian Payne, CICF’s president and CEO. “Through this collaboration of four organizations, we’re able to provide opportunities and pathways for people looking for meaningful employment while also making needed repairs to the homes of many of our community’s seniors, enabling them to safely age in place with dignity. We at CICF are honored and thrilled to work with our partners in the community—including our residents—and to have the support of Lilly Endowment to further advance equity to all.”
“We are grateful for the tremendous response we received from the Indianapolis community during a time when organizations were called upon to significantly ramp up their existing programs and services in response to the acute needs brought on by the COVID-19 crisis,” said Rob Smith, Lilly Endowment’s senior vice president for collaborative strategies. “We believe that the projects being funded through this initiative have the potential to improve the lives of a significant number of Indianapolis residents facing the challenges of poverty and financial insecurity.”
Lilly Endowment launched Enhancing Opportunity in Indianapolis in 2019 because poverty and financial insecurity have been persistent challenges in Marion County. Research has indicated that around 20 percent of residents in the city have been living in poverty and an additional 20 percent have been living close to poverty and struggling to make ends meet.
Through Enhancing Opportunity in Indianapolis, Lilly Endowment invited eligible organizations to consider how they would work comprehensively with other community partners and employers to help residents make progress toward achieving lasting economic self-sufficiency. Due to the number of high-quality proposals Lilly Endowment received and the compounding challenges COVID-19 brought to bear on already vulnerable individuals and families, Lilly Endowment nearly doubled its initial funding commitment to more than $93 million.
ABOUT LILLY ENDOWMENT INC.
Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly, Sr. and his sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. Although the gifts of stock remain a financial bedrock of the Endowment, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion. The Endowment funds significant programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion. However, it maintains a special commitment to its founders’ hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.