Top Tech Companies Seek Black Indiana Residents To Share $300K In Grants

Top Tech Companies Seek Black Indiana Residents To Share $300K In Grants

The Indianapolis African American Quality of Life Initiative (IAAQLI) has pledged $300,000 in grant support for Black men and women in tech. Now, TechPoint, InnoPower, and Sagamore Institute are offering companies in Indiana the chance to provide tech-related apprenticeship opportunities to low-income adults.

According to Building Indiana Business, the two-year pilot program looks to be a major game changer for Indiana’s Black community. “Within our community are countless people with the ability to succeed in tech careers, but many of them don’t have the resources or relationships to access these,” InnoPower’s Founder and CEO Emil Ekiyor said. “Companies that participate in this program are opening the door to opportunities that can create generational change while helping to fill some of their most-needed roles right away and for years to come. Companies must have some skin in the development process for Black Hoosiers.”

According to Building Indiana Business, an apprenticeship program of this kind allows companies to hire apprentices and provide them with on-the-job training and educational opportunities.

However, the costs of these provisions often turn corporations away from offering them. With IAAQLI’s help, the usual $12,000 per person price tag is cut in half. “Apprenticeships are a long-proven strategy to build a pipeline of talent and the return on investment has a huge ripple effect with each success inspiring more people to participate,” Sagamore Institute President Teresa Lubbers said. “Having to invest in training can make employers hesitate. By reducing some of the risk we can get more employers involved and prove the talent in central Indiana’s Black community.”

For TechPoint, the initiative is part of their Mission14K project, which seeks to bring 41,000 new and diverse tech workers to the state by 2030. They plan to expand on tradition and develop new pathways for Black Hoosiers, especially women, to enter the tech industry.