EO Award Nomination Indiana

Indiana EO Award Nomination: Hiring Hoosiers series

Contact Information of Individual Submitting Nomination

Nominator: Scott Olson

Email Address: solson@dwd.in.gov

Agency Name: Indiana Department of Workforce Development



Hiring Hoosiers series

It is estimated that more than 1 million jobs will need to be filled in Indiana over the next 10 years, due to both new job creation and vacancies from Baby Boomer retirements. WRTV Channel 6 (ABC affiliate), through its year-long Hiring Hoosiers series, is telling stories that focus on employment opportunities, career growth and development resources for Indiana residents. A portion of that entails investigating "the barriers that keep Hoosiers from gainful employment and working to provide solutions." A scan of the Hiring Hoosiers website shows several stories focusing on the more marginalized sectors of the population. The Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) has served as a source for the Hiring Hoosiers series, either by furnishing employment and workforce statistics or by providing an expert within the agency who can speak to a specific story.

Describe the nominee's significant contributions towards the understanding and achievement of equal opportunity and nondiscrimination for all employees and customers. Response  (400 word limit).

As mentioned above, WRTV Channel 6’s Hiring Hoosiers series aims to shine a light on Hoosiers who face barriers to gainful employment. Oftentimes, that barrier is something as simple as the lack of a high school diploma. In Indiana, nearly 500,000 working adults have not graduated high school. As part of Gov. Holcomb’s NextLevel Jobs initiative, DWD is working tirelessly to reduce that number through its Adult Education program. In January 2019, WRTV tackled the issue in one of its first segments of the series, by featuring a program in Greenwood, Indiana, that is helping adults get their equivalency. The program is an Adult Education provider and is funded by DWD. Since then, WRTV has done several other stories focused on equal opportunity. They include “Prison program teaches inmates skills for the future”; “Job fair for veterans to be held”; “Lift Academy working to put more females in the cockpit”; and "Opening doors for seniors to return to the workforce."

Provide a statement of results, accomplishments, impacts, and any other appropriate information that demonstrates why the nominee's efforts described in question #1 were an exceptional contribution. Response (400 word limit).

DWD has worked hand-in-hand with WRTV on several stories featured in the Hiring Hoosiers series and, in particular, has forged a strong relationship with reporter Rafael Sanchez. In fact, Sanchez was a guest speaker at a DWD retreat where leaders of DWD’s regional workforce development boards met. There, they learned about Hiring Hoosiers through a video that Sanchez showed. The video is attached. Through his stories, Sanchez has highlighted a DWD program in a piece titled “Hoosiers rarely take advantage of benefit program that’s now costing workers thousands.” The story focused on the federal Trade Adjustment Assistance program, administered in Indiana by DWD, which provides assistance to workers whose jobs were eliminated due to global competition. Sanchez interviewed Mandy Mahurin, who leads the TAA program at DWD. In another, Sanchez went to DWD for his “GM workers denied unemployment benefits following plant shutdown.” Sanchez interviewed Stefanie Price, DWD’s director of appeals, who explained why employees were denied benefits. The reason: Plant shutdowns are considered voluntary and, in those instances, workers are not eligible for unemployment benefits. In yet another instance, WRTV came to DWD for its “Healthcare, tech jobs to surge in 2019.” Fran Valentine, DWD’s former research director, was interviewed by WRTV and served as the expert source for the story. DWD’s partnership with WRTV’s Hiring Hoosiers series has been very beneficial for the agency, by spotlighting various DWD programs and what the agency has to offer to Hoosiers, including those who face barriers to employment.


Examples of work 

IN - Hiring Hoosiers Series 2020.pdf (11.6KB)
IN - Hiring Hoosiers GM workers denied unemployment benefits following plant shutdown 2020.pdf (1.4MB)
IN - Hoosiers rarely take advantage of benefit program that's now costing workers thousands 2020.pdf (6MB)
IN - Indiana Department of Workplace Development to hold virtual job fair for Celadon employees 2020.pdf (1.1MB)
IN - Agency Approval Letter 01 06 2020.pdf (243.2KB)