This week, 144 of the world’s best golfers on the LPGA tour are in Indianapolis to compete at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s Brickyard Crossing golf course. Sure, they are here to play golf and vie for $2 million in prize money. But they also are descending on Indy to help raise awareness of the role women play in the growing tech industry. Thus, the tournament’s title – Indy Women in Tech Championship presented by Guggenheim.
It’s a perfect convergence of everything tech – from the high-tech venue of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to the title and nod to Indy Women in Tech (IWiT), a non-profit organization created to inspire women and female students of all ages to pursue opportunities in the technology field of their choice. The event will raise money for the IWiT Foundation, which provides funding for various women and tech initiatives, including STEM days and coding academies for women and career transitioning for those re-entering the workforce.
The latter purpose – to help women re-enter the workforce – caught the eye of Employ Up, whose mission to help Central Indiana residents re-enter the workforce perfectly aligns with IWiT’s work.
“At Employ Up, we try our best to connect with organizations that exemplify what it takes to be a champion for those who are marginalized in the professional world,” said Brian Lawrence, Employ Up program manager. “We are really excited about the tremendous opportunity to collaborate with IWiT and the LPGA because with our combined resources we will not only be able to help people find new careers but we will also help diversify the tech space.”
IWiT and Employ Up have a lot in common, agreed Melissa Watson, assistant vice president of Corporate Planning at Guggenheim Insurance and an officer with IWiT. “Employ Up offers many of the kinds of programs and services that align with our mission,” Watson said. “We’re both committed to offering education and building awareness of tech opportunities, including job-readiness skills, job search support, and training.”
Tournament play runs from September 7-9 and is surrounded by events that shine a light on women in tech beginning on September 5. Employ Up will be at the event September 5-9 at various locations where attendees can visit and meet with Employ Up representatives. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about the no-cost program that has already provided assistance to hundreds of Central Indiana residents looking for a new career. Attendees can enter the event for no charge on Tuesday and Wednesday; parking is free those days, as well.
Employ Up and IWiT’s partnership spans beyond the LPGA event. Both organizations work with Eleven Fifty Academy, a non-profit technology academy that provides an immersive learning experience designed for new coders. Eleven Fifty empowers people to launch, change and enhance their careers. Employ Up has sent 49 participants through Eleven Fifty, offsetting much – if not all – of the cost of tuition. IWiT has also provided a grant to Eleven Fifty to help a unique cohort of women to begin Java classes. IWiT’s grant, along with Employ Up’s support, has resulted in a graduating class of 7 women who now have promising career options.
Employ Up is Central Indiana’s resource for those who are underemployed or who have been out of work for 27 weeks or longer. It’s one of many resources available to residents who want a better career. With partnerships with organizations like IWiT, Employ Up can reach more residents and help grow the talent pipeline for Indy’s growing tech industry.