The monthly newsletter of the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation
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Modern Apprenticeship Program Now Accepting Applications from Marion County High School Students
For Marion County high school students, Modern Apprenticeship (MAP) offers an opportunity to earn relevant job experience, a paycheck, college credits and an industry-recognized credential starting in their junior year of high school. Ascend Indiana and EmployIndy launched Modern Apprenticeship with support from the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation last fall, and the program began accepting applications for its first student cohort in January 2021.

More than a dozen Indianapolis employers have signed on to hire Modern Apprenticeship participants, and this pilot cohort will include up to 30 students from Indianapolis township school districts and public charter schools. You can learn more about Modern Apprenticeship through this interview.

New Data Snapshot Highlights Key Health Challenges
Earlier this month, the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation launched our Community Data Snapshot, a free resource with almost 200 graphs and a decade’s worth of data across our three focus areas: Education, Health, and the Vitality of Indianapolis. The purpose of the Snapshot is to provide detailed data to support our grantees and other community partners as they work to design and implement programs and services – ideally leading to better community outcomes.

In this month’s issue of our newsletter, we spotlight some health statistics included within the Snapshot. 

  • In 2019, there were 362 fatal drug poisonings (overdoses) in Marion County, compared with 132 fatal drug poisonings in 2010.
  • In 2019, 23% of Hispanic residents in Marion County had no health insurance, compared with 11% of Black residents and 9% of white residents.  
  • In 2020, 3.5% of high school seniors in Marion County reported smoking traditional cigarettes, and 25% reported use of vaping products. 
  • In 2020, 34% of Marion County 12th-graders reported feeling sad or hopeless for 2 or more weeks, 17% reported considering suicide, and 10% reported making a plan to attempt suicide.  

Learn more in the Health section of the Community Data Snapshot.


Indiana GPS Project Report Explores Challenges to Indiana's Economy After COVID-19

As Indiana considers its economic recovery from the pandemic, how can the state rebuild stronger than ever? To answer this question, the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program and the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP) collaborated on a new report, “State of Renewal: Charting a new course for Indiana’s economic growth and inclusion.” The report, which is part of the broader Indiana GPS Project, identifies “preexisting conditions” for the state, including industry and labor market shifts and slow wage growth, and presents recommendations for a stronger and more inclusive economy. 

A New Model is Helping to Develop Workforce Development Strategies to Fill Talent Gaps

To help fill a shortage of trained professionals to treat substance use disorder (SUD), Ascend Indiana has developed a 21st century talent model that can be replicated by other health systems and also customized by a variety of employers looking to fill specific talent gaps. The model involves a partnership between an employer and higher education institution(s) that can rapidly create a pipeline of highly-trained professionals ideally suited for in-demand opportunities.

Community Health Network, with the largest behavioral health system in the state, was one of the healthcare providers facing an acute shortage of trained behavioral health professionals to ensure those diagnosed with SUD receive treatment. In response, the Behavioral Health Academy was launched with support from Ascend Indiana and funding from the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation.

To support the efforts of other health systems seeking to hire more social workers trained in addiction, as well as other employers looking for new solutions to their talent shortfalls, Ascend Indiana also developed a Talent Pipeline Replication Toolkit.

To Improve Outcomes, Train More Black Teachers
Claire Fiddian-Green in the IBJ Forefront

Research shows that teachers are the number one in-school factor affecting K-12 student academic outcomes. A teacher’s race also influences learning outcomes. Numerous studies find that students benefit from having racial diversity among their teachers. The benefits for Black students of having same-race teachers are even more significant.

However, the vast majority of individuals enrolled in teacher preparation programs in the United States—including in Indiana—are white, all but guaranteeing that Black students will mostly be taught by white teachers. How can we grow the supply of Black teachers in Indiana, thereby helping to improve educational attainment outcomes for Black students?

This Black History Month, we should commit ourselves to closing the persistent Black-white academic achievement gap. We can begin by increasing the racial diversity of Indiana’s teacher workforce.

Copyright © 2021 Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation, Inc., All rights reserved.

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