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Joshua’s Hand launches its first State Earn and Learn in Construction Trades

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Joshua Works SEAL in Construction Trades

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Officials from the Indiana Office of Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeship (OWBLA) formally recognized the Joshua Works Initiative Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program in construction trades as a certified State Earn and Learn (SEAL) program. The ceremony was held on March 23 at McMillen Park Community Center in Fort Wayne.

The Joshua Works initiative was created by Joshua’s Hand Inc., a Fort Wayne community not-for-profit committed to empowering individuals, families, and businesses to transcend hardships and create positive opportunities though socioeconomic programming and initiatives. The Joshua Works SEAL program aims to recruit and train underserved populations to build careers and meet employer needs in the construction industry. The program is also focused on developing employer partnerships with minority, women, and veteran-owned businesses.

JW Launch Photo

Pastor Cedric Walker, Founder and CEO of Joshua’s Hand Inc., shared his thoughts on the mission of his organization, stating, “The word of God says, ‘if a person won't work, he doesn't deserve to eat.’ Additionally, when a man will not work, it is because he has not discovered the dignity of labor. We only want to do what we can to help restore the spirit of that dignity in our community and the world.”

Participants in the 10-week Joshua Works SEAL will receive employability skills training, construction math and blueprint reading, three industry-valued credentials, and opportunities for work-based-learning (internships) and employment in the construction trades industry. SEAL program graduates will have opportunities to continue employment, enter a USDOL Registered Apprenticeship Program, and/or attend Indiana Tech to pursue a certificate in construction management.

Savanah Hammond, a current participant in the SEAL program, is also utilizing Indiana’s Workforce Ready Grant to pursue her education in construction management at Indiana Tech. She said, “I have already started to build a network of people that have the heart to teach. They (Joshua Works) want us to learn about ourselves and to continue our growth.”

“Joshua Works has been intentional in the creation of this program to support their participants and has garnered support from both community stakeholders and industry partners alike,” said Matt Presley, Regional Director in the OWBLA. “As a result, this SEAL program delivers employers in the construction industry a pool of well-trained and prepared individuals that have the employability skills, technical skills, and support system necessary to meet the demands of the 21st century workforce.”

SEALs are Indiana’s state-level apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs. They are designed to deliver work-and-learn experience for participants along with the skills and certifications that employers value. These programs are geared toward both adult and youth populations and satisfy Indiana’s new graduation pathway requirements.

For more information about the Joshua Works SEAL or SEALs in general, visit the OWBLA website at www.INwbl.com or email the Indiana Department of Workforce Development Office of Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeship at wbl@dwd.in.gov.

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About the Office of Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeship
The Office of Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeship, located within the Department of Workforce Development and part of Governor Holcomb’s NextLevel Agenda, serves to develop and implement a framework of work-based learning pathways for both youth and adult populations with a concentration on certified State Earn and Learn (SEAL) and U.S. DOL Registered Apprenticeship programs.

About the Indiana Department of Workforce Development
DWD serves the worker and the employer to ensure workplace success. DWD is committed to innovating and invigorating Indiana’s economic future by providing WorkOne Career Centers, Unemployment Insurance, Labor Market Information, Regional Workforce Strategies and Professional Training. Through these services, DWD is able to develop a premier workforce that enables Indiana employers to flourish and entices businesses from outside our state to relocate to Indiana.

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