New partnership hopes to bring & keep jobs in Elkhart ‘Enterprise Zone’
ELKHART, Ind. -- Looking for a job? Need some help landing one and then keeping it? The Elkhart Urban Enterprise Association and Goodwill Industries of Michiana want to help you.
The goal of the new partnership is to revitalize a section of the city known as the ‘Enterprise Zone.’
The term is used to describe a geographical section of a city where the tax base is a bit lower than the rest of the area.
This map shows the zone, which makes up a good chunk of the city of Elkhart.
The partnership provides job training and teaches people who live in the zone how to get and keep a job in their own community.
“For this project, we’ve decided to try to create an employer/employee kind of a relationship so that it’s self-sustaining; so that people grow up and live in the enterprise zone and they also work in the enterprise zone at businesses that have been in the same zone for years,” said Mary Ellen Albaugh, the Goodwill ZONE Program Manager. “
“We know there’s a huge shortage of employees in Elkhart,” said Guy Fisher, the vice president of mission advancement at Goodwill. “And so every employer is scrambling to try to get people. But ultimately, keeping employees is important too. And so many times people lose their jobs for just the smallest of things that kind of accumulate.”
The program is free of charge. But if you sign up, you’re committing to about 24 hours of skills training that will help you get prepared.
“We want to reinvest back into downtown Elkhart,” said Tim Price, a member of the ZONE committee who also works within the Enterprise Zone. “I mean, when everybody goes downtown they see the shops, the merchants, and the bottom line is, is a lot of these kids coming out of high school, they really don’t know where to go or what to do and what their options are…our ultimate goal is to get employees that live within the zone working for employers within the zone.”
The committee behind the partnership is also reaching out to business owners within the zone to get them involved.