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New Talent Resource Navigator site aims to connect Hoosiers with employment services

the front page of the navigator website, which includes menu options like "Home" and "Resources" in the top right, the website's name and logo on the top left and three buttons in the middle for "individuals", "employers," or "providers" along with other text explaining the website's purpose
Screenshot of Indiana Chamber of Commerce's talentresourcenavigator.com
The Indiana Chamber wants employers to use the Talent Resource Navigator site as well to connect with organizations that may help them find and keep talent.

A new Indiana Chamber of Commerce website aims to connect Hoosiers with services to help them get and keep jobs.

The Talent Resource Navigator launched Tuesday with over 500 resources available at first. Users can search by zip code to find organizations and programs ranging from employment help for people with disabilities to paid job training opportunities in manufacturing.

“It can be difficult as an individual or an employer to understand what I'm eligible for, where to find it, and how to move forward with those programs to really impact my community,” said Todd Hurst, executive director of the Indiana Chamber’s Institute for Workforce Excellence. “We have tailored the experience for individuals or employers to quickly, efficiently find resources that can immediately address their needs.”

Around a third of the state’s working-age population is considered out of the workforce entirely, federal estimates suggest. People in that category could be retired, discouraged, unable to work because they lack child care or transportation or have any other reason to not work or be looking for work.

The Chamber also has dedicated staff to help answer any questions the Navigator’s users have and “facilitate a warm handoff to providers to ensure that users within the system get the results they are looking for,” Hurst added.

The website currently just helps people connect with state and local organizations who can then respond to their specific needs, but Hurst said there will likely be future updates based on the needs and feedback of users and partner organizations.

For example, based on partner feedback, the Chamber is already considering how to give specific resources directly to people who need child care or transportation help in order to work, he said. Currently, those people would only be able to use the website to find and contact organizations that may be able to help connect them to such resources.

“We also have begun conversations with many partners across the state, whether they're regional, local nonprofits, state partners around how we might be able to continue to evolve this platform to meet emerging needs. We're excited about that functionality in the future,” Hurst said. “But we're also really excited about where the site stands today.”

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What makes the website unique, Hurst said, is its easy-to-use search tools that allow people to narrow their search by industry, type of support and more. It also allows organizations to customize their listing on the page to help give users a fuller picture of the services they offer.

The Chamber wants employers to use the Navigator site as well to connect with organizations that may help them find and keep talent.

Some of the Navigator's resources are available in Spanish. Currently, only 12 of the site’s 554 listings are translated, but there are plans to expand that and include other languages.

A paid advertisement campaign kicked off Tuesday afternoon to supplement efforts to get the word out about the website through local and statewide partners.

The Navigator was developed with a $2.5 million investment from the Lilly Endowment.

Disclosure: The Lilly Endowment also provides funding for Indiana Public Broadcasting News.

Contact reporter Adam at arayes@wvpe.org or follow him on Twitter at @arayesIPB.

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Adam is Indiana Public Broadcasting's labor and employment reporter. He was born and raised in southeast Michigan, where he got his first job as a sandwich artist at Subway in high school. After graduating from Western Michigan University in 2019, he joined Michigan Radio's Stateside show as a production assistant. He then became the rural and small communities reporter at KUNC in Northern Colorado.