New job program aims to help unemployed ex-offenders, veterans

INDIANAPOLIS - Citizens Energy is participating in a new job-training program aimed at the unemployed, underemployed, veterans and ex-offenders.

In the next few years, the utility company will invest nearly $600 million into water projects and it's pursuing a qualified, diverse and inclusive workforce to get the job done.

The Job Creation and Training Initiative will recruit up to 120 participants, for a 14-week training program.  

Citizens Energy Spokeswoman Sarah Holsapple said the participants will receive a stipend.

"We know some people can't quit their jobs and do training at no pay. Offering them $10 an hour is an extra incentive. When they are finished with the program, they'll receive various certifications that will be applicable for skill sets Citizens Energy is looking for," Holsapple said.

De'Sean Hampton, 22, is participating in the New Beginnings Computer training.  This firm provides the kind of intensive training needed for veterans, the unemployed, underemployed, and ex-offenders, president Paul Kelley said.

"One of the ex-offenders was working as a clerk at a hotel. When the hotel manager found out that person was taking classes in computer repair. He started doing their computer repair and became their IT person," Kelley said.

The jobs Citizens Energy hopes to have available at the conclusion of the training will pay an average of $20 an hour. 

The program is set to begin in the fall. For more information and applications, click here.

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