Project Azul helping underserved during pandemic

Posted at 6:21 PM, Jul 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-29 19:33:40-04

INDIANAPOLIS — An organization that helps provide job training for people in underserved communities is getting a little extra help from the United Way COVID Economic Relief Fund. RTV6 teamed up with the United Way to encourage donations to the fund.

Project Azul received about $20,000 to keep helping people during the pandemic. Project Azul helps people create a better future for themselves and their families by providing free job training and financial assistance during the pandemic.

Manne Fabre is just one of the people taking advantage of free, paid training program through Project Azul.

"It's very helpful, the training is very helpful,” Fabre said.

The people in the program learn everything they need to know for skills-based jobs in the logistics industry.

"I think it's extremely important we have noticed the logistics industry, while it has shifted during COVID, there still quite a demand here for jobs,” Project Azul Executive Director Yecenia Tostado said.

Leaders say those who complete this training usually see about a 30% increase in their wages.

“As folks have found themselves displaced from their typical work, know whether it was hospitality or some other career, we’re able to provide them with short-term training,” Tostado said. “Because our trainings are short, they are 2 to 5 days, they are very practical in length and then put them into a job with a quick turnaround.”

She says during the pandemic, they've also been able to help underserved populations with things like rent, utilities and internet access.

That's thanks to the United Way funding.

“It's so great to see your folks getting to better jobs,” Tostado said. “It's so great to see them increase their quality of life for themselves, their families, to see that hoping that motivation continue to grow as they get into these better jobs "

Fabre says she moved to the U.S. from Haiti. Now, she's excited about the future she's creating for her family and generations to come.

“I'm very, very grateful for Project Azul and Morales to give me an opportunity to go up in my education, my future at work, and they say I teach my children to go up, so we will be an example for all people,” Fabre said.

Through donations, the United Way is providing more than $23 million to organizations like Project Azul.