Blue Jacket now transporting workers to jobs

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Blue Jacket is now transporting people in its training program to jobs outside of Fort Wayne. Since September, the nonprofit organization has been testing a pilot initiative to take people in vans to and from worker in Warsaw and Markle.

Officials with Blue Jacket said transportation is the largest barrier for many people who are new to the workforce or are re-entering.

Christ’s Church donated $3,000 in December to Blue Jacket which will help transportation needs. A study on the group reveals that 83 percent of the organization’s clientele either don’t have reliable transportation, a valid driver’s license or both.

Becky Weimerskirch from CTN and Betsy Kachmar from Citilink provided guidance to Blue Jacket’s Executive Director, Tony Hudson and recommended strategies for Blue Jacket to shuttle their clients.

The nonprofit is also planning to partner with a large orthopedic manufacturer providing well-paying, gainful employment starting immediately and growing to 50 placements by this April.

“Our outlook: We’re nervous, but we want to succeed,” Executive Director Tony Hudson said. “So this is going to be a big year for Blue Jacket. It’s going to be a big year for our clients that say, ‘Hey we want to prove our worth. We want to go through this training. We want to go through this transitional opportunity. I will sit in a van two hours round trip every day to prove my worth to this great orthopedic company.’

“We’re all excited it about it,” Hudson continued. “It’s a great risk for us to take but, I think that there’s also on the tail end a great reward. We’re excited.”

Blue Jacket screens no one for their training as long as they present a barrier to employment and have a strong motivation to work.

The organization is telling anyone who is comfortable with computers, can stand on their feet an entire shift and possesses a High School Diploma/GED to call 744-1900 for $15/hour jobs filling they are filling  immediately.  Blue Jacket conducts background checks, drug and other testing after clients graduate from the 2-week Career Academy.