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Centerstone Employment Services Program Receives Four Grants

New funds to help expand program aimed at strengthening Indiana communities by enhancing employment opportunities for individuals with mental illnesses

Bloomington, Ind.— Centerstone, a not-for-profit organization providing a wide range of mental health and addiction services, today announced that its Employment Services program has received four grants to expand its efforts to help individuals with mental health issues enter or re-enter the workforce. The new grants, which were awarded from Old National Bank, the Community Foundation of Jackson County, the Community Foundation of Randolph County, and Wayne County Community Foundation will support Centerstone’s efforts to strengthen the Indiana economy.

The grants awarded include:

  • A $10,000 grant from Old National Bank to help provide job training and work force development programs for people in Bloomington and Richmond.
  • A $3,750 grant from Wayne County Community Foundation to support training and work experiences for residents of Wayne County.
  • A $1,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Randolph County to aid efforts to mainstream employment readiness by providing internships and skills classes to help reduce vocational barriers in Randolph County.
  • A $500 grant from the Community Foundation of Jackson County to expand employment services that benefit Jackson County residents.

“Centerstone’s Employment Services program equips those with mental illness with the tools they need to become productive employees and reclaim the self-esteem and self-sufficiency that is integral to living a healthy life,” said Centerstone Director of Employment Services Kathy Christoff. “Enriching employment opportunities for people who have a mental health disorder is a win for the individuals gaining employment, local businesses and the community. We are grateful for the support we have received from these local partners in Monroe, Wayne, Randolph and Jackson counties who recognize the positive, long-lasting impact our program can have on this region.”

People with disabilities are Indiana’s largest minority group, representing 20 percent of the community. Those with a mental illness disability have the highest unemployment rate of any group in America, which is why vocational training programs like Centerstone’s Employment Services program are critical. The program is designed to reduce employment barriers for people who have mental health issues such as chronic depression, anxiety or schizophrenia.

In addition to providing eligible individuals with employment skills training and internships at local businesses, the Centerstone Employment Services program has employment consultants who meet with program participants to assess their work skills, determine what job skills classes or work experiences they may need, and collaborate with both employers and job seekers to provide job coaching, as needed. Centerstone’s specialists also work closely with participants to build a strong resume, professionally market themselves and practice interviewing skills.

Research shows that for every $1 invested in a program like the Employment Services program, businesses can save $24 in worker’s compensation, insurance and training costs as well as earn federal tax credits.

The Centerstone Employment Services program offers job skills training in food service, computers, and clerical positions, among others. Individuals interested in participating in the program may contact Centerstone Employment Services Manager Jamie Walter at (812) 525-0673 or jamie.walter@centerstone.org.

About Centerstone of Indiana

Centerstone, a not-for-profit organization, has provided a wide range of mental health, substance use disorder, and integrated health services to Indiana residents for more than 50 years. Through more than 60 facilities in 17 Indiana counties, Centerstone serves more than 24,000 children, adolescents, adults and seniors each year. It is accredited by CARF International. For more information about Centerstone, please call 800-344-8802 or visit www.centerstone.org.