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Urban League Launches I CAN BE

- New Employment Initiative Focuses on Improverished Areas -

icanbe_4C_logo_TAG_72The Louisville Urban League (LUL) honored the first graduates of a new, innovative, workforce development initiative called, ICANBE (Individual Career Advancement Now! Be Empowered) on June 13, 2013.  ICANBE is a pilot program designed to raise employment levels and increase economic stability in the most impoverished neighborhoods in Louisville and prepare residents for available jobs with local employers.  UPS serves as the lead partner.  Other partner companies will be announced as they are confirmed. 

The most impoverished neighborhoods in the Louisville Metro area are within the 40203, 40210, 40211 and 40212 zip codes.  In addition to high poverty rates, neighborhoods in these zip codes have high crime rates, lower educational attainment levels, and higher unemployment and under employment than other areas in the community.  Employment data for these four zip codes show that 22.8% (7,128 persons) of the residents in the labor force are unemployed.  At the same time, there are hundreds of job openings in the logistics industry locally and many more when you include other industries such as retail.  For this reason, the Louisville Urban League created the ICANBE program to primarily target these four zip codes to outreach, recruit, screen, and train a large number of residents for available jobs. 

“UPS is thrilled to be the lead partner in this important employment initiative,” said Tom Volta, UPS vice president of Human Resources.  “ICANBE has enormous potential to positively affect the residents of West Louisville who participate in the program.” 

“We are very appreciative of UPS’s support and commitment to the ICANBE program.  ICANBE is only the start of what can be a new beginning,” said Ben Richmond, LUL President & CEO. 

The Louisville Urban League will provide outreach to persons seeking employment to make them aware of the opportunities and benefits available.  It is anticipated that 250 persons will complete the screening and assessment and be invited to enroll in the training program.  Candidates selected for the training program will participate in a 2-week 40-hour curriculum that includes: Goal Setting, Resume Writing, Interviewing Skills, Financially-In-Tune (Budgeting & Credit), OSHA Safety Training, Accountability, Educational Attainment, Fitting into the Workplace, Mock Interviews and industry specific information.  

Immediately following successful completion of training, program graduates will be placed into jobs with the participating employers.  Louisville Urban League staff will provide post placement follow-up and support with both employers and participants to better assure job retention and to track the number that make use of education benefits and are working toward a degree. 

The ICANBE program will conduct up to 10 cycles of training during the initial program year.  The goal during the first year is to train and place 200 people. Outreach sessions for the next ICANBE cycles of training will be held on weekly at locations throughout the community.starting with Monday, June 17, at 5:30 p.m. at the League.  

The League also launched a website to promote the program in the community. For more information contact LUL’s Center for Workforce Development at 502.566.3371 or visit


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