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“Build Your NW” offers free construction training for Near West and Near Northwest Indy residents
“Build Your NW” offers free construction training for Near West and Near Northwest Indy residents
Program marks first time TIF training funds are focused on neighborhoods

Building with a community is important to us at Browning and we are proud to have worked with ICRF and Hawthorne to provide a construction training program to bring more job and career opportunities associated with our development projects at 16 Tech.  The goal of  “Build Your NW” is to provide residents with both the hard and soft skills they need to be successful in the industry and to match these students with construction jobs in their neighborhood.

Responding to neighbors’ desires for opportunities combined with a shortage of construction workers needed to support projects bringing vitality to economically challenged areas, three organizations have joined forces to create a construction training, certification, and job-placement-assistance program targeting Indianapolis’ Near West and Near Northwest neighborhoods.

The Indiana Construction Roundtable Foundation (ICRF), Hawthorne Community Center, and Browning are collaborating to launch “Build Your NW,” a program that will train individuals to enter the construction industry. Participants will emerge from the program not only with job-ready skills but also with the soft skills needed for workplace success, networking opportunities, and access to higher-paying careers.

The collaboration comes at a time when Indiana is in need of construction workers: ICRF anticipates the state will have more than 140,000 construction job openings by 2026, but not enough workers to fill those openings. “Build Your NW” seeks to address the shortfall in the areas of the city near the 16 Tech Innovation District.

“The significant building efforts underway at 16 Tech mean there are numerous construction jobs available to Near Westside residents, and ‘Build Your NW’ will give them skills and certifications they need to qualify for those jobs,” said Nate Klinck, executive director of ICRF. “Partnering with the Hawthorne Center and Browning will help ensure our training program is a success.”

“Build Your NW” participants will receive valuable construction-industry skills and the chance to earn two occupational certifications: NCCER Core and OSHA-10. In addition, Hawthorne Center staff – utilizing the Center for Working Families curriculum – will provide “Earn it, keep it, and grow it” employability and financial-literacy training to help students achieve and sustain economic advancement.

“Build Your NW” will be free for students who live in the 46202, 46208, 46221, 46222, 46224, and 46241 zip codes. Tuition and required COVID-19 and jobsite personal protective equipment (PPE) will be funded by the Indianapolis Department of Metropolitan Development, as approved by the Indianapolis City-County Council. The program marks the first time TIF District training funds will be used for residents of a specific area.

“The goal of this program is to provide Near West and Near Northwest residents with both the hard and soft skills they need to be successful in the industry and to match these students with construction jobs in their neighborhood,” said Caleb Sutton, executive director of Hawthorne Community Center.

Throughout the “Build Your NW” training program, students will have the opportunity to interact with and learn from construction professionals involved with Browning’s 16 Tech development projects. In addition to being able to visit an active 16 Tech jobsite, members of the Browning-Davis construction team will visit classes regularly to share information with students about construction skills, opportunities and careers.

“During our community outreach sessions with construction partner Davis & Associates, we were frequently asked about job and career opportunities associated with the development at 16 Tech,” said David McMath, project manager at Browning. “When they complete the ‘Build Your NW’ class, students will have the opportunity to interview at a job fair with construction employers, including our 16 Tech contractors.”

Anticipated beginning wages for program graduates will be between $16-20/hr. with benefits, based upon historical program data and construction industry data.

“We are excited to see partnerships like the ‘Build Your NW’ training opportunity come to fruition,” said Starla Hart, director of community initiatives for 16 Tech Community Corporation. “This program complements our efforts to align a community network of education, workforce, and industry partnerships that ensures our neighbors are thriving and experiencing upward economic mobility.”

The “Build Your NW” training program will consist of 16 classes on Monday and Wednesday nights from 5:30-9:30 p.m. starting Aug. 5. Individuals interested in applying for “Build Your NW” can visit or call 317-805-1037 for more information.


About Indiana Construction Roundtable Foundation
The Indiana Construction Roundtable Foundation is a 501c3 charitable organization with a mission to inform, encourage, and empower individuals to pursue careers in the construction industry and related fields.

Nate Klinck

About Hawthorne
Hawthorne’s mission is to provide or facilitate programs and services that meet the social, financial, recreational, educational, Cultural and civic needs of residents living in the Near West neighborhoods. The vision of Hawthorne is to provide a continuum of services designed to address the unique risks of individuals and families living in generational poverty or ALICE, that result in long-term self-sufficiency for the entire family. Hawthorne believes that we can make long-term impact working in partnership with individuals and families to help them meet their individual goals.

Caleb Sutton

About Browning
Browning strengthens communities by developing, building and managing game-changing commercial real estate projects. With a reputation for executing large transactions and complex projects, the firm’s diversified portfolio includes market-leading industrial, office, mixed-use, healthcare, life science and higher education projects. Established in 1977, Browning is based in Indianapolis. More information can be found at

Erin Drake

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