Our History:

In 2012, Indianapolis-based DirectEmployers Association  made a commitment to support the SummerJobs+ Program  that was initiated by the Obama Administration and the U.S. Department of Labor. The purpose of SummerJobs+ was to promote interest among employers regarding the importance of hiring disadvantaged youth.

YouthJobs+ was a natural program for DirectEmployers Association to embrace because of its deep linkages with hundreds of leading global employer partners. The leadership of DirectEmployers Association determined that the best way to connect youth to employers and to help employers hire a more diverse workforce was to establish a separate stand-alone organization, DirectEmployers Institute.

As a result, a DirectEmployers Institute Board of Directors was established, bylaws were submitted to Indiana’s Secretary of State, and the organization received its IRS tax-exempt status effective March 13, 2012.

The organization named Simone Murray as its first Executive Director in August 2014.

Our Mission:

DirectEmployers Institute brings learning to life by uniting public and private employers, schools and non-profit organizations that have a passion for creating a diversified workforce for students who are socioeconomically disadvantaged due to underrepresentation or disabilities.

We inspire and prepare the next generation of a more diverse global workforce by bringing a simulated workplace environment directly to students in our state-of-the-art, project-based STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Center and through local workplace learning programs.


Our Vision:

DirectEmployers Institute envisions a future in which students who are low income, from underrepresented groups, and have disabilities; gain hands-on project-based experiences and workplace learning opportunities with local employers to prepare them to enter high wage careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and explore contemporary business practices with local employers.

To achieve this vision, we work closely with educational and youth-serving organizations to identify high potential, socioeconomically disadvantaged students and match them with employers that are committed to increasing equality and diversity in their workforce.