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Key Grants $100,000 to Indiana University South Bend for Elkhart Center and Hispanic Workforce Training Program

Key Grants $100,000 to Indiana University South Bend for Elkhart Center and Hispanic Workforce Training Program

Published 10-11-06

Submitted by KeyBank

ELKHART, Ind., -KeyBank Northern Indiana District President Jeff Stone today presented a $100,000 Key Foundation grant to the Indiana University South Bend (IUSB). Half of the grant will fund a program aimed at successfully assimilating the Hispanic workforce into the Elkhart community, and half will go to the campaign for construction of the IU South Bend Elkhart Center in downtown Elkhart.

"Approximately 22 percent of the workforce in the Elkhart area is of Hispanic origin," says Jeff Stone. "Nationally, Hispanics are the largest minority group and yet more than 23 percent live below the poverty level largely due to the language, cultural and economic barriers they face. We are confident this grant will help reduce the effects of those barriers here in the Elkhart area."

Scheduled to begin in January, the workforce training program will focus on the manufacturing sector in Elkhart, with a goal of serving 150 individuals during the first year of the program. Participants will attend class for 90 minutes each week for 16 weeks. Coursework and instruction will be provided by IUSB's Division of Extended Learning Services and La Casa of Goshen, Ind., a community development organization whose mission is to promote strong community and workforce development through a variety of programs designed to assist members of the Hispanic community. Training will be provided both in the workplace and at IUSB's Elkhart Center.

The Key Foundation grant supports the program's objectives to strengthen workforce diversity and inclusion through several occupationally-based training modules including:

  • Language Training. The IUSB Division of Extended Learning Services will develop 24 hours of English/Spanish and Spanish/English language training courses based on topics specifically designed to facilitate cross-cultural adaptation in the workplace. IUSB will also produce supplemental CDs to be distributed to each participant reinforcing the skills learned in the courses.

  • Financial Fitness. La Casa will provide 10 hours of financial management classes preparing participants to purchase a home and avoid predatory lending. Course topics include: developing a personal spending plan; understanding credit; learning consumer rights; distinguishing between various types of loans; and protecting assets.

  • Mentorship Program. The grant will also fund an ongoing mentorship program designed to develop and enhance cross-cultural relationships within the workplace. Mentors will infuse the awareness and values learned in the curriculum in the work environment.

    "This training program is designed to minimize barriers to economic opportunity by creating a work environment that values the contribution of all members of the workforce," says Jackie Neuman, director of Extended Learning Services at IUSB. "The training will strengthen communication skills in the workplace and help employees develop the life skills needed to fully participate in the economic opportunities of the community."

    For more information about the program, contact Neuman at or 574-520-4167.

    A private fundraising campaign by Elkhart civic leaders has raised $4 million dollars for construction of the IU South Bend Elkhart Center. Construction is underway, and the facility is expected to be completed in time for classes in fall 2007.

    Indiana University South Bend Elkhart Center:

    The Elkhart Center is one of Indiana University South Bend's two off-campus learning centers. It offers 40 to 50 different classes per semester with flexible scheduling options for full- and part-time students in the Elkhart area. The Center offers associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs in select fields as well as first- and second-year course work for most other Indiana University South Bend degree programs. For additional information, visit or call 1.800.321.7834.


    Cleveland-based KeyCorp is one of the nation's largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of approximately $95 billion. Key companies provide investment management, retail and commercial banking, consumer finance, and investment banking products and services to individuals and companies throughout the United States and, for certain businesses, internationally.

    Key is one of DiversityInc's 25 Noteworthy Companies demonstrating real diversity strength in at least one of the four areas surveyed -- CEO commitment, human capital, corporate communications and supplier diversity.

    Contact Key Foundation Senior Program Officer Quentin McCorvey at 216.689.5505, or, for more information about corporate grants. Visit the KeyCorp page on Corporate Social Responsibility Wire at for a compilation of news releases about the company relative to philanthropic investment, diversity, community development, corporate governance, environment, business ethics, human rights, and workplace issues.

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    KeyCorp's roots trace back 190 years to Albany, New York. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Key is one of the nation's largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of approximately $176.2 billion at March 31, 2021. Key provides deposit, lending, cash management, and investment services to individuals and businesses in 15 states under the name KeyBank National Association through a network of approximately 1,100 branches and more than 1,400 ATMs. Key also provides a broad range of sophisticated corporate and investment banking products, such as merger and acquisition advice, public and private debt and equity, syndications and derivatives to middle market companies in selected industries throughout the United States under the KeyBanc Capital Markets trade name. For more information, visit KeyBank is Member FDIC. 

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