Yecenia Tostado

Yecenia Tostado

When Max, from Indianapolis, first connected with Project Azul, he was unemployed and eager to build a better future for himself and his family. Max was anxious for employment, especially because his family was facing eviction and his transportation was unreliable. The workforce development nonprofit connected Max with different resources such as housing, childcare, utility assistance, a list of food pantries and transportation assistance. They also helped him secure full-time employment with benefits once he completed training through Project Azul. 

“I was struggling financially, and personally I didn’t feel confident in myself,” Max said. “After completing the training and working with the coach, I saw better opportunities for me and my family. Today, my life is completely different. I am now more confident in the work that I do, and I’m a pro at what I do.” 

COVID-19 has created a lot of uncertainty and is causing individuals to consider its long-term effects on career growth opportunities. Hispanic and Black Americans have been the hardest hit by wage and job losses due to the pandemic, according to data from Pew Research. Many were jolted from their comfort zones and are considering if they should rethink their field of work. One industry remaining relatively stable during this crisis is logistics. Project Azul, a nonprofit committed to serving blue-collar workers, supports those interested in starting a career in the logistics industry. 

Project Azul’s mission is to provide those from underserved communities with the flexible training and financial assistance needed to go from unemployment or underemployment into full-time careers with higher wages, access to benefits and a pathway for growth.  

Project Azul began with the story of Manuel Morales, who came to the United States as a migrant tomato farmer from Mexico. Manuel’s son, Tom, saw the power of hard work in his father’s journey. After a successful career in business, he launched Project Azul to give people the chance to expand their job skills and access to career resources for a better life. 

Project Azul is looking for individuals interested in training focused on forklift, team lead or warehouse associate essentials. These trainings start in July. Through Project Azul’s program, participants attend a training between two and five days and are paired with a workforce success coach. The coach provides career guidance and referrals to resources to help support unique needs and assist candidates with securing full-time jobs. 

After COVID-19, the global logistics market is projected to grow. Central Indiana is a hub for logistics companies. There are currently over 11,000 job openings in the areas that Project Azul supports. Those looking for a career change can connect with Project Azul to explore the opportunities in logistics. And, with so much changing in the world, the logistics industry provides stability and opportunities for career growth. 

Max wants to inspire others to get involved with Project Azul. “It is not just a program. It is a step towards development and success,” he says. 

If you are interested in starting an exciting career with good pay and advancement opportunities, the logistics field might be right for you. Connect with Project Azul by emailing contact@projectazul.org, or visiting www.projectazul.org to learn more.  

Yecenia Tostado is the executive director of Project Azul. She is committed to increasing education and workforce success for diverse populations. Contact her at ytostado@projectazul.org

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