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Earn While You Learn!

Indy Reads’ Customer Service Skills Program is an innovative pilot program designed to provide Central Indiana adults with intensive soft skills development while earning an industry-recognized credential, all at no cost, through Indy Reads’ bookstore. 

In this program, students will earn while they learn, gaining real-world work experience in our bookstore at a living wage of $15 per hour. Additionally, students receive mentoring and professional development from our trained AmeriCorps members who serve as mentors. 

Indy Reads’ Customer Service Skills program combines our retail operations and adult literacy services programming into a single initiative to provide adult learners with education and training in a true workforce context. 

Through this program, students will be able to get hands-on experience, individualized attention when learning job readiness concepts, and an industry-recognized credential, all while building soft skills. Because soft skills are transferable, program graduates are not limited to one field or sector, and the experience gained can be foundational to any career or position. Employers across sectors will recognize the program experience on an applicant’s resume as a mark of a high-quality candidate.

Why Customer Service?

Customer Service is defined as the assistance and advice provided by a company to those people who buy or use its products or services. 

In conversations Indy Reads has had with local employers, employers have stated that in many cases, specialized skills are not as important as fundamental soft skills. They seek employees with skills in interpersonal communications, problem solving, critical thinking, and professionalism, which are integral to success within a company as well as engagement with customers and clients.

Program Expectations

Program Schedule: The program is nine weeks long and consists of a mix of online instruction and in-person work shifts. Online instruction averages 5-6 hours a week. Students can work up to 10 paid hours a week in the bookstore. Students must work at least 4 hours a week. 

*If the student does not have a high school diploma or equivalency, they will be encouraged to complete an additional week in the HSE Fast Track course, providing another 12 hours of ABE instruction preparing them for the HiSET exam. 

Materials needed: Students must have access to an electronic device that allows them to use Google Chrome and Zoom video conferencing software. Students may also need a notebook and writing utensils for note taking. Laptops and mobile hotspots are available for students as loans from Indy Reads throughout the course. Students are also welcome to study before and after shifts in the bookstore to use Indy Reads’ devices and internet connection.

Location: 1066 Virginia Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46203

Bookstore Hours of Operation for shifts

Wednesday 12pm-6pm

Thursday 12pm-6pm

Friday 11am-7pm

Saturday 11am-7pm

Sunday 12pm-6pm

Other Information

Upon completion of the program, Indy Reads will pay the testing fee for the participant. Indy Reads will also offer career counseling, resume writing, and job placement assistance.

Call Indy Reads (317-384-1496) to learn more or fill out this online form and sign up today!

Employer Partner

Heartland Resolution Group has committed to hire adults with a high school diploma or a high school equivalency who have earned a Customer Service certification with Indy Reads. They have full time collection representative positions available at $14/hour plus 8% of total collections per month. Benefits with the positions include 401k, Medical, Dental, Vision, PTO, and one floating holiday. The position requires applicants to be able to attend work shifts at the Navient Building in Fishers, Indiana. Potential shift hours include 9am-5pm, 10-8pm, 12pm-9pm five days a week or four 10 hour days (either late shift or early shift).

*Limitations for applicants to qualify include felonies and misdemeanors regarding financial crimes, theft, conversion, burglary, or violent crimes: recent or severe.

Heartland Resolution Group

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