DirectEmployers Institute (DEI) is a nonprofit organization that enables middle and high school students to explore STEM careers with Indiana employers. With a focus on serving Indiana students who are underserved and underexposed due to underrepresentation or disabilities, the institute’s mission is to inspire and prepare the next generation to meet the needs of a more diverse global workforce. This mission involves bringing a simulated workplace environment directly to students in state-of-the-art, project-based STEM Learning Labs and through local workplace learning programs.
DirectEmployers Institute envisions a future in which students who are underserved, 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, underserved students and match them with employers that are committed to increasing equality and diversity in their workforce.
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 Summer Jobs+ was to promote interest among employers regarding the importance of hiring underserved youth.
Youth Jobs+ 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.
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 underserved and underexposed 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.