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PLA University: Marion County’s Newest Workforce Development Program to Bring New Hope and Opportunity for Phalen Leadership Academy Families

Indianapolis, IN - A new workforce development program is underway to respond to the growing economic challenges faced by Indy’s underserved communities. PLA University is a tuition-free training program created to provide Phalen Leadership Academies’ families with the access, skills, experience, and job placement support to realize their full earning potential.

“PLA’s reach across the state of Indiana is far and wide,” said Founder & CEO Earl Martin Phalen, who has seven schools across Indianapolis and 12 schools across the state. “We cannot ignore the ever-growing need for economic parity for our scholars and for our parents. We do a lot within our schools to help our scholars excel, but what about the support our families need to strengthen their homes? To live in a safe place? To eat and to eat healthy every day? Our goal is to improve our students’ lives through education, and PLA University strengthens that pledge by offering free education and job training to any of our scholars’ family members. Aunt, cousin, brother, mother or father – we are going to stand side-by-side with our families and work with them to close the wealth gap.”

With its first pilot launching next year, PLA University will be based on Indy’s Far Eastside and offer PLA family members an opportunity to choose from four career tracks including Technology, Advanced Manufacturing, Supply Chain and Logistics Management, and Health & Life Sciences. The free training will support family members in obtaining careers with starting salaries of $30,000-$50,000 per year plus benefits, and the opportunity for future career advancement.

PLA University has partnered with businesses and community organizations that share the same goal of investing in families and adults by providing training, job placement, and opportunities for economic security. PLA University was recently backed by a $150,000 program grant from long-standing partner, Glick Philanthropies.

PLA University is free for any relative of a current PLA scholar. Adult learners must be willing to commit full-time to the program and be willing to complete the required coursework.

To learn more about PLA University, visit

To learn more about Phalen Leadership Academies, visit

About PLA: Phalen Leadership Academies[EMP1] [TK2] [TK3]  (PLA) works in 22 schools across the country to improve the lives of children through education. PLA is the largest and fastest-growing Black-led turnaround network in the United States and is known for transforming multiple F-rated schools into A-rated schools.