More Than $316,000 in Workforce and Economic Development Grants Awarded
15 February 2012

Lincoln Financial Foundation is helping Northeast Indiana Innovation Center spark entrepreneurship among youth with a $46,600 grant to fund the organization’s Entrepreneurship is a Career Option program. The award is part of $316,600 in workforce and economic development grants Lincoln Foundation made recently to 11 local nonprofit organizations.

Targeted at high school and college students, Northeast Indiana Innovation Center’s youth entrepreneurship program immerses students in learning about entrepreneurship as a career option and focuses on developing selected business ventures using an investment model approach to accelerate their success. The program has four components: Youth Entrepreneurship Symposium; Biz Wiz Learning Circles; Student Venture Lab; and the Student Venture Lab Graduate Program.

"This grant funds the future," said Karl LaPan, president and CEO of Innovation Center. "Our Student Venture Lab is nationally recognized as an innovative and life-changing experience, maximizing both the potential and promise of students from our region. Studies show that 70% of high school students are interested in starting their own company, but less than 9% of adults actually do. Today, learning needs a destination and relevance."

Other workforce and economic development grants awarded include:

  • $49,000 to Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance to support business retention and expansion marketing efforts.
  • $43,500 to Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce Foundation to support the Graduate Retention Program that provides internships for high school and college students and the Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana HR Hub project, which helps recruit and engage young leaders.
  • $40,000 to Ivy Tech Foundation to create 10 multimedia interactive learning modules for use in the displaced worker training programs.
  • $35,000 to The Literacy Alliance to fund the Family Literacy program that improves the basic educational skills of participating parents, provides age-appropriate education for their children and enables parents to function as teachers of their own children.
  • $30,000 to East Wayne Street Center to support Project Solve, an adult basic education and vocational training program that targets high school dropouts and adults who need to improve their reading, writing and math skills.
  • $30,000 to Fort Wayne Urban League to fund services related to employment, financial literacy and housing stability that help people become economically stable and financially self-sufficient.
  • $20,000 to The Carriage House to support transitional and supported employment programs that include pre-vocational skills training and on-the-job skills training for low-income adults disabled by mental illness.
  • $10,000 to Consumer Credit Counseling Service to support a financial literacy program that helps individuals develop a balanced budget that reflects their values and addresses financial responsibility.
  • $6,500 to African Immigrants Social and Economic Development Agency for English as a new language and job training programs for immigrants and refugees.
  • $6,000 to Blue Jacket to support Opportunity Staffing, a job placement service for ex-offenders who have graduated from the Career Academy training program.

About Lincoln Financial Foundation

The Lincoln Financial Foundation, established in 1962, is a nonprofit organization formed and supported by Lincoln Financial Group. Under Lincoln Foundation guidelines, grants are made in the areas of arts, education, human services and workforce/economic development. The Lincoln Foundation awarded $2.5 million to support nonprofits in the greater Fort Wayne area in 2011. Since 1962, the Lincoln Foundation has contributed more than $87 million to Fort Wayne nonprofits.

About Lincoln Financial Group

Lincoln Financial Group is the marketing name for Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC) and its affiliates. With headquarters in the Philadelphia region, the companies of Lincoln Financial Group had assets under management of $160 billion as of December 31, 2011. Through its affiliated companies, Lincoln Financial Group offers: annuities; life, group life, disability and dental insurance; 401(k) and 403(b) plans; savings plans; and comprehensive financial planning and advisory services. For more information, including a copy of our most recent SEC reports containing our balance sheets, please visit


Media Contacts:
Sandi Kemmish
Byron Champlin