Embassy and Blue Jacket team up to give disadvantaged work candi - ABC21: Your Weather Authority

Embassy and Blue Jacket team up to give disadvantaged work candidates job opportunities

Posted: Updated:
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA 21) -

A program designed to create jobs for those with barriers to employment is putting people to work at one of Fort Wayne's top venues for concerts and other entertainment.

It's about a workforce re-entry program hitting the big stage.

Fort Wayne's Embassy Theater, built in 1928, maybe the premier facility for hosting productions from the Broadway stage and top musical acts performing in the city's downtown.

Since April, Douglas Holland has reported to the classic theater, washing windows and doing other cleaning tasks.

"I'm a recovering alcoholic, made a few bad decisions in my life and decided to turn my life around," Holland said.

Holland got connected to Blue Jacket, a local organization that runs a workforce re-entry program, and was able to get this gig.
"I have a job I love and people that's loving me and just doing well," he said.

The partnership between the Embassy and Blue Jacket provided training and jobs for two full-time workers and at least 12 transitional 60-day assignments for workers cleaning up after performances, and doing set-up for the theater's ballroom that hosts parties, wedding receptions and other events.

"Really I was kind of like at the bottom of my rope, just looking for a place to let me in, and Blue Jacket was kind enough to let me in and I've just flourished since then," said Scott Olwin, who is also benefiting from the employment partnership.

About a dozen years ago, Blue Jacket made a name for itself, plugging folks with criminal backgrounds into jobs all over town. In the last five years, that mission has expanded.

"We've been branded as an organization that only serves people with criminal backgrounds and that's not the case anymore. In fact, the majority of the people working down here at the Embassy have some other barrier to employment that they just want to prove their worth," said Tony Hudson, Blue Jacket's CEO.

 "It's been a learning process for them, but whenever we've said here's what new thing we 've needed you to take care of, they've been willing to take on each new task that we hand them and it's been a real positive partnership from the start," said Kyle Snare, the facilities director for the Embassy.

Blue Jacket connects more than 100 disadvantaged worker candidates with jobs in the community each year, this being the first time the non-profit has linked up with an arts organization. 

Powered by Frankly