2023 Charitable Partners NeighborLink Indianapolis & BY Plus Construction Training

Each year our employees come together to amplify the impact of a nonprofit partner, improving lives and building community.

On a balmy (well, the afternoon shift was…) we had a group of 30+ volunteers from across all our divisions come out to help NeighborLink Indianapolis in the Riverside neighborhood near our 16 Tech projects.  We spent our day taking down a garage violating code and rehabbing the yard for the resident to age in place while making the alley functional and clean for the neighbors.  We also invited recent graduates of the BY Plus program to work alongside us and tell us about their experiences, all while they heard more about the construction field from us.

It was amazing to have a triple-whammy of connection in a day… construction professionals using skills honed over decades alongside those just finishing the BY Training and our office folks using power tools!

2023 Day of Service

Along with our volunteer hours, we donated $10,000 to NeighborLink Indianapolis and the BY Training program to make more days like today possible!

How is Browning involved with these organizations?

Browning strives to break new ground by changing how projects can not only enhance the built environment but also support growth and vibrancy for the communities where we work.  We choose an organization for our Charitable Partner of the Year based on our Corporate Giving Priority Areas:


During our 16 Tech community outreach sessions, Browning was frequently asked about job and career opportunities for individuals related to our development.  Out of these requests, David McMath & Erin Drake of Browning worked with the Indiana Construction Roundtable Foundation, Hawthorne Community Center to create a construction training, certification, and job-placement program targeting neighborhoods around our 16 Tech job site – Indianapolis’ Near West and Near Northwest neighborhoods we called “Build Your NW.”  Funding was approved by the City-County council in June of 2020 and is the first time that a TIF District training grant will be used for individuals instead of a company.

Build Your NW became the pilot program to what is now known as the BY Plus program run by the Indiana Construction Roundtable throughout Marion County to provide residents the skills and support they need for a successful construction career, valuable construction-industry skills, and hands-on construction training provided in the BY program, and other wrap-around services needed for the trainees to be successful throughout the program. These services include basic skills training, financial coaching, transportation assistance, legal counseling provided by Indianapolis Legal Aid, and more.

Indiana Construction Roundtable Foundation provides paid work experience for the BY Plus trainees with NeighborLink Indianapolis to work on home repair needs in the community.   https://www.nlindy.org/byplus

Meet our 2023 Charitable Partners

NeighborLink Indianapolis:

We are passionate about NeighborLink’ mission of “helping seniors and individuals with disabilities who own their own homes age in place safely and with dignity,” by providing home repairs at no cost to the homeowner.

Aging in place allows older adults some level of autonomy and dignity over their own health and decisions. It allows many to remain within communities they’ve been a part of for decades. Social determinants of health, particularly including the ability to keep their home safe and accommodating to their physical needs, are among some of the most challenging barriers to aging in place.

NeighborLink focuses on home repairs that enable the homeowner to age in place safely, stabilize the home for years to come, and provide an improved appearance for the neighborhood at large. On average a repair project costs NeighborLink $1,000-$1,500.  We were thrilled we could help them tackle a larger project with our 30+ volunteers.

More Ways to Get Involved with NeighborLink

Donate – Be a part of increasing affordable housing by enabling long-time homeowners to not only keep their homes, but pass them on to the next generation. Average cost of projects: accessibility $233, drain cleaning $162, exterior repairs $502, plumbing repairs $418.  (The total spent on a home annually is typically $1000-$1500.) https://www.nlindy.org/donate

Volunteer – You can volunteer as an individual or as group.  If you’ve got strong DIY skills or aspirations, they have a mentorship program that’s a real win-win (we highly recommend the experience!) called the “Handy Volunteer Program.”  You can learn more or register at https://www.nlindy.org/volunteering

BY Construction Training:

BY (Build Yourself) is our traditional 9-week class. It’s 18 sessions offered at a variety of locations, free to participants.

With a mix of classroom and hands-on learning, students get training in basic safety, construction math, hand and power tools, construction drawings, basic rigging, and communication skills. Each class is guided by an instructor and a BY navigator, who work to help students achieve success. Classes are 20 students or fewer, so everyone gets individual attention.

Graduates earn two industry certifications: NCCER Core and OSHA 10. The last day of class is always a job fair with construction industry employers who are hiring. Our goal is to place 100% of our graduates:  https://indianaconstructionfoundation.com/available-programs/

More Ways to Get Involved with ICRF and the BY Programs

Donate – With your financial help, ICRF can visit more schools, recruit more students, pay instructors, cover material costs, and more. The more students who participate in their programs, the more workers be ready to fill jobs in the industry. https://indianaconstructionfoundation.com/support-us/

Employment Partners, Mentors, & Volunteers – Whether it is visiting classes to share information about your company and the type of work it does, participating in hiring fairs to interview and potentially hire BY and BYF graduates, or simply sharing information with our students, you can help strengthen your workforce of today and tomorrow.  https://indianaconstructionfoundation.com/get-involved/