History

Blue Jacket, Inc. was officially incorporated in 2003 as an independent 501c3 nonprofit to address a critical and unmet need of providing training, employment, and vocational direction to ex-inmates returning to the greater Fort Wayne Region.

Blue Jacket, Inc. then launched in 2005 with the mission “To provide adult ex-offenders the tools and opportunities to become productive members of society.” Blue Jacket’s target constituency from 2005 - 2011 was adult ex-offenders who possessed a felony or misdemeanor on their criminal records.

In 2012, Blue Jacket expanded its mission to serve anyone considered to be a disadvantaged candidate to employment. This was accomplished by partnering with local agencies to help those emerging from poverty, homelessness, or situational circumstances that required a more intensive approach to employment so that employers could find these individuals trustworthy. 

Serving the hardest-of-the-hardest to employ has been our specialty, and we serve anyone wanting a second chance at employment, regardless of criminal background.

After years of testing and research, Blue Jacket, Inc.:
1. Fills the gap in local workforce development services by helping disadvantaged adults to become redeemable, or refilled with hope and confidence that they will be great employees in a career that matches their desired goals (Career Academy).

2. Provides real transitional job opportunities and services to local employers (Opportunity Staffing).
3. Provides free business professional clothing to students and real life employment and training opportunities (Blue Jacket Clothing Company).
4. Provides referrals to over 35 agencies that provide supportive services better than we could ever imagine.
5. Self-funds through fundraising scholarship donations, grant writing, contracts, and fees for services. http://www.bluejacketinc.org/support

About Shawnee Chief Blue Jacket

Blue Jacket, Inc. is named after Wayapiersenwah, or Chief Blue Jacket; an intelligent, strong entrepreneur and diplomat and one of the greatest Shawnee war chiefs.

He fought on the banks of the Wabash River in 1791 delivering the worst defeat the United States Army ever suffered at the hands of Native Americans. Chief Blue Jacket led the confederated Shawnee, Miami, Delaware, Huron, and Potawatomi nations alongside Chief Little Turtle with their strongest resistance in Downtown Fort Wayne. Later in 1794, he again tried to push the Americans from the same area and was defeated by General Anthony Wayne, ending organized Indian conflict east of the Mississippi River.

The story of Chief Blue Jacket surrounds the legend that he was an abducted white settler named Marmaduke Van Swearingen, then adopted into the Shawnee Nation rising through the ranks to become Chief and was known to be friends with Daniel Boone. Recent DNA testing concluded that the Chief Blue Jacket was not white but actually Shawnee.

There are no known photographs of Chief Blue Jacket, but written descriptions exist. This painting (left) was done by Nancy Lutz.