More than 100 members of the Indiana tech community gathered recently in a virtual setting as a Community of Practice to discuss how to collectively help achieve Mission41K’s ambitious goal of adding 41,000 people to Indiana’s tech workforce.
Their passion was inspiring and their ideas are already being incorporated by the TechPoint team. You can watch the general discussion here but below is a recap and what we found to be the key takeaways, along with our initial thoughts on what steps we need to take next to address the most pressing concerns and ideas.
3 Opportunities for Indiana tech employers to prime their talent pipelines
- Attend a talent development event on skills-based practices and adult apprenticeship on May 10
- Explore ways to tap international students for tech jobs who are eligible for OPT STEM-extensions to their VISAs
- Participate in a Happy Hour following the TechPoint board meeting on March 23 to engage with others in the community
Planning is underway to develop information and resources to raise awareness of the importance of career technical education for families with children in middle and high schools.
“We were encouraged by the number of people who signed up for a three-hour tour of talent development discussion. We knew going in that it was a big ask,” said TechPoint Senior Vice President for Talent, Strategy, and Partnerships Dennis Trinkle. “The discussion was lively and the interest was sincere. It really energized us.”
One thing Trinkle said he hoped attendees took two main points away from the gathering is the awareness of TechPoint’s role in overcoming the state’s talent challenges.
“First, that TechPoint is a convener, a supporter, a champion. We are here to encourage and facilitate the work that needs to be done, to engineer the collaboration and the collisions that will lead to good things happening among educators, comm partners, government, employers that will spark a flywheel of continued innovation and action well into the future,” he said. “And second, that we have to get working on solutions we haven’t even thought of yet to address this talent shortage. It’s essential that new ideas bubble up and become part of how we respond to this global challenge. There isn’t a one-size solution or a silver bullet.”
Challenges facing Indiana’s tech community
Despite national headlines of Big Tech layoffs, many Community of Practice attendees said they’re hiring now and plan to hire throughout 2030. They want to know how to:
- Hire and retain more of the talented international students being educated at Indiana colleges and universities
- Identify more resources for hiring
- Support engagement for K-12 to introduce them to tech at a young age
- Identify programming for first generation students to diversify college and workforce
- Enable mentorship and work experience opportunities for students with industry professionals
- Encourage Indiana students who’ve left the state to return
They want to do all the above at scale and they wonder if state politics are having a negative effect on retaining young talent.
In addition to offering additional workshops in key focus areas, TechPoint is prepared to be the sector’s one-stop resource to find career service sites for tech roles and resources to better help the community more effectively and collectively work to attain Mission41K goals.