After decades of taking a back seat to Indiana’s other powerhouse industries, technology has finally taken its place among the state’s top job creators where high-paying new tech jobs are creating wealth and helping to advance Indiana’s economy.

“Central Indiana’s tech sector is no longer a secret,” said Chris Herndon, chief marketing & engagement officer for United Way of Central Indiana. “It’s a thriving industry attracting some of the best and brightest problem solvers of our generation.

“One of the things that make Indy unique is that it’s large enough to have big-city amenities but small enough that every person who wants to get involved can make a difference. And our community needs difference-makers now more than ever.”

Recent reports by United Way of Central Indiana and the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce show that nearly 4 out of 10 households, or 39 percent of working families in Central Indiana, are struggling to make ends meet. The data places Indy near the bottom with one of the lowest upward mobility rates among large U.S. cities.

“This is unacceptable for those of us who take great pride in our city and want it to be an inclusive place for all,” Chris said.

You can make a difference

For the second year in a row, TechPoint has partnered with the United Way of Central Indiana to bring to the tech community three special opportunities to get involved and learn about the issues we face as an integral part of the larger community.

United Way of Central Indiana’s poverty simulation builds empathy for people who are working full-time or multiple jobs and still aren’t able to make ends meet. It helps educate on the complexities of addressing stubborn root causes. And, hopefully, inspires caring problem-solvers to join the fight to make our community better for everyone.

Doug Ding, practice director for Kronos Services and a host for one of the three poverty simulation events said: “Our participation in the UWCI Poverty Simulation aligns with our corporate values of Give Inspired and Work Inspired. We place a high value on ensuring that Kronites in Indianapolis and around the globe are great corporate citizens.”

Register today for one of three upcoming poverty simulations hosted by tech community employers that are dedicated to being part of the solution. They include:

Wednesday, October 31, 2018, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Salesforce (Gibson Building), 433 North Capitol Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46204


Wednesday, November 14, 2018, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Appirio, 201 South Capitol Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46225


Tuesday, December 11, 2018, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

SupplyKick, 600 East Ohio Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202


Get started learning now

As a community, those who work in tech have a penchant for data. Many tech projects start and end with data — using data to drive where resources are directed and building analytics into everything from the beginning to determine success. The United Way shares this love of measurement and offers some great resources to help understand the “why” of poverty.

A.L.I.C.E. or ALICE is a United Way acronym that stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. It’s the data sets undergirding the unfortunate fact that nearly 4 out of 10 households, or 39 percent of working families in Central Indiana, are struggling to make ends meet.

From the United Way ALICE websiteALICE is your child care worker, your parent on Social Security, the cashier at your supermarket, the gas attendant, the salesperson at your big box store, your waitress, a home health aide, an office clerk. ALICE cannot always pay the bills, has little or nothing in savings, and is forced to make tough choices such as deciding between quality child care or paying the rent. One unexpected car repair or medical bill can push these financially strapped families over the edge.

Visit the ALICE website to learn more about how the United Way is helping to combat poverty and assist the working poor, and explore the data to better understand how and why poverty persists in communities like our own.