University students from around the country gathered in downtown Indianapolis on Friday, November 18, 2022, to interview with Indiana tech employers for internships and the chance to join the heralded Xtern and Orr Fellowship programs. 

This Xtern Fall Finalist Day, held at Lucas Oil Stadium in partnership with the Orr Fellowship‘s own Finalist Day, marked the first such interview event TechPoint has held in-person in nearly three years. It also marked a unique opportunity to celebrate employers embracing apprenticeships. Long used by manufacturing and construction trades, the apprenticeship talent development strategy is increasingly being embraced by the tech ecosystem. Apprenticeships are a key part of TechPoint’s Mission41K, which seeks to inclusively add 41,000 new tech workers to Indiana’s tech sector by 2030.  

Xtern Finalist Day by the numbers:

  • 182 Xtern Finalists
  • 94 employer teams representing 58 Indiana tech companies
  • 712 Xtern interviews facilitated
  • 114 company-candidate matches made to-date
  • 130+ Xtern Finalists still available for consideration, if your team is interested in becoming an Xtern employer!

Tech hiring managers were happy to be interviewing for Xterns in person again. 

“What an incredible experience to be introduced to some of the best and brightest students across the country” said Kristi Amendola, VP, Member Experience with M2N | Minority Moves Network. “The Xtern finalists were an incredibly diverse group of young people anxious to learn, contribute and begin their career journey. TechPoint organized a fantastic event that leads the way in providing increased access and opportunity to all young students who will contribute substantially to all Xtern hiring companies.”

Kristi Amendola of Minority Moves Network
Kristi Amendola
VP, Member Experience with M2N | Minority Moves Network
“M2N could have made an offer to any of our finalists and we struggled to choose just one Xtern.”

“Being part of the Xtern Finalist Day this year has been a great opportunity for me,” said Deandra Rodricks, security specialist with BlackInk IT and alumna of the Xtern Class of 2021. “I was an Xtern candidate two years ago, and so now I have gotten to see both sides of the process. It was well organized and a surreal experience to be part of.” 

Indianapolis Deputy Mayor Judith Thomas welcomed participating employers and noted that it was the first year the two talent programs joined forces for their matching day programs.  

“It’s no secret that Indy, like the rest of the world, is looking to engage energetic young talent,” she said to the group. “Thank you for helping grow a more prosperous Indianapolis.” 

Apprenticeships are a key part of Indiana tech’s talent pipelines  

More than 1,200 interviews were conducted during the day-long event, and as TechPoint and Orr Fellowship teams tabulated scores and information to match talent to employers, Infosys, Eli Lilly and Allegion were lauded for advancing the apprenticeship-in-tech movement. 

TechPoint Executive Vice President of Talent Dennis Trinkle said Xtern and Orr Fellowship are fantastic pathways to tech careers, “but they’re not enough. We need more.  That’s why we are stressing the importance of apprenticeships, and why we’re partnering with New Apprenticeship.” 

Noting a nationally unprecedented workforce challenge of too few young workers to fill positions left by retiring older workers, Trinkle said Indiana’ tech leaders “must work collaboratively to create and support pathways to great careers in addition to the storied paths that Xtern and Orr Fellowship have provided.”  

Indiana Department of Workforce Development Commissioner David Adams complimented company officials who have embraced skills-based hiring techniques that are designed to encourage people in underrepresented groups, like women, Blacks and Latinos into tech careers.  

Current and former Indianapolis Colts football players, including Kameron Cline, Curtis Brooks and Krishawn Hogan, gave apprentices custom laptop backpacks on-stage as part of the recognition ceremony. 

TechPoint Talent Program Operations Coordinator Malik Laffoon congratulated the companies and apprentices, acknowledging the important part they play in TechPoint’s comprehensive talent development efforts and Mission41K. 

“We truly believe Indiana can be a model for overcoming the talent challenge we and others face,” he said.

Learn more about TechPoint’s Mission41K and take the pledge to be part of the talent solution. You can also learn more about becoming an Xtern employer.