We have some exciting news for north central Indiana employers and organizations statewide that are currently working with or plan to dive into data science: our nationally lauded Xtern program will expand next summer to include the South Bend-Elkhart region, and AnalytiXIN will return as an integral part of the program.

It’s a great step forward in our long-term plan to take Xtern statewide. It’s also a wonderful opportunity for data science students to gain great experience with our colleagues at AnalytiXIN, a new initiative that working with the University of Notre Dame as well as Purdue and Indiana universities.

Xterns have been successfully working with Muncie companies for the past three years, but most of the other students have been placed with companies in the Indianapolis area. We’re grateful to the Garatoni-Smith Family Foundation, whose support will enable South Bend-Elkhart employers the opportunity to participate in the program for only $100 per Xtern, plus their Xtern’s wages.

The expansion is a necessary part of reaching an aggressive state goal of adding 41,000 tech workers to Indiana’s workforce by 2030.

Dennis Trinkle
Executive Vice President, TechPoint
“Just as we need to expand our talent pathways, we need to expand TechPoint’s reach because there are thousands of companies in all corners of the state, and I guarantee you most of them are struggling to fill all their open positions.”

The Xtern program has helped cultivate more than 1,200 new Hoosier tech workers over the past decade by bringing students into an immersive experience that offers summer internships, housing and comprehensive events designed to introduce them to Indiana and encourage them to remain in the state. The program has consistently shown that most students entered the program without planning to remain in Indiana but after their 10 weeks as Xterns, the majority do want to remain in the state. An overwhelming majority of them also say they feel equipped to step into tech roles because of what they’ve experienced through the 10-week summer program.

More than 2,400 students from around the country have applied to be Xterns in TechPoint’s summer 2024 program. About 50 of 2024 Xterns will be working in South Bend-Elkhart and a dozen or more will be in Muncie.

“We are so excited about this opportunity to help the greater South Bend-Elkhart community find the talent they need,” said Larry Garatoni. “Like every other community in the country, talent is our employers’ biggest headache. The Xtern program has the potential to be the remedy for that pain.”

Garatoni has put the power of his organization behind Xtern South Bend-Elkhart so the fee to employers to receive all the Xtern benefits is minimal. The LIFT Initative has agreed to help supplement the cost of Xtern’s wages for employers in this region. Startup companies that participate can access additional funding to cover up to 50% of Xtern wages via the IEDC Startup Program.

“It’s really an incredible opportunity to access a program dedicated to growing talent,” Garatoni said.

Darshan Shah executive vice president for data and AnalytiXIN at the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, leads the data-focused initiative, which is designed to harness the power of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and technologies and use it to support Indiana’s major economic sectors: life sciences and healthcare, advanced manufacturing and logistics, ag biosciences and technology.

Darshan Shah
Executive Vice President, AnalytiXIN
“Having teams in both South Bend-Elkhart and Indianapolis will drive broader engagement and will hopefully lead to further expansion in the future.”

“AnalytiXIN is focused on aligning advanced analytics talent with our industry partners throughout the state. We love the energy and fresh insights that can be gleaned from talented students, which creates perfect alignment with the Xtern program,” Shah said.

Valentina (Valya) Kuskova, managing director of the Notre Dame AnalytiXIN site at the 16 Tech Innovation District in Indianapolis, said she is looking forward to the assistance and creativity the Xterns can provide to the projects already underway by the organization.  

Valentina (Valya) Kuskova
Managing Director of the Notre Dame AnalytiXIN site at the 16 Tech Innovation District in Indianapolis
“Thanks to generous supporters, we are offering additional data science educational programming to all Xterns who are interested in data-driven problem solving.”

“Thanks to generous supporters, we are offering additional data science educational programming to all Xterns who are interested in data-driven problem solving,” she said. “They will learn to extract insights from any type of data they need to analyze for their Xtern projects. The hands-on data science training has been an important part of AnalytiXIN internship program, and we are delighted to expand it to the Xtern program.”