“If you tackle tough problems in tech, you don’t do it in D.C., you do it everywhere else.”

That was an opening line at this week’s TECNATION event from Anurag Varma, Vice President and Head of Government and Global Affairs at Infosys. Hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Tech and Policy Committee, TECNATION is an event brought to nine different U.S. cities with discussions from experts on the topic of the transformative nature of technology.

Infosys’ footprint sparks workforce transformation

Infosys’ investment in Indianapolis could be considered as one of the top economic development deals the state of Indiana has cultivated in the past decade. A commitment in 2018 of 3,000 new jobs created by 2023 and the establishment of a $245 million, 786,000-square-foot U.S. Educational Center for training their workforce is definitely a way to get on such a list.

Rick Cardwell, Infosys’ Vice President and Head of Midwest Region—and also Infosys’ employee number one in Indiana—along with Governor Eric Holcomb discussed how Indiana is upskilling the American workforce in a fireside chat moderated by TechPoint’s president and CEO, Mike Langellier. Based on the data that the IT skills gap is only expected to grow over the next five years, with 2.4 million STEM positions left unfilled between 2018 and 2028, the Governor and Cardwell were prompted to share how the private sector is finding innovative solutions to mitigate the growing tech skills gap.

This is a topic Infosys and Governor Holcomb are qualified to discuss. Progress towards Infosys’ 3,000 jobs commitment by 2023 has steadily increased. Cardwell shared that the company has hired more than 500 people over the last year, 40 percent of whom are homegrown Hoosiers, and they have also imported talent from 35 states.

Indiana government operates in harmony with tech

From the outside, one might think forging such a partnership that would entice a global company to make such an investment in Indiana requires little effort. Deals like this are anything but easy, and both Holcomb and Cardwell were prepared to share how Indiana’s competitive advantage sealed the deal with Infosys and can be used to create future partnerships.

“The three-legged stool is business, government and training,” said Governor Holcomb. “It’s about how state and local governments act in unison or harmoniously, and oftentimes what we hear from others is that this is a barrier.” This statement is echoed throughout Indy’s tech leaders like Dr. Don Brown who, at an IBJ breakfast event, explained that in no other state could you pick up the phone, call your local and state government leaders, and get them to talk to you.

For the tech industry, which thrives on being nimble enough to innovate and operate ahead of the market, the addition of government in that three-legged stool could lead to skepticism. Yet the governor is attuned to the tech ecosystem. “The quicker you realize you can scale your business only as fast as you can scale talent, you will be led to that competitive advantage,” he said.

Strong government partnership encourages Infosys’ growth

That forward-thinking in Indiana’s legislature helped Infosys see stability not just in a partnership with the state, but also in available talent pipelines. Committing to 3,000 jobs is one thing to say, and another to do; Infosys wouldn’t have chosen Indiana if they did not think they could meet their goal. In his opening remarks for the event, Cardwell referred back to a time in February 2017 when Infosys as a company decided to focus on building local and hiring local as part of their business strategy. Indiana quickly rose to the top of the list.

Rick Cardwell is not only Infosys’ first Indiana hire, but he’s also a homegrown Hoosier. While his work has offered him the ability to travel across the world, he’s always made his way back here. Combining Infosys’ build local philosophy with a native Hoosier who can build local relationships was a recipe for success from Cardwell’s first day.

Infosys has set impressive milestones for growth, including the construction of their U.S. Education Center alongside their talent acquisition goals. With more than 500 associates already hired since his first day, however, Cardwell is confident in Infosys’ future in Indy, and he’s already setting sights on the next step. “The day that our space fills up with another 500 employees, and I see a thousand Infosys backpacks, will be an exceptional milestone,” he said.

Discover more about Infosys through recent stories and the company’s Tech Directory.