TechPoint: Indiana ‘moving the needle’ on Mission41K

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Indianapolis-based TechPoint has released a report detailing the progress of its Mission41K initiative.

The not-for-profit growth initiative for Indiana’s tech ecosystem launched the effort in September with the goal of adding 41,000 tech workers in the state by 2030.

The new report compares 2022 tech job growth to the first several months of 2023 and shows Indiana’s tech workforce has grown by 5.6%, which is double the national tech workforce growth rate last year and well ahead of the average 2% annual growth the state has seen over the past 30 years.

Dennis Trinkle, senior vice president of talent, strategy and partnerships for TechPoint, told Inside INdiana Business a lot of collaborative efforts have led to the early growth results.

“That’s part of the thinking behind Mission41K is that we need to get the actors together working on big solutions but also collaborating and innovative and innovating in their own organizations innovating in partnerships,” said Trinkle. “And we’ve seen all of that.”

Trinkle said he has seen companies implement a variety of efforts to boost hiring, including adopting a skills-based approach to hiring, adult apprenticeships and other work-based pathways, and setting up inclusive programs to attract and support people who historically haven’t had paths into tech jobs.

TechPoint singled out the efforts of several big name companies in its report, including Allegion, which has its Americas regional headquarters in Carmel, as well as Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. and Zotec Partners in Carmel.

But Trinkle said it’s not just the big companies that are making the effort.

“It’s happening in small and mid sized businesses,” he said. “It’s happening in companies that one might think of as tech companies like Salesforce, and it’s happening at the more than 90% of Indiana companies that aren’t in the tech sector but absolutely rely on technology and tech talent to get their work done.”

Since the initiative’s launch, more than 100 individuals and organizations have taken the Mission41K pledge, according to TechPoint. Trinkle said the response to the effort has been overwhelmingly positive.

“The community has really embraced it, and not just in central Indiana,” he said. “Folks often think of the tech sector as primarily an urban thing, but it’s not. It’s small companies all over the state, many in small town Indiana, who are relying on high skilled tech talent. All across the state, those companies and organizations have been pulling together and collaborating to develop the talent that we need, and then help that talent to see the opportunities in Indiana, so they stay and work here for a long time.”

TechPoint also partnered with Indianapolis-based community development organization InnoPower to facilitate “design thinking” sessions in Indy, Fort Wayne and Gary targeting Black Hoosiers who are interested in tech careers.

The sessions saw 150 community members and leaders attend, and the effort also earned a $300,000 grant from the Indianapolis African American Quality of Life Initiative to fund an adult apprentice program in central Indiana for low-income Black men and women.

TechPoint said in the report that the next step in the InnoPower partnership is to build a statewide tech development and placement ecosystem that will identify non-traditional training providers, traditional institutions, student support organizations, and employers.

According to the report, 92% of all jobs in Indiana currently require some level of tech skill.

There are just under 9,300 tech businesses operating in the state, TechPoint said, and those companies posted a total of nearly 55,000 open tech positions last year. Tech employment in Indiana to-date stands at 118,872. 

“While the increase may seem slight, moving the needle in our first months of implementation represents progress and indicates we are doing the right things to accomplish much more in the future,” said Trinkle. “With additional time and focus, we are confident we will see greater impact.” 

You can connect to the full report by clicking here.

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