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INDIANAPOLIS — As companies expand in our state, Indiana is poised to hire nearly one million people over the next 9 years.
One of those companies is on the verge of a lift off.
As it prepares to launch a new product, DriBot is already proving its commitment to college students, recognizing their value in the workforce now and in the future.
William Gallagher is part of a team working on the new DriBot device hitting the market next month --- a device that could provide peace-of-mind for homeowners around Indiana.
Gallagher says, "I think its going to be probably one of our best products that we have ever launched and by far the most successful."
The motor-sport engineering student at IUPUI is among the first generation of student workers, producing what's know as DriBot.
Dribot is a state-of-the-art home flooding prevention device, developed here in Indiana.
Managers say Dribot will protect against groundwater flooding in homes, reduce potential damage, and help detect leaks.
The high-tech sump pump will even communicate with homeowner's smartphones, through an app.
DriBot will fill its first order of 50 united in October.
Gallagher performs a host of duties in the production process, including receiving parts, building components, constructing the whole unit, testing and shipping.
He's not the only student who has been contributing to the product launch.
Samantha Miller is a senior at IUPUI, studying mechanical engineering.
She's working on the DriBot too and she calls the product "revolutionary."
Miller also believes the company behind the product is forward-thinking, when it comes to its employment model.
As DriBot launches, the company is looking to the future, hoping to hire up to 150 workers, mainly students, over the next year.
Student employees will assemble, test, and ship DriBot from its facility on West Morris Street on Indianapolis's southwest side.
The student employees will work in a style called "cell-based manufacturing," which differs from an assembly line.
Instead, students are trained in multiple areas of the assembly process, which enables them to build a DriBot from start to finish or pick up on a project where another team has left off.
This provides a degree of scheduling freedom, which could be key for college students.
"The schedule that you work is super flexible," Miller says, "You can make your own hours, if you have to leave early to study, or if you have to do something else, they are very aware of your needs."
Gallagher agrees, saying, "If i need to take time off for school, all i have to do is just text my boss."
DriBot executive team has laid out a commitment to help students, since the company's founder and managers worked their way through college.
DriBot Human Resources Manager Lindsey Tucker explains, "We're sympathetic and we understand the plight of the college student, trying to balance studying, working to make money and then trying to limit their debt, as much as possible."
The perks for student employees include competitive wages; free on-site lunch once a week; free on-the-clock workout classes; a 401K (even for part-time workers); flexible scheduling; and a bike-share program so students can get to and from campus and work easily.
The DriBot company is already working on plans to expand its facility, allowing for 24-hour access for its student workers, which could lead to greater flexibility for scheduling shift times.
DriBot hopes providing perks and opening a door to college students, graduates may be enticed to stay in the Hoosier State, with a career-ready opportunity.
"There are constant opportunities here to advance," Miller says, "and to test your knowlege and try to get better and challenge yourself every single day."