INDIANAPOLIS — The Mission41K movement is officially underway in the Hoosier state.
"We believe that Indiana needs to add 41,000 new tech workers by 2030 to be competitive and to keep its edge," Dennis Trinkle, Executive Vice President for Talent at TechPoint said.
TechPoint is a non-profit that focuses on growing Indiana's tech ecosystem.
After a year-long listening tour with members, the number one need businesses said they have is attracting and developing talent. The second priority is hiring more diversely and developing talent from within.
"There are about two or three jobs for every one person that's out there," Trinkle said. “Nationally, and Indiana are no different. There's really a talent crisis.”
On September 27, TechPoint hosted Launch Mission41K. The one-day summit brought together more than 200 early adopters of the initiative.
The focus? Prioritizing skills-based hiring.
"So with skills first, what we're trying to do is encourage companies to think about defining the roles that they need to fill on the basis of skills, not just going out and trying to hire somebody with a computer science degree," Trinkle said.
The Indiana Office of Technology began using skills-based hiring in 2019 by removing degree requirements from most job descriptions and building a non-traditional pathway program as a new hiring approach.
The State Earn and Learn, or SEAL, program has been successful at filling gaps within the growing agency.
“We're in an area, especially with the heightened market with risk as a result of the pandemic, of challenges in building, creating and having workforce,” Tracy Barnes, Chief Information Officer for the Indiana Office of Technology said. “Our first class and program had two SEALS, we are now upwards of 30 plus SEALS in our program.”
The SEAL program gives participants hands-on experience going through a 12-month IT program.
Brian Sutterfield is a recent SEAL graduate and is now a junior security engineer with the Indiana Office of Technology.
“I have friends from all over the country that I have made since I got into cybersecurity. Programs like this are not common,” Sutterfield said.
TechPoint believes giving companies the tools they need to adopt this innovative hiring approach will help them meet their talent needs.
"It's literally true that about 80% of the potential applicants for any given role in tech are screened out when you just look at degrees and years of service," Trinkle said.
Trinkle also points out that traditional hiring approaches often screen out candidates of color, women, and minorities.
"So focusing on skills, opens up the talent pool and allows them to hire a lot of other individuals that they're just not even getting the chance to look at," Trinkle said.