Indiana’s top two public research universities are joining forces to keep more graduates in the state and fill the Hoosier talent pipeline with highly skilled workers.

Purdue University and Indiana University have partnered with Ascend Indiana, the talent and workforce initiative of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership. Through the Ascend Network, the initiative’s online job matching platform, Purdue and IU will be able to more effectively connect students with Indiana career opportunities that match their skill sets and interests, as well as offer increased one-on-one career guidance and job search support. This partnership provides Indiana’s leading employers with a unique platform for hiring the state’s college students for internships and jobs.

Since its inception in 2017, Ascend has connected more than 2,200 Indiana college students and recent graduates with jobs and internships in all sectors across the Hoosier state. Almost one-third of those are students from Purdue and IU, including regional campuses throughout Indiana. More than 550 employers are using the network.

“This new partnership augments the portfolio of resources for students and alumni looking for post-collegiate careers right here in Indiana,” said Steve Abel, Purdue’s associate provost for engagement. “Purdue has long been a positive contributor to the workforce pipeline in multiple sectors throughout the state. Employers continually say Purdue grads are among the most employable in the nation.”

“IU and Purdue both recognize the major opportunity we have to drive ‘brain gain’ in our state and build a healthy, innovative and internationally competitive economy,” said Bill Stephan, Indiana University’s vice president for government relations and economic engagement. “We know that as many as 80% of graduates at our regional campuses around the state stay in their home regions after they complete their education. These alumni continue to make vital contributions to the economic growth and vitality of their communities. We are committed to bringing more talented graduates back to the state and to ensuring that we keep Indiana’s talent pipeline full of employees equipped with the skills that our state’s leading employers need and demand.”

The Ascend Network is a resource offered on campus and via career services offices at no cost to students. Through the network, students receive personalized job and internship recommendations that lead to meaningful careers in Indiana. During the job search, application and interview process, a career mentor provides free, one-on-one support and educational resources. The platform adds a robust resource to the schools’ efforts to help students navigate the labor market to find jobs and internships in Indiana that align with their career goals. Students can find out more information here.

Both Purdue and IU have made major contributions already to contribute to the “brain gain” in the state, including their engagement in the state’s Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative, or READI. Multiple Purdue and IU campuses submitted proposals for projects to enhance regional prosperity across the state. Both schools participate in other “brain gain” initiatives like TMap, an alumni recruiting organization based in Indianapolis.

Purdue, recently named a “Brand That Matters” by Fast Company and continually ranked in the Top 10 as one of the Most Innovative Schools by U.S. News & World Report, is Indiana’s land-grant institution and has successfully launched numerous economic development projects through Purdue Research Foundation’s research parks, as well transforming the West Lafayette campus. Purdue and Purdue Research Foundation are increasing the number of people living and working in the Discovery Park District through remote working opportunities, partnerships with leading high-tech and research corporations such as SaabRolls-Royce and Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, and more.

Purdue is finding innovative ways to collaborate with communities and businesses through the Indiana Data Mine Initiative, funded by a $10 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. Purdue is also helping communities and education leaders rethink the high school experience through the success of Purdue Polytechnic High Schools, with two locations in Indianapolis and one in South Bend. Purdue expands its statewide presence through Purdue Fort Wayne, Purdue Northwest, Purdue Extension and several research parks.

Read more about IU’s partnership with Ascend Indiana here.