Hamilton County wants to lure county high school graduates to return to live and work in the county in the future.
The Hamilton County Workforce Recovery Task Force and Hamilton County Economic Development have partnered with TMap, an Indiana-based technology company to create an innovative talent recruitment program for the county.
Carol Sergi, director of workforce strategy for the Hamilton County Economic Development Corp., said it had TMap start the process of collecting information about high school students across the county in the fall of 2019. She said the Workforce Recovery Task Force wanted to reach out to the high school graduates after they’ve gone on to their post-secondary education, whether it’s a four-year college, two-year college or earning a credential and moved away.
“We wanted to have a mechanism to be able to keep track of the students from Hamilton County and be able to reach out to them and invite them to come back and live and work in Hamilton County to help us fill the jobs we have here,” Sergi said.
Sergi said the schools collect minimal information.
“Then TMap has the ability to go in get much more in-depth information so that we can look and see what industry are they in, where do they live, how long have they been out of school, what are they working in currently,” Sergi said. “Maybe their degree is in one thing and they end up with jobs in something else. (With TMap) we can really target people, particularly when at some point in the future we are going to be able to do things that are very targeted to certain industries.”
Sergi said the plan was to conduct in-person recruiting, invite people to the county to see places to live and set up interviews with participants in 2020.
However, the pandemic has made that too difficult to accomplish this year, but Sergi said the organization wants to do it in the future.
Sergi said TMap has helped Indianapolis with the initiative.
“We want to be able to reach out to people who have the particular skills that those companies are looking for,” Sergi said.
Sergi said research shows there is a small gap of people in the 25- to 35-age range.
“We have less than the average in Hamilton County,” she said. “So that’s really a target for us because if we don’t attract and keep that younger population as our population continues to age, we are going to need those younger workers for our companies and businesses to be successful.”
Sergi said Hamilton County is attractive to retirees because they want to be closer to their children.
“We need to make sure we balance that out with younger people so we don’t become a great place to retire but we don’t have any workers,” Sergi said.
The Hamilton County Council, along with the Hamilton County Commissioners, voted to provide financial support for a portion of the program, along with Hamilton County Economic Development.
“Winning regions are the ones that get serious about talent recruitment,” TMap founder and CEO Bill Oesterle stated. “The Hamilton County community has banded together to bring talented expats back. We’re proud to use our platform to achieve such a critical mission.”