Research Foundation News

October 26, 2017

Purdue@WestGate workforce development program helps companies find talent

ODON, Ind. and CRANE, Ind. – CareerMaker, a Purdue workforce development facilitator located in the WestGate@Crane Technology Park, is off to a strong start, promoting economic growth in Indiana by supporting workforce needs of southern Indiana businesses.

Purdue Polytechnic selected WestGate to be the first of its CareerMaker sites because of the high potential for economic impact on the region. CareerMaker centers on the needs of the business and takes a comprehensive approach to partnering with the business to help it acquire the tools and resource it needs for success.

Carlos Gaitani, president of Tri Star Engineering, an engineering company located at WestGate, praised the program for its ability to identify and respond to the needs of businesses.

“Purdue is doing exactly what is needed from an educational institution, by reaching out to identify what our needs are and developing programs to support growth and competitiveness of the region,” Gaitani said.   

Doreen Gonzalez-Gaboyan, associate director for workforce development at the Purdue Polytechnic Institute, and Jason Salstrom, director of Purdue@WestGate, attended the WestGate Authority Board’s September meeting to provide updates on Purdue programs recently launched at WestGate and reported that programs are right on target with what has been promised by Purdue. 

“CareerMaker has hit the ground running at WestGate and received a tremendous response from businesses,” Gonzalez-Gaboyan said. “We’re making important connections with companies to learn about their workforce needs and how CareerMaker can help them meet those needs. Companies are giving us positive feedback about the program and providing critical information so that we can customize our services and re-create the program to keep in touch with the future needs of the area as it grows.” 

John Mensch, president of the WestGate Authority, said, “Our first three months with Purdue Polytechnic Institute and Purdue Research Foundation have been very exciting and fruitful, and we wish to continue and grow this important relationship.” 

The Purdue Foundry, an award-winning startup accelerator program, already has provided entrepreneurial networking events like the Foundry Grounds, a weekly gathering where experts and entrepreneurs present, and Spirited Entrepreneur, an informal monthly gathering for the technology industry, entrepreneurs, investors, civic leaders and economic development leaders. The Purdue Foundry’s Firestarter offers entrepreneurs with expert advice on startup creation from idea to market. 

 “Purdue’s presence is an asset to Crane and the surrounding defense companies in WestGate,” said Dan Gregory, WestGate Authority board member. “Our collaboration will advance education, research and development, and technology commercialization across Indiana.”    

For more information about CareerMaker, contact Doreen Gonzalez-Gaboyan at 219-746-0304 or gaboyand@purdue.edu. For more information about Purdue@WestGate, contact Jason Salstrom, director of programs and activities for Purdue@WestGate, at 812-483-0935 or jdsalstrom@prf.org

Writer: Lyna Landis, 765-588-3575, lklandis@prf.org

Sources: Doreen Gonzalez-Gaboyan, gaboyand@purdue.edu

Jason Salstrom, jdsalstrom@prf.org 

Dan Gregory, dgregory60@frontier.com 

Carlos Gaitani, Carlos.Gaitani@Star3.com 

John Mensch, johnmensch@1stsecurityinsurance.com 


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