sealPurdue News

August 18, 2000

Indiana businesses 'TAP' Purdue for high-tech recruiting edge

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University's Technical Assistance Program (TAP) will play matchmaker between students and Indiana business once again Oct. 25 at the "High-Tech Job Fair for Indiana Companies."

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"Hoosier companies need thousands of high-tech employees," said TAP director Dave McKinnis. "TAP has expanded its role to make sure Purdue students know what high-tech careers are available here in Indiana."

Established in 1986, TAP's mission has been to help business, industry and government use new technologies to benefit the citizens of Indiana. But within the past two years, TAP added a new dimension to its mission – introducing talented young engineers and scientists to high-tech companies in Indiana in hopes they will stay in the state after graduation.

TAP officials have devised a two-fold approach to slowing down Indiana's "brain drain." First, TAP coordinates the "High-Tech Job Fair for Indiana Companies," which is the only job recruitment event at Purdue limited to Indiana employers. Second, TAP sponsors a summer intern program, providing an opportunity for Indiana companies to check out potential employees on the job.

"Many of the Purdue students we place in summer internships receive full-time offers upon graduation," McKinnis said. "This summer, almost 100 interns embarked on their high-tech career through this program. Companies are very pleased with their work and employ many interns on a part-time basis into the fall months."

Employer interest in this year’s "High-Tech Job Fair for Indiana Companies" is greater than ever, with many new information technology firms registered. According to McKinnis, these firms will be recruiting for more than 600 high-tech positions.

"We have two months to go until the job fair and already more than three-fourths of the 100 spaces have been reserved by companies," McKinnis said. "Only 25 more spots remain available, and we've just begun to publicize the event."

The fair, sponsored by the Purdue schools of agriculture, engineering, management, science, technology, and Purdue's Center for Career Opportunities, is open to undergraduate and graduate students from all Purdue campuses. It will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Purdue Memorial Union Ballrooms. Company representatives may screen candidates during the fair, then interview selected students from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Participation in the fair will be limited to the first 100 companies that register by phone at (765) 494-6258; by e-mail to; or through the Job Fair Web site. Companies that wish to participate pay a $150 fee. The job fair will include an information session on salary data and recruiting tips for high-tech businesses from 9:30 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.

TAP's first two high-tech job fairs attracted more than 2,000 students each time and almost every company had a line of students to talk with during the five-hour event.

Among the 100 businesses expected to attend are employers involved with computer software, e-commerce, computer consulting, manufacturing, government, insurance and accounting. Many of these companies are household names, and others may not typically recruit on college campuses.

On the heels of a recommendation by the Indiana General Assembly's Legislative Interim Study Committee on Economic Development Issues, Purdue is asking the state to appropriate funds for the expansion of TAP to 10 regional sites, making the program a statewide effort that involves other institutions of higher education. The expanded Technical Assistance Program would draw on the expertise of university faculty in the various regions of the state to help Indiana companies implement new technology and improved management practices.

Source: Dave McKinnis, (765) 494-6258;

Writer: Jeanine S. Smith, (765) 496-3133;

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

Steve Crouch (center), manager of product reliability for Thomson Multimedia, Indianapolis, describes his company's new HDTV systems to Purdue's Technical Assistance Program advisors Eric Furgason (left), professor of electrical and computer engineering, and graduate student Chris Smith. (Purdue News Service Photo by John Underwood)

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