INDIANAPOLIS — (Oct. 27, 2020) —TechPoint’s coveted Xtern program, deemed the “ultimate summer internship experience” for the tech sector, is expanding beyond Indianapolis to Muncie, Ind. The popular program, which began in Indianapolis in 2014, has consistently broken application records each year.  College students from across the country vie for spots in the 10-week, summer internship program that gives them access to the city’s tech and civic leaders, provides them with paid internships at top tech companies, all while living in the city for the summer.

More than 2,000 students from 222 universities and 43 home states applied to be in the summer 2021 Xtern class.  Now, a portion of those students will be getting that same experience in Muncie next summer.

“We are really proud of the Xtern program’s reputation as one of the country’s top internship programs for college students in pursuit of tech jobs, and we are gratified by the program’s success in placing this top talent with Central Indiana employers,” said Mike Langellier, president and CEO, TechPoint. “We are thrilled to expand Xtern’s positive impact by sharing our talent pipeline and our program’s best practices with Muncie-area employers.”

The Muncie expansion is a result of the collaborative and creative work by several Muncie leaders. The Ball Brothers Foundation provided funding necessary to initiate local programming, and leaders from Ball State University, the Innovation Connector, the City of Muncie, Shafer Leadership Academy and NextMuncie assisted in organizing and speaking with local employers.

As a result, First Merchant’s Bank, LEAP Managed IT, Dannar, Accutech Systems, Deltec Solutions, Magna PowerTrain and the City of Muncie are the first employers to agree to hire Muncie-based Xterns.

“As east-central Indiana’s economic growth engine, Muncie needs ongoing access to qualified tech talent, so we are very excited that TechPoint has chosen our community to expand their highly-regarded Xtern program,” said Muncie Mayor Dan Ridenour. “Local employers will gain the services of top tech talent, and the program will draw to our community an exciting group of young professionals, many of whom will discover Muncie for the very first time.”

Over the past few weeks, TechPoint’s talent team has vetted the student applicant list, matching their best skills and expertise to employers which have expressed interest in hiring the Xterns. On November 13, about 165 students will interview virtually with nearly 50 prospective employers, as part of Xtern Finalist Day. Nearly 78% of the prospect pool has indicated equal preferences for positions in Indianapolis or Muncie.

Mike Butler, chief technology officer at First Merchant’s Bank, is encouraging Muncie employers to consider joining the program, even if they aren’t considered a traditional tech company.

“Banking isn’t a place many people think about as a place to work with technology, but First Merchants has a thriving technology culture, rich with technologies and innovative ideas,” said Butler. “There are approximately 100 people on our technology teams, ranging in skills such as cyber defense, software development, systems/network engineering, application management, business analysis, data engineering, and many other functions. We are excited to be part of the Xtern Muncie program and to give back to the community.”

Merillat Flowers, senior director of Techpoint’s Talent Programs, said Muncie is hopefully just the beginning of ways the Xtern program can continue to grow and benefit the state.

“We have so many talented, eager and passionate students who want careers in tech,” said Flowers. “We are thrilled to have more organizations taking part and giving these young people a great look at Indiana, and the Indiana tech sector.”

The Xtern program was launched to create a life-changing experience that would introduce the next generation of tech talent to great job opportunities with tech employers. Proving the point that those introductions are making a difference, over the past seven years, surveys of students entering the program showed that 25% of them said they were considering a career in Indianapolis after graduation, while after the program, 76% of Xterns were interested in staying in the city and accepting job offers.

About TechPoint: TechPoint is the nonprofit, industry-led growth initiative for Indiana’s technology companies and overall tech ecosystem. The team is focused on attracting talent, accelerating scale-up companies, activating the community and amplifying stories of success.