Listen Live

STATEWIDE — Joining forces to keep college graduates in Indiana.

It’s rare to see such rivals as Indiana University and Purdue University teaming up, but that’s what they are doing to get students who graduate from their respective schools to find jobs with Indiana companies. Both universities are teaming up with Ascend Indiana to do that.

Ascend Indiana is essentially a collective organization of hundreds of Hoosier businesses that are dedicated to filling jobs that need to be filled by skilled workers.

“Ascend is focused primarily on Indiana employers, small, medium, large,” said Bill Stephan, vice president for government relations and economic engagement at Indiana University. “We want to maintain a strong economic foundation in our state with Indiana-based employers. Really providing them with the talent, the workforce, that they need going forward is critically important.”

Both schools tell Inside Indiana Business they are also able to use feedback from Ascend to adjust their curriculums in order to tailor to employment needs.

“This gives us an opportunity to hear first hand what the employment needs are and to provide the feedback to our academic units,” said Steve Abel, associate provost for engagement at Purdue University.

Both men say not only are the two schools tailoring curriculums to fit the needs of Hoosier students but also students who come from outside the state. They train them in their desired fields and then feed them job opportunities through Ascend Indiana to the students.

Ascend has more than 550 partnered employers and is also working with other schools in Indiana such as Butler University, Indiana State University, and Ball State University to name a few.