Speak Easy Looks to Stock Tech Pipeline With Vets

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Danielle McDowell is the executive director of The Speak Easy. Danielle McDowell is the executive director of The Speak Easy.

A new effort in Indianapolis is aiming to boost the presence of military veterans in the tech scene. The Speak Easy's Tech Warriors initiative involves connecting vets with industry opportunities and raising awareness among local executives about the benefits of hiring vets. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Speak Easy Executive Director Danielle McDowell said Tech Warriors offers an opportunity to "convene these two different sectors that might not intersect as often as they could." She says the connections created through the program offer multiple advantages for vets and employers alike.

She says thousands of jobs are open in the tech sector and the skill sets of vets -- including training in highly-technical fields, attention to detail and discipline -- fit the industry. The program will offer a "direct connection," she says, to tech leaders, plus opportunities for vets to "skill up" through organizations like Fishers-based Eleven Fifty Academy and Kenzie Academy in Indianapolis, as well as foster networking. "If there is a job opportunity open and available, we want to be the place where that spark happens and that provides a win-win for both sides of the equation," McDowell said.

Eventually, McDowell says she'd like to see Tech Warrior meetups increase from quarterly to monthly and even help participants jump to the next level and create their own startups, building resources along the way that could be invested back into programs for more vets.

The Speak Easy is a creation, collaboration and learning community for entrepreneurs with multiple locations in central Indiana.

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