'Indyfluence' Seeks to Retain Talent After Graduation

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The event will culminate with a gathering on Georgia Street in downtown Indy. (photo courtesy of Indyfluence) The event will culminate with a gathering on Georgia Street in downtown Indy. (photo courtesy of Indyfluence)

A group of top companies and organizations in Indianapolis is collaborating on a first-of-its-kind service and community day, which takes place today. The inaugural Indyfluence aims to encourage more college students to stay in Indy after graduation. Organizers say they want to showcase unique community-focused opportunities to hundreds of interns currently working in Indianapolis.

As part of the event, about 430 interns from several Hoosier companies will work together at 10 service project locations throughout Indianapolis. In an interview on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick, Indianapolis-based Catalytic Talent LLC Chief Executive Officer Liz Huldin said the event grew from a talent summit a few years ago.

"We were talking about the fact that in other cities, there are events and there are usually big concerts and they get everybody together for a moment," said Huldin. "We said we could do better and we thought we could do something that would be a lot more community-focused."

The interns will work on a variety of service projects, including painting a mural on an underpass, creating blessing boxes and working with various nonprofits such as Gleaners Food Bank and different area schools.

Huldin was joined by OneAmerica Senior Vice President of Human Resources Karin Sarratt, who said the community-focused aspect of Indyfluence is meant to target young talent who are looking for a sense of connection. "It really gives them a chance to be connected not just to the other interns that they're going to meet, but the community, the local employers; it has really good sticking power if we can attract that type of talent."

Some of the corporate partners include Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY), Roche Diagnostics, the Heritage Group, and Indiana University Health, as well as young companies such as Springbuk. Sarratt says any employer is looking to be innovative in how they attract and retain talent.

"We also think about ways, when we are looking to connect the interns, we want them to have that connection and say to their friends, 'I'm going to stay in Indianapolis or I'm going to stay in the state. I don't want to go someplace else to be employed.'"

Huldin says the response leading up to the event has been "overwhelming" and she expects more events like it to pop up in the future. You can learn more about Indyfluence by clicking here.

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