INDIANAPOLIS - The state's tech growth initiative has secured a $5.7 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to support talent attraction and retention efforts. TechPoint, part of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, says the funds will boost its Xtern program, billed as "The Ultimate Tech Internship," and Xtern Bootcamp, which was launched last year. The TechPointX programs, which also include the two-year Indy Tech Fellowship and five-week Sales Bootcamp, were created in 2013 with a $1.3 million grant from the endowment. The organization followed up its support two years later with another $1.4 million.

TechPoint Chief Executive Officer Mike Langellier says "the most critical ingredient" for growing Indiana's tech ecosystem is additional talent and these programs cast a wide net. "Because of the rapid pace of change of the types of jobs -- especially in the tech industry -- we also need programs to help students, to help young people and career changers be able to identify what jobs are available in tech and where they could best apply their skills and what skills they need to have in order to be applicable to those jobs," he told Inside INdiana Business.

Langellier says internship programs, especially for startups and smaller companies that are spread throughout the state's tech scene, are challenging to execute. Considerations include creating an experience for the interns and helping line up housing for a short time in many cases. Through the Xtern initiatives, Langellier says TechPoint has created a "turnkey" internship opportunity for companies and opened up "a giant talent pipeline" for potential future employees.

More than 400 internships have been created in four years, over 80 employers with talent from 50 universities in nearly 30 states. Survey results suggest 73 percent of Xtern participants said they were likely to choose a career in Indianapolis, a big jump from the 17 percent who said so before taking part. Ninety-seven percent also reported a positive view of the city.

You can connect to more about TechPointX programming by clicking here.