seal  Purdue News

October 24, 2003

Purdue Technical Assistance Program improves state economy

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Technical Assistance Program, administered by Purdue University, has created nearly 1,500 Indiana jobs and saved an additional 2,470 since its inception in 1986, according to the program’s recently released annual report.

TAP supports Indiana companies by making a team of faculty, staff and students available for free, short-term assistance with product development, advanced manufacturing, information technology and management issues. TAP has completed more than 5,300 assistance projects to date and worked with nearly 400 companies in 2002-03.

The State of Indiana provides approximately 75 percent of TAP funding, more than $1 million annually. Service fees for extended consultations supply the remainder of TAP's operating funds.

The economic impact of these partnerships between Purdue and Indiana businesses, along with state and local governments, has equaled $27 million in cost savings, $61 million in capital investments and $292 million in increased sales since 1986.

Don Gentry, Purdue's vice provost for engagement, said TAP is making great strides toward Purdue’s mission of making a meaningful contribution to Indiana’s economy.

"Working to improve the state of Indiana’s economy is a critical task for Purdue," Gentry said. "Our Technical Assistance Program is central to this effort. We know that providing funds for TAP is one of the best investments our state can make. I will continue to work diligently to help TAP expand."

Another TAP mission is to increase the number of Purdue graduates who accept jobs in Indiana. TAP sponsors an annual High-Tech Job Fair, annually attended by more than 1,200 students. This year’s job fair will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday (10/29) in the Purdue Memorial Union ballrooms.

TAP director David McKinnis said representatives of approximately 50 Indiana companies, including Eli Lilly and Co., Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield and Roche Diagnostics Corp., will be available to meet and interview potential employees and interns.

"TAP is committed to helping Indiana employers connect with Purdue’s talented, hardworking and highly skilled student body and to making Purdue students aware of the many career opportunities available right here in Indiana," McKinnis said.

Through the job fair and other methods, TAP has placed more than 750 students in summer internships since 1986. Fanger Communications in Indianapolis, for example, assigned a Purdue intern to build a business directory database that contained more than 75,000 entries. Another intern helped ambulance manufacturer McCoy Miller of Elkhart redesign fiberglass van caps and analyze the company’s bill of materials.

McKinnis said stemming the Indiana "brain drain" and implementing state-of-the art technologies to increase operational efficiency translate into a positive economic impact on the state.

"TAP connects Indiana businesses and local governments with the vast resources of Purdue University," McKinnis said. "Our mission is to strengthen the Indiana economy and improve the quality of life for Indiana citizens."

Note to Journalists: A copy of the annual report is available by contacting the TAP office at (765) 494-6258.

Writer: Marydell Forbes, (765) 496-7704,

Sources: Don Gentry, (765) 494-9095,

David McKinnis (765) 494-6258,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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