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Jobs Flow from Purdue's TAP

Purdue University's Technical Assistance Program (TAP) has created or preserved nearly 4,100 Indiana jobs since its start in 1986.

TAP supplies Hoosier companies with teams of faculty, staff, and students who offer free, short-term consulting with product development, advanced manufacturing processes, and management issues. It also offers fee-based, extensive training in lean manufacturing, quality, information technology, and human resource issues. TAP has worked with more than 450 companies in the past year to implement improvements and boost their bottom lines.

Photo by John Underwood

Kim Boner of Mishawaka and Scott Richmond of South Bend completed civil engineering internships with the consulting firm of Lawson-Fisher Associates of South Bend. They are two of the Purdue students TAP has placed with Indiana employers.

Great Strides

Vic Lechtenberg, Purdue's vice provost for engagement, said TAP is making great strides in fulfilling Purdue's mission as a strong economic partner with the state of Indiana.

"The Technical Assistance Program has been especially effective in serving life sciences, information technology, and the manufacturing sector, where TAP has directed more than two-thirds of its services," said Lechtenberg. "Many businesses have benefited from dramatic improvements."

TAP helped Next Marketing Inc. in Wabash, which manufactures and markets collegiate and automotive apparel, consolidate its warehouse. William Hensley, Next Marketing chief executive officer, said the company will benefit from significant cost savings thanks to TAP.

Great Numbers

"We think the consolidations will save anywhere from 15-20 percent in size utilization," said Hensley. "We'll also improve in efficiency."

The collective economic impact of such business partnerships, along with state and local government efforts, has equaled $63 million in capital investments and $296 million in increased sales since 1986.

TAP director David McKinnis said these numbers should increase due to TAP's recent partnership with the Indiana Health & Hospital Association.

"Healthcare TAP will serve the association's 166 member hospitals with three- to ten-day operational improvement projects," said McKinnis. "The fee-based projects should realize financial benefits for the hospitals as soon as improvements are implemented. Hospitals also will see improvements in patient care."

Healthcare TAP expects to complete approximately 50 projects each year.

McKinnis said TAP also will continue to place Purdue students in internships. More than 850 students have been placed to date.

"TAP is committed to helping Indiana employers connect with Purdue's technically savvy and highly skilled students," said McKinnis. "Whether it's short-term staffing with interns or long-term improvement projects, TAP stands ready to help companies and businesses throughout the state remain globally competitive."