The global economy means that some technical jobs that were once done in the United States have been outsourced to firms overseas—a move commonly referred to as "offshoring." However, one firm is bucking that trend and bringing new technology jobs to northeast Indiana.
In December, Atlanta-based Rural Sourcing announced it would open its sixth software development center in Fort Wayne. This is the second announcement of its kind from the company in less than two months, the company says in a statement
. The Fort Wayne center will create 130 software development jobs for the city and state during the next 2-3 years.
Rural Sourcing CEO Monty Hamilton describes Rural Sourcing as a “mission-driven company,” one that’s focused on creating thousands of jobs in places where they might not otherwise exist.
But why Fort Wayne?
Rural Sourcing has undergone the site selection process 5-6 times now in opening up other offices. In the process, Hamilton says they look at “different attributes,” like culture, affordability, quality of life, and civic pride. Availability and quality of talent also enter the equation, of course.
“Then we also look at the tech pool," Hamilton says. "Can we be the employer-of-choice from a tech point of view?”
Fort Wayne checks off all those boxes, and Rural Sourcing is eager to enter the market, especially in the midst of the city's downtown renaissance
“It’s important for us to be in a downtown location where there’s a lot going on,” Hamilton says.
Right now, the company is working on securing a temporary office space, and they plan to hire people around the end of March. Jobs will range from entry-level developers to more seasoned managers. Hamilton says they’ll recruit from the local talent pool, but also aspire to appeal to another audience.
“One of the things we pride ourselves on is we create a cool enough opportunity to attract people who’ve moved away,” he explains. “You don’t have to trade a vocation for location.”
In other words, he hopes to play on Fort Wayne’s low cost of living as a draw.
Hamilton says another point of difference is the company’s commitment to being a responsible corporate citizen. For example, they support STEM programs, coding camps, and local schools through mentorships and volunteer time. In one community where they have a presence, employees teach a high school STEM class. He says another center has partnered with Junior Achievement to expose students to career options.
This aligns with Gov. Eric Holcomb's vision for the state, which includes "Next Level Jobs." In his agenda, he argues that Indiana must produce top talent to be competitive in the world economy.
"Every Hoosier student should receive an effective baseline education infused with STEM, intellectual curiosity, critical thinking and other attributes that prepare them for lifelong learning," Holcomb's 2018 agenda
Hamilton believes Rural Sourcing is poised to play a role in turning the tide. The nature and specifics of the company's volunteer engagement will be up to the center's future employees—and that’s an important distinction because it allows them to address needs specific to the community.
"We believe, on the whole, if our people live our mission and values, we’re good," he says.