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State Economic Development Leaders Maintain Indiana Is Ready for Its Close-Up From Tech Industry

 

Indiana is making a play for the tech-industry jobs associated with Silicon Valley and North Carolina's Research Triangle.

A Central Indiana Corporate Partnership study counts 61-thousand computer-related jobs in Indiana, with a growth rate six times the state's overall pace. Nearly half those jobs are concentrated in the Indianapolis-Carmel metro area.

Commerce Secretary Victor Smith argues the same business-friendly tax climate Indiana touts to other businesses will attract tech firms. But he says the state is competing more effectively in an arena where it's long sought a toehold, for reasons specific to the tech sector. He says the attention Indy has drawn for quality-of-life initiatives is making the city a more attractive destination for young professionals. And he predicts the addition of direct flights to San Francisco five months ago will help, by facilitating face-to-face meetings with Silicon Valley executives.

The state's three biggest tech companies -- software company Interactive Intelligence, email marketing firm ExactTarget and consumer rating service Angie's List -- boast a combined market value of $5 billion.

Last fall, Forbes magazine ranked Indy ninth on a list of the fastest growing computer and science/technology/engineering job markets. The magazine listed Indy among a half-dozen cities, including Kansas City and Jacksonville, as unexpected tech hubs to watch, in part because they're less expensive than "trendier cities."

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