Project Lead The Way, Inc. (PLTW), a national nonprofit that develops and supports hands-on K-12 science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curriculum for schools across the country, announced plans to expand its operations in Indianapolis, creating up to 30 new jobs by 2016.
The company, which moved its national headquarters from New York to Indiana in November 2011, will invest $1.7 million to expand its offices to cover nearly 27,000 square feet at The Precedent Office Park in Indianapolis, growing more than 15,000 square feet from its original Indiana facility. Operational next month, the expanded facility will allow the nonprofit to continue growing to meet national demand for its programs, including its new elementary school program and the launch of a computer science program, currently piloted in 60 U.S. schools.
“Critical thinking and a knack for problem solving are key skills needed in the workforce to propel our economy and help create jobs,” said Eric Doden, president of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. “As a state that works for business, we’re also proud to be a state that works for helping organizations like PLTW develop the nation’s workforce to meet the jobs of today and the new challenges of tomorrow. PLTW’s decision to grow its national headquarters here in the Hoosier State is a testament to Indiana’s embrace of what must be done to provide the optimum environment for business growth.”
PLTW, which currently employs 108 associates nationwide, including 56 Hoosiers, will begin hiring this month for information technology, communications and marketing, school engagement, curriculum development and training positions. Interested applicants may apply online at www.pltw.org.
“PLTW is growing because our nation desperately needs today’s students to be well prepared as the next generation of problem solvers, critical thinkers and collaborators,” said Dr. Vince Bertram, president and chief executive officer of PLTW. “The United States’ economic prosperity is at stake, and PLTW is part of the solution. PLTW is thrilled to call Indiana ‘home.’ Indiana was an early adopter of PLTW and has been a consistent leader in PLTW growth. Even as Indiana students and schools benefit from our programs, the state of Indiana makes it easy for a fast-growing nonprofit to affordably do business. Everyone wins with PLTW based in Indiana.”
Founded in 1997, PLTW provides STEM curriculum and teacher training for more than 5,000 schools in all 50 states. Growing from a national demand to integrate core school subjects with relevant problem solving skills, the organization offers curriculum tailored to each age group, including elementary, middle and high school students, with high school programs including a focus on biomedical science and engineering. Already doubling its staff in the last year, PLTW was recognized by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce last year as the third best place to work in Indiana.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Project Lead The Way, Inc. up to $200,000 in training grants based on the company's job creation plans. These incentives are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. The city of Indianapolis supports the project at the request of Develop Indy, a business unit of the Indy Chamber.
“The expansion of PLTW strengthens Indy’s position as the capital of education innovation nationwide,” said Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard. “PLTW’s growth will attract new jobs and innovators to our city and its work shines a positive light on the great work taking place in Indy to improve the educational outcome for students.”
Indiana continues to have one of the fastest growing economies in the nation with a 9.6 percent rate of Hoosier job growth in 2013, placing Indiana in the top five of all states for its growth. This helped lead to the creation of 47,600 Hoosier private sector jobs last year.
Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and the nation’s leading provider of STEM programs. PLTW’s world-class, activity-, project-, and problem-based curriculum and high-quality teacher professional development model, combined with an engaged network of educators and corporate partners, help students develop the skills needed to succeed in our global economy. More than 5,000 elementary, middle, and high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia are currently offering PLTW courses to their students. For more information, visit www.pltw.org.
Created in 2005 to replace the former Department of Commerce, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation is governed by a 12-member board chaired by Governor Mike Pence. Victor Smith serves as the Indiana Secretary of Commerce and Eric Doden is the president of the IEDC.
The IEDC oversees programs enacted by the General Assembly including tax credits, workforce training grants and public infrastructure assistance. All tax credits are performance-based. Therefore, companies must first invest in Indiana through job creation or capital investment before incentives are paid. A company who does not meet its full projections only receives a percentage of the incentives proportional to its actual investment. For more information about IEDC, visit www.iedc.in.gov.