Infosys picks Purdue University to help train U.S. workforce

Tech-services giant Infosys Ltd. is partnering with Purdue University to train many of the workers it plans to hire in the coming years, the company and the school announced Thursday. The agreement is just one component of the significant footprint the company intends to establish at the school.

Infosys said the workforce-development alliance will span five years, during which time Purdue will offer classes and courses to many of the 10,000 U.S. workers Infosys anticipates hiring.

Much of the training will be focused on new employees and conducted on Purdue's campus in West Lafayette. The partnership also includes "specialist online courses for existing Infosys employees," the university said.

The announcement comes about three months after the India-based company said it would hire 10,000 U.S. workers by 2021, including 2,000 in Indiana. At the time, the company said it would establish a training center similar to ones it has in other countries, and its partnership with Purdue appears to be the first manifestation of that effort.

"Today’s announcement represents another step forward in our commitment to boosting American innovation and in doing our part to shrink the IT skills gap through investments in training and education," Ravi Kumar S., Infosys president and deputy chief operating officer, said in written remarks. "We are proud to partner with a leading American university like Purdue that is at the forefront of educating and training students on the most in-demand technology skills."

The training will be in disciplines that play to Purdue's strengths, including digital agriculture, cybersecurity, biopharma analytics, autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence and data analytics. Infosys activities will be anchored in Purdue's Discovery Park in West Lafayette, and Purdue said it the company will establish a "prominent physical and intellectual presence" there.

Purdue said cohorts of new employees are already being trained at Purdue.  

Some 75 people will be trained by the end of the year, with that figure significantly rising thereafter. The longest courses last about eight weeks, officials said, and employees are expected to live in West Lafayette during the period of their training.

Infosys didn't immediately respond to questions about the amount of money it is investing in the initiative. Purdue officials said they believe they can handle the training of potentially thousands of Infosys workers.

"We are hosting cohorts currently, with help from the Purdue Research Foundation," said Suresh Garimella, Purdue’s executive vice president for research and partnerships, in emailed remarks. "As the initiative scales up, we are confident they can be accommodated in existing facilities. We also envision Infosys developing a strong physical presence in our Innovation District as it evolves in Discovery Park on campus."

The company said it will also establish an Infosys Solutions Center at Purdue, which will "address select business challenges presented by the company’s clients, and investigate interdisciplinary solutions."

“We at Purdue are pleased and honored to assist Gov. Eric Holcomb and the state of Indiana in attracting one of the world’s leading IT companies to our state," Garimella said. "The strategic alliance with Infosys will marry Purdue’s talent and expertise in innovation with cutting-edge research and learning opportunities, and bring about an innovation-to-industrialization ecosystem."

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