Tech consultant eImagine nabs state incentives to hire more Hoosiers

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Indianapolis-based consulting firm eImagine Technology Group Inc. is in growth mode.

That’s led the Indiana Economic Development Corp. to offer the company up to $2 million in tax credits based on its plan to hire 113 additional Hoosiers by the end of 2026. Those additional jobs would be on top of the company’s January 2022 baseline of 89 workers.

Established in 1998, eImagine helps both government and commercial clients with things like technology consulting, project management and data analytics.

The company’s founder and CEO, Joel Russell, said the proliferation of big data in recent years has helped drive his company’s growth.

As a society, Russell said, “we’re creating more data on a daily basis than we’ve ever had.”

All that data, he said, can help organizations gain new insights to improve their efficiency and solve problems—if they know what to do with it. “It opens up possibilities of improving their business process,” he added.

That’s where eImagine comes in.

As one example, one of eImagine’s clients is the Indiana Department of Education, Russell said. EImagine is currently working on a project that involves analyzing data from around the state—things like school districts’ projected growth rates and expected teacher retirements—to more accurately predict future teacher shortages.

EImagine has already gotten part of the way towards its hiring goals. The company currently has 109 Indiana-based employees—20 more than it had at the beginning of last year. Including out-of-state employees, the company has a total headcount of 135.

But Russell said it’s not a guarantee that eImagine will be eligible to claim its entire $2 million in tax credits. The company can only claim its incentives after Hoosiers are hired—out-of-state hires don’t count.

Russell said most of eImagine’s workforce is locally based, but a shortage of available talent has forced the company to look outside the state for new hires. During the first quarter of this year, eImagine hired 15 people, but only three of them were based in Indiana. The others are out-of-state remote workers.

For a variety of reasons that’s not Russell’s first choice. “Obviously, our preference is to hire in Indiana,” he said.

In an earlier incentives agreement in 2012, the IEDC offered eImagine up to $500,000 in state tax credits based on the company’s plan to hire an additional 48 Hoosiers by the end of 2015. The company ended up claiming $303,958 of that amount, IEDC records show.

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