IT Workforce Idea Exchange: What’s Happening in Your Backyard?

by Randi Parker | Dec 05, 2013

On Wednesday, November 20, CompTIA hosted a webinar focused on workforce initiatives that are working. The thinking here is to look at what is not being done, instead of analyzing the successes and whether or not those successes can be scalable. We were fortunate to have three excellent speakers: Angel Pinero, senior vice president at ASI System Integration (and a CompTIA member); Heather Kenyon, president and CEO of the Tampa Bay Technology Forum (a TechVoice partner organization); and Eric Larson, director of marketing and communications for Creating IT Futures Foundation. Each of our panelists shared fantastic information about what their organization or region is doing to help increase the IT workforce.

ASI believes internships are key and has a robust internship program with several schools within their wingspan in NY. Interns get hands on experience working at their depot facility or their configuration center. Over the course of a year, ASI will hire between 25 to 30 graduates. ASI covers the bulk of the cost for the internship program, but the schools cover the commuting cost.

The Tampa Bay Technology Forum (TBTF) conducted a study with TechStart and Workforce Initiative and found that in their region, there were over 4,000 IT positions that could not be filled. With IT positions on the rise in the region, they realized that more needed to be done to keep as well as attract IT professionals in Tampa, FL. The study revealed that students are leaving Tampa for IT jobs elsewhere because they are unaware of the opportunities that exist there. To help remedy this, TBTF has worked to provide company tours to students and encouraged their member companies to provide technical training, internships, certifications, and the ability for students to connect with local businesses.

Creating IT Futures Foundation launched the IT Ready Apprenticeship program in 2012, which takes the long-term unemployed or underemployed and puts them through an intensive training and job placement program. After a thorough screening process, students receive 8 or 12 weeks of technical and soft skills training toward a CompTIA A+ certification. The program recruits employers who interview graduates. There is no cost to participants, and the employers, who are not charged fees, pay the apprentice directly. Ninety-two percent complete the program, 85 percent attain an IT certification, 83 percent offered and accept interviews and 76 percent are in full-time paid work within 4 months.

A huge thank you to all our panelists for their incredible work in this space and for taking time to share their experiences with us. Please click here to see the full webinar presentation.

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