What’s Next for IT/Tech Talent Strategies in Boston? We’ll be Putting Our Money Where our Mouth Is


Ever since the launch of the Greater Boston IT/Tech Consortium in September 2016, there has been a flurry of excitement around the opportunities and challenges the Consortium has set out to address, and the possibilities for building an accessible and sustainable talent pipeline that meets the needs of Greater Boston residents and employers.

Don’t just take our word for it, after hosting two forums, we’ve been getting some awesome feedback and shout-outs via Twitter:






What We’ve Done
Here’s a quick snapshot of what we’ve been up to:

First Greater Boston IT/Tech Forum
SkillWorkPanel pic2s officially launched the Greater Boston IT/Tech Consortium, in partnership with the Boston Private Industry Council, at the first Greater Boston IT/Tech Forum in September of 2016 as a sector-based industry partnership led by the CIOs and CTOs of Greater Boston-area employers with the need for an IT/Tech workforce pipeline. This forum was the first in a series of three that mark the beginning of a greater dialogue on how to narrow skill gaps, increase diversity, and provide greater opportunities in ICT [Information Communication Technology] for all Massachusetts residents.

This forum also marked the public release of our report: Information & Communication Technology: Shared Prosperity in the Digital Age, which examines the IT/Tech labor market and workforce in the Greater Boston region.

Learn more about our first forum in our previous blog post.

Watch the full video here.

Launched by the New England Venture Capital Association (NEVCA), in partnership with SkillWorks, The Boston Foundation, the Boston Private Industry Council and others, Hack.Diversity connects hiring managers from participating companies, including Carbonite, DataXu, HubSpot and Vertex, to the career centers of urban postsecondary institutions with the intent of hiring minority talent to paid internships that turn into full-time jobs. Bunker Hill Community College, Worcester Polytechnic Institute and the University of Massachusetts Boston are the first schools that will participate. As of this writing, students have been recruited and the pilot is moving forward as planned.

Goals include:
>  Total to be served: 20
>  Internship placement goal: 20
>  Conversions into full-time employment: 20

Read more about Hack.Diversity in the following articles:
>  Tech firms have a lot to do to fix diversity – Boston Globe, Novmeber 18, 2016
>  Creating diversity in the innovation economy – Boston Globe Op Ed, November 18, 2016
>  Hubspot, Vertex and others involved in new diversity recruiting effort – Boston Business Journal, November 18, 2016
>  Initiative aims to increase diversity in Boston’s innovation economy – WBUR, November 18, 2016

Second Greater Boston IT/Tech Forum
Leaders in business, workforce development, and education gathered to explore strategies to diversify tech talent and increase access to well-paying IT/tech careers. Philip Jordan of the Economic Advancement Research Institute moderated a panel of thought leaders from around the country, guiding a conversation that explored themes of changing skills, investment in talent cultivation, and diversity.

Learn more about our second forum in our previous blog post.

Look back at the conversation on our Twitter moment.

What We’re Planning
Here’s what’s coming up over the next few months:

Tech Apprenticetechapprentice
Tech Apprentice is a six-week, paid summer internship program operated by the Boston Private Industry Council for tech-savvy Boston public high school students who want to work at local companies. These talented students are considering pursuing IT majors in college, and they need a work-based experience to help them understand the options available to them in the high-tech arena. Students work at companies throughout Boston in a wide range of industries.

Assigned projects include but are not limited to:
>  helpdesk/ troubleshooting support
>  web design and programming
>  quality control
>  social media and video production

This year, the Boston Private Industry Council has committed to placing at least 120 Boston Public School students in experiential and work-based learning opportunities with leading local employers. Past employers include the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Boston Properties, Fidelity Investments, John Hancock, Partners HealthCare, Red Sox, State Street Corporation, Vertex, and others (many are now members of the Greater Boston IT/Tech Consortium).

Learn more about Tech Apprentice here.

Third Greater Boston IT/Tech Forum + Strategy Launch
Friday May 19, 2017
8:00AM – 10:30AM
District Hall, 75 Northern Avenue, Boston, MA

Mark your calendars and join us for the third and final forum in our series, during which we’ll be announcing our strategy and action plan for the Greater Boston IT/Tech Consortium, and how we plan to address the IT/Tech skills gap in our region.

So Much More to Come!
SkillWorks and partners at the Boston PIC are working on expanding the IT/Tech consortium from 15 CIOs from cross sector businesses to 30 CIOs, managers and HR managers from small, medium and large IT and tech firms, and will continue to regularly convene and engage these employers around targeted workforce and labor market issues.

techhireLast year, Boston was invited to be part of the national TechHire network of 70+ communities working to connect 100K people to IT jobs by 2020 – SkillWorks, the Greater Boston IT/Tech Consortium, the Boston PIC, City of Boston and other key partners have joined forces to be a part of this exciting initiative and look forward to sharing updates and progress toward goals soon!

>>And stay tuned for action steps involving exciting new investments ($$$) and partnerships!<<

How To Get Involved
Get on board and plug into the #GrtrBosTech scene:

Join the Conversationcomments-97860_640
We want to hear from you! Send us your thoughts, feedback, questions, comments, etc. using the comments section below and by Tweeting at us:
@SkillWorks_MA & #GrtrBosTech

Connect With Us & Our Partners
Marybeth Campbell, Executive Director

Alysia Ordway, Employer Engagement Director,
Boston Private Industry Council

Other partners include:
>  The Boston Foundation
>  JPMorgan Chase & Co.
>  Economic Advancement Research Institute (EARI)
>  TechHire & Opportunity@Work

Stay Informed
>  Join our mailing list
>  Follow us on Twitter & Facebook
>  Follow our blog
>  Check out our website & calendar of events

Related posts:
Second Greater Boston IT/Tech Forum: IT Talent Strategies at Work
Connecting Industry to Talent in the Digital Age: A Look at the Greater Boston IT/Tech Industry

Author: SkillWorks

SkillWorks is a nationally recognized workforce funder collaborative, launched by the Boston Foundation in 2003 to improve workforce development in Boston and across Massachusetts. SkillWorks brings together philanthropy, government, community organizations and employers to address the twin goals of: 1) Helping low-skill, low-income individuals attain family-supporting jobs; and 2) Helping employers find and retain skilled employees.

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