TechHire Boston Employer Partner Paul Brassil of the Boston Fed on Commitment to Diversity in IT

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This article was originally posted on LinkedIn by Paul Brassil, VP of Information Technology at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Read the original post here.

The importance of diversity in IT

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By: Paul Brassil, Vice President, Information Technology at Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, member, TechHire Boston

Last week, I was privileged to participate in a TechHire Boston forum, convened by the Boston FoundationSkillWorks, and the Private Industry Council (PIC) which focused on strategies to close the workforce gap in Greater Boston’s IT and tech space. As part of a panel of leaders from public, private, and nonprofit sectors, our discussion centered on the economic shifts in the digital age and the need for employers to easily find quality, diverse talent in a highly competitive market.

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[Updated Repost] Advocacy 101: 4 Ways Community Based Organizations Can Get Involved in Advocacy and Engage with Policymakers

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For many community based organizations, involvement in public policy advocacy can be a daunting endeavor, meant only for policy wonks and experts who know all the physical and political in’s and out’s of state and local legislatures – not true! Especially for social issue-focused organizations, which tend to be part of larger systems that may require more resources, support, and changes to those systems in order to work toward solving or improving a particular problem and/or serve a particular population. This calls for active civic engagement and advocacy to tell representatives why they should care about and support your cause(s)! But where to start? Here are 4 ways your organization can get involved in policy advocacy or improve your current advocacy strategy:

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Major Investment in Boston’s Talent Pipeline Announced at TechHire Boston’s 3rd IT/Tech Forum!

3rdtechforumaudienceCo-conveners of the TechHire Boston employer consortium, SkillWorks and the Boston Private Industry Council (Boston PIC), hosted the third and final IT/Tech forum on Monday, June 19th, 2017. The Greater Boston education and workforce development community gathered with IT/tech industry leaders in a packed space at District Hall to discuss strategies to engage and prepare local talent to meet the growing demand for IT/tech professionals. Mayor Walsh and the Boston Foundation’s Paul Grogan also joined us to announce unprecedented new investments in workforce development to grow the pool of talent and raise the level of candidate preparation from high school through college and into career. Check out the press release below for more information!

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Participant Highlight: Rizel Bobb-Semple

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At just 21 years old, Rizel Bobb-Semple has already attained various postsecondary credentials, worked in healthcare and IT, is currently working toward an Associate’s degree in Computer Information Systems at Bunker Hill Community College, and is starting an exciting internship at HubSpot this spring!

She attributes many of her accomplishments to the training and postsecondary programs she participated in, like Hack.Diversity, of which SkillWorks is a proud supporter. And her connection with SkillWorks doesn’t stop there, having also participated in other funded programs in healthcare and IT – showing that she’s in the driver’s seat of her education, purposefully taking advantage of opportunities to learn about, explore, and enter into the career pathway that’s right for her.

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The 5 Truths of Career Success

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Remaining relevant in a changing economy

Earlier this month, we fortunate enough to have Kris Stadelman, Director of NOVA Workforce Board on our panel of experts at the Second Greater Boston IT/Tech Forum, and prior to that, her colleague Luther Jackson joined us for our First Greater Boston IT/Tech Forum. Kris, Luther and the NOVA team have become valuable thought partners as we examine ways to implement innovations and best practices to address the needs of employers and workers within our communities. Some key learnings that have already been influential for the Greater Boston IT/Tech Consortium come from NOVA’s TechLadder Initiative, including the 5 Truths of Career Success.

Below is an excerpt from Bay Area Tech Career Advancement Initiative Final Report released in April, 2015 by NOVA workforce investment board.

Getting a job is only part of the battle. Economic sustainability requires a career focus and the ability to continually grow and adapt to new technological and economic challenges. Successful tech workers must have career navigation skills. In its April 2014 report, Bridge to Career Success, TechLadder identified five key factors for career success that extend beyond technical skill proficiency. These “5 Truths of Career Success” (detailed below) are building blocks for developing personal leadership, entrepreneurism, confidence and self-efficacy, the traits that tech employers value.

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