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

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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:

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Stoking a 21st Century STEAM Engine: Rocket Fuel for the Innovation Economy

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SkillWorks joined with the Cambridge Community Foundation, The Agenda for Children, Just-A-Start Corporation, the Kendall Square Association, the Metro North Regional Employment Board, and lead sponsor JPMorgan Chase, to host an exciting forum in Cambridge highlighting the importance of S.T.E.A.M. education for the growing innovation economy.  S.T.E.A.M. expands upon the S.T.E.M. education strategy to include Arts, recognizing creativity as a key driver of innovation.

As SkillWorks expands our geographic reach, this forum presented as an opportunity to develop and foster relationships with key partners in Cambridge focusing on industries and educational pathways that directly align with our work and are critical to our region’s economy.

Learn more: http://www.cambridgecf.org/content/cambridge-forum-sets-sights-shared-prosperity-through-greater-access-innovation-economy

New NPR series focuses on labor-skills mismatch

“Employers have millions of jobs they are trying to fill. But in some cases, they are having trouble.”

So begins a new series on NPR about the labor-skills mismatch that we currently have in the United States, even during this recession.

While this first segment focuses on higher skilled jobs like architects, engineers, and software developers, middle-skill jobs like airplane mechanics are also noted as being difficult to fill.  Employers also focused on the importance of post-secondary credentials and experience in terms of getting hired in the current labor market.

All of this underscores the critical nature of the work we need to do to prepare our workforce for middle-skill and high-skill jobs.  If employers can’t find the workers they need, even in the midst of the worst recession in recent history, we clearly need to do a better job of aligning our training and educational systems to where the jobs are.  Of course, part of this work needs to be focused on the K-12 pipeline, integrating STEM into the curriculum, strengthening college preparation and improving basic skills.

However, we cannot ignore the fact that two-thirds of our 2020 workforce is already past high school, and many adults need opportunities to re-train or up-skill as well.  Here in Massachusetts, this means we need stronger and more adult basic education programs; better transitions to post-secondary education and training; better linkages between workforce development, adult education, higher education, and businesses; support for adults in post-secondary education; more evening/weekend/modular/accelerated certificate and credential programs; and more investment overall in public higher education.

If we can’t give our workforce the skills to compete in the 21st century economy, we’ll all lose the race.