Leaders of the local technology community have come together to create a task force that will target qualified IT professionals. The task force recently held in-depth interviews with business and academic leaders, sent out surveys to IT professionals in the local workforce, in addition to conducting focus groups with students, executives, HR professionals and educational institutions. The purpose of their research was to discover what challenges the IT community faces both now and in the future in regards to ensuring a steady flow of qualified workers for future economic growth.
The task force discovered several areas for improvement, including making the Tampa Bay area more marketable to IT professionals, ensuring students receive the necessary education and training needed to succeed in the field, and bridging the gap between educational institutions and local businesses.
Heather Kenyon, CEO of the Tampa Bay Technology Forum
(TBTF), is on the task force and will be taking the lead on the action plan set forth by the task force to resolve the issues that were raised in the report.
"The TBTF has taken the lead on the recommendations because this issue affects all of our members, particularly the small- and medium-sized companies that comprise the majority of the area’s businesses,'' Kenyon says.
TBTF has already embarked on various initiatives such as student chapters at local colleges and intern fairs, in addition to working with the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce on a strategy to help veterans get the training needed for a career in IT. She has also been given a secured commitment from industry partners to take on interns and newly graduated college students.
Writer: Kimberly Patterson
Source: Heather Kenyon, TBTF