• Andrea Glispie

Meeting the needs of small businesses in the technology sector

Pathways to Work hosted the Tech Accelerator Meeting series to build stronger connections between training providers and small businesses in need of IT workers and identify strategies to incubate more entry-level IT talent for these companies. The meeting series was held in collaboration with United Way of Tarrant County.

Shen Consulting, Inc. facilitated the meetings. The consulting firm already has deep relationships with the small business community, as its key staff most recently served in the US Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency. The meetings helped small businesses like Azpen Innovation, Fuse Solutions, MNK Infotech, Sagiss, Simplicity Health Systems and Techway Services learn about training programs and the talent they can provide.

Participating training providers include: Computer Minds, Dev Mountain, NPower, Women’s Center of Tarrant County, Rising Tide Initiative, and Per Scholas. Additional participating stakeholders have included United Way of Tarrant County, Workforce Solutions of Tarrant County, Dallas County Community College District, Dallas Regional Chamber, and Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas.

Participating employers have already identified the following issues which we will use to help us shape the early activities of our IT industry partnership:

  • Employability skills: developing a shared vision of employability skill development that will ensure prospective new entry-level talent is ready to work.

  • Recruiting and retention: seeking alternative methods to recruit and retain good talent without poaching from each other and finding inclusive methodologies to share recruiting information.

  • Diversity and inclusion: increasing the diversity of the entry-level IT worker and provide support for enhanced opportunities for people of color and women in the workforce or as entrepreneurs.

  • Talent sourcing: collaborating on the sourcing of new high-tech talent by finding common ground on shared platforms to gain access to new networks of technical talent.

Going forward, we plan to transition the tech accelerator meeting series into a formal IT industry partnership in fall 2018, with the employers who have been part of the meeting series at the core.

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