In fact, the work that TAN does is entirely indoors. The Technology Association of Nebraska is the state’s newest venture to supplement the technology workforce and make a difference in our IT industry, currently struggling from a far-too-small pipeline.
“We were hearing this from not only a couple of the tech companies in the room, it was from all swaths of industries,” TAN board President Joseph Knecht said at the news conference to launch TAN. “It was health care, manufacturing, finance, all saying the underpinning of their companies now is technology.” In other words, this workforce shortage doesn’t only affect IT specific companies; it affects the way in which many sectors operate today. For manufacturers, advanced technology is no longer an option, but a necessity: Ever since 2014, the Internet of Things has been absolutely revolutionizing the way factories operate.
An interesting note is that the tech industry feels there are many misperceptions about what working in technology looks like, as we often do in manufacturing. Manufacturing is not just working in dirty, dusty, outdated factories anymore—in fact, it’s incredibly tech-heavy for many companies. On the other end of the spectrum, TAN notes that images of a team of programmers in a room lined with computer screens, or a smart college student on her laptop creating the next social media platform, aren’t the only definitions of tech or tech-enabled companies. And, as Governor Ricketts noted Thursday during a launch event at Fiserv’s Lincoln campus at 14th and Old Cheney Road, “These are great-paying jobs.”
As hands-on labor becomes replaced with technology management, the workforce needs change, too. “We have such a great opportunity in Nebraska to build on the existing technology infrastructure that we already have in place and the momentum that Nebraska has around bringing and keeping technology companies in this state,” TAN executive director Stan Pierce said.
So, what is the organization planning to do? They have a few goals, all designed to promote and facilitate services to educate and create an awareness of opportunities in technology. According to the TAN stats, last year, 1,100 people graduated in technology-related degrees in the state, but there are over 1,600 open technology jobs in Nebraska any given moment. The idea is to shrink that gap, and quickly.
So, in the coming months, look for an increased visibility of tech jobs, work with schools and policymakers, and burgeoning efforts to recruit people to come to Nebraska to train or work in tech. If you’d like to learn more or get involved with TAN as a corporate partner, click here for more information. Plus, check out their website for awesome events like the Nebraska Code Conference coming up in the next few months!
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