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News & Press: Colorado Technology Industry

CSIA Releases IT Career Video and Invites Your Company to Get Involved in Education

Thursday, November 05, 2009   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Nikki Mill
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Today we’re pleased to launch the new WIRED "Careers in IT” video and technology career brochure on our website.  Please encourage all students you know to link to this video and explore their own careers, and we will continue using this video when we speak to students or influencers of our future workforce.

CSIA is also proud to participate in the Adams County Commissioners' Career Expo, Tuesday, November 17th at the Denver Merchandise Mart (Pavilion).  This one-day Expo is a unique, one-of-a-kind career fair designed to get 5,000 8th grade students thinking about their future education and career goals. CSIA strongly encourages technology companies to participate, because we all know IT is the engine behind all industries, so please let us know if you would interested in participating as a speaker in our ares, or to have your company participate.    
More on the Career Expo >> 
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More on CSIA's Education and Career Outreach

CSIA’s work to increase awareness between academia and industry to grow the numbers of students graduating in technology began four years ago when CSU’s John Hoxmeier presented key findings about the need to grow student interest and increase awareness about the opportunities for careers in IT.

CSIA supported the request by the state/Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation to solicit federal funds to address to the "Colorado Paradox.”  Colorado has a thriving and diversified economy propelled by growing technology sectors and one of the most highly educated workforces in the country.  On the other hand, it has a low high school graduation rate and a talent development pipeline that is "leaking” at all stages, leaving local workers inadequately prepared to compete in the fast-growing, high-wage industries in the area.

With the support of CSIA and others, Metro Denver became one of just 13 regions to receive a $15 million WIRED grant.  The Metro Denver (Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development) WIRED Initiative is a partnership among industry, workforce, education, and economic development.  WIRED and its partners are strengthening the talent pipeline at all levels in order to produce a workforce skilled in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) for some of the region’s fastest growing, high-wage, industries – aerospace, bioscience, energy, and information technology-software.  CSIA was asked to help lead the IT industry’s efforts with WIRED while at the same time we created the CSIA Education Committee. 

Evan Call (iBeta) chaired our first Education Committee, and Annette Quintana (Istonish), and Barbara Bauer (GlobalSight Partners) then chaired the WIRED IT Industry initiatives.  Over the last few years, other great CSIA members, Board members and volunteers added in to the organization’s efforts, and thanks to the work by David Fortune (H-P), Micki Nelson (MWH), Kirby Slunaker (Pendum), Pieter Poll (Qwest), Sandy Steiner (Adams County Education Consortium), Lisa Breytspraak (ThoughtEnsemble), Kevin Weiner (Metro Denver EDC/WIRED), Carrie Scott (Denver Health), Lynn Sargent (City of Denver), U.B. Ciminieri (Fowler Software), Pete Dignan (ProtoTest) and many others, we’ve accomplished a number of goals to move forward the industry’s awareness with academia to encourage more graduations in IT. 

Additional accomplishments include the our 2007 "Top Tech Teacher of the Year” award at each annual Apex Awards, then showcasing these teachers (Michelle Pearson, 2007; Katy Morten, 2008; Steve Newell, 2009) and numerous students at every annual DEMOgala, involving key educational organizations like KidsTek and Open World Learning, as well as inviting teachers and educators as our guests to all of our events. 

We’re also proud to be involved in key events such as the Adams County Education Consortium’s Career Fair, and CSU’s High School Days; as speakers for key groups across the state; in volunteer efforts with the Cubs Explorer Program, the state’s BETR project, and, serving in leadership positions on various community committees including Annette Quintana’s leadership for the "Race To The Top” initiative chaired by Lieutenant Barbara O’Brien.

Evan Call and CSIA’s Education Committee helped create the successful state-wide STEMAPALOOZA, and we continue to serve on their Steering Committee, and participate to create awareness to the nearly 10,000 students and advisors who attended just a few weeks ago. Thanks to Rob Dixon (Planet Telex) and U.B. Ciminieri (Fowler Software Design), we also provided students and teachers with opportunities to talk about their careers and companies.  Rob made CSIA’s exhibit booth one of the more successful with his Microsoft Surface table that attracted hundreds of students over the two-day event.

We’re also proud that we launched the "Inspire to Innovate” scholarship with CSU in 2008, and now that scholarship has become part of their ISTeC Advisory Council’s efforts to encourage more students in IT and to integrate IT into their other areas like veterinarian medicine, engineering and business, and the scholarship continues. Please hear from Tara Reilly, the most recent recipient of this scholarship. 

And, we’re also now developing initiatives with the workforce development community, begun last week with a key conference with workforce directors from across the area, coordinated by Barbara Bauer, Kevin Weiner, Lynn Sargent and key members of the workforce development community to hear about careers throughout industries.  Please look at some of the presentations given, and the speakers from the conference.

If you are interested in becoming a part of CSIA’s academia outreach efforts, or serving on our Education Committee, please contact Amy Beth Andrews.  As we finalize our 2010 plans and committee, we’ll look forward to involving even more of our members to increase students graduating into IT professions.

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