TechCamp, a program that prepares junior talent for connecting to the technology sector through skill development, networking and portfolio development, recognized 16 graduates on April 26 at a networking event that culminated the 20-hour program.
Since TechCamp is not a technical training, a key element of the program is the involvement of employers, especially given that referrals account for between 30 and 50 percent of hires in the USA. Students strengthened their professional networks by interacting with employers and also by building relationships with fellow participants. Representatives of leading tech industry companies participated in identifying the gaps in junior talent and delivering curriculum during the sessions. Employer partners include: JPMorgan Chase, TechData, ValPak, Raymond James, Agile Thought, Tribridge, Arbitration Forum, IT Authorities, Melitta, Dabble Labs, Bic Graphic, and Bankers Financial.
Participants describe the exposure to employers as their favorite part of the program. “It was helpful to know the expectations employers have of new employees,” said Amy Albaugh, a student working toward her certificate in programming.
Cybersecurity student Gregory Gibbs said the activities helped to build skills and confidence in the students’ knowledge.
“Clay Schnelker from JP Morgan using the white board to discuss a classmate’s idea was pretty cool,” Gibbs said. “He was really interested in understanding what we knew.”
St. Petersburg College is a member of the Tampa Bay-New Skills At Work (TBNSAW) initiative, a collaborative effort among local educational institutions and employers to prepare the next generation of talent in the technology field and connect IT graduates to Tech Jobs in the Tampa Bay area. This effort has been funded by JP Morgan Chase as part of their $325 million effort to improve the workforce across the country.
Applications are available for the next TechCamp, which will be starting June 5. The application deadline is May 11. For more information, visit tbnsaw.com/techcamp or contact Karen Bogues at firstname.lastname@example.org.