Thirty-five students from three area colleges and universities joined staff from Tampa Bay-New Skills at Work (NSAW) for a pre-conference orientation hosted recently by St. Petersburg College. This free series of workshops, called TechCamp, is the primary focus of a new grant from JP Morgan Chase and Co. that was awarded to SPC and Tampa Bay Tech last fall.
Program Manager Karen Bogues outlined the program’s objectives and summarized the upcoming classes at the TechCamp kickoff. These sessions will not only provide excellent opportunities for participants to network with leaders of tech companies, but will serve to:
- assess abilities
- develop critical skills that have been identified by hiring managers
- gain an understanding of the role of IT within an organization
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TechCamp kickoff highlight – Daniel James Scott
The evening’s highlight at the TechCamp kickoff was an industry overview by a key partner in NSAW, Daniel James Scott, Executive Director of Tampa Bay Tech.
Scott shared that Tampa Bay is Florida’s largest, and the nation’s second-fastest-growing, tech hub, home to one out of every 89 US tech workers and that Tampa Bay employs more tech talent than half the states in the nation.
“No matter how you measure it,” Scott stated “Tampa Bay is Florida’s most densely-talented tech hub considering the ratio of tech talent to total population, per square mile or to talent migrating to the area.”
Tampa Bay is also Florida’s most diverse tech hub. Tampa Bay employs the most female tech talent in the state. Females represent a greater portion of our tech workforce than San Francisco, Seattle, Austin and numerous other tech hubs.
TechCamp is embracing the cultural diversity of its inaugural class as well, which is 54 percent White, 19 percent African American, 15 percent Hispanic, and 7 percent Asian.
In the coming weeks, industry partners from JP Morgan Chas & Co., Melitta, Arbitration Forum, Toastmasters, and Beall’s will come in to lead sessions and joint events with TechData and Valpak will be held at their headquarters in Clearwater.
Students will not only begin or strengthen their professional networks by interacting with employers, but also build relationships with fellow participants throughout the next six courses which conclude on February 23. Research has shown that referrals account for between 30 and 50 percent of hires in the US. A referral who gets an interview has a 40 percent better chance of getting hired than other candidates.
Registration for the next two TechCamps are being accepted. TechCamp B will begin in mid-March and TechCamp C will be one full week in early May. For more information on TB-New Skills at Work, please contact Program Manager Karen Bogues at email@example.com or 727-302-6535.