Governor John Carney helped launch the state’s first Information Technology (IT) Industry Council at a special webinar earlier today.
The IT Industry Council is comprised of more than 20 executives representing the state’s major employers. The group’s aim is to collaborate to position Delaware as a nationally recognized tech hub. The purpose of the Council is to help build an inclusive tech talent pipeline by ensuring these major companies can work together to understand their IT needs; coordinate with our high schools and higher education institutions on training; and recruit and retain great talent from in Delaware and around the country.
“This is the culmination of years of collaboration and thought, so it’s exciting to see it get off the ground,” said Patrick Callihan, executive director of Tech Impact, a non-profit whose mission is to empower communities and nonprofits to use technology to better serve our world.
Delaware is increasingly seen as an emerging tech hub nationally. But the need for talent far exceeds the supply. Major financial institutions like JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America rely on digital tools and growing industries, like healthcare, have a rising demand for IT professionals.
“The demand for skilled IT professionals will intensify as our reliance on technology surges and we need to keep pace to be competitive,” shared James Collins, Chief Information Officer at the Delaware Department of Technology and Information. Further, he said, “The Department of Labor projects that six of the top 10 most in-demand jobs are in IT, which makes the role of the IT Industry Council vital.”
The IT Industry Council grew out of the Delaware Pathways initiative, which launched in 2015. Today, the program enrolls close to 20,000 students in all of Delaware’s 19 districts. Students can choose from 18 different career pathways spanning from healthcare to culinary arts and gain a combination of targeted classroom instruction, college credit, and real-world work experience.
Governor Carney, who kicked off the first Industry Council meeting today, shared why this is so important: “Building a coordinated strategy to strengthen our tech talent pipeline is critical. We have most of the elements in place to be a national leader, but we need deliberate efforts to ensure a diverse supply of skilled IT specialists right here in Delaware. I look forward to this IT Industry Council collaborating with companies, higher education institutions, training organizations, and the K-12 system to develop the next generation of IT professionals, engineers, and leaders to fuel innovation in our state.”
The timing couldn’t be better. The Delaware Prosperity Partnership (DPP) is working with a national consulting firm to develop a coordinated statewide strategy to build an inclusive tech talent pipeline scheduled to be released this fall. “DPP has worked closely with Tech Impact Delaware during the current research project and is pleased that a group of leaders and employers is coming together to help nurture and support IT-related employment and companies in the years ahead. We look forward to partnering with the Council and others to grow a more vibrant Delaware economy,” said Charles Madden of DPP. Learn more at Tech Hire Delaware at www.techhiredelaware.org.
Current Members of the IT Industry Council Include:
- AAA MidAtlantic
- Bank of America
- Best Egg
- Capital One
- Christiana Care
- Delaware Department of Technology and Information
- Delaware Department of Education
- Delaware Department of Labor
- Delaware Technical Community College
- Diamond Technologies
- JP Morgan Chase
- My Sherpa
- Pepco Holdings, Delmarva Power
- The Precisionists
- Trinity Logistics