DC's New Plan to Prep Young Tech Talent for the Future

Posted by Kathryne Rinaldo on Dec 20, 2019 9:00:00 AM

In ICS insights, IT, client, icsDC

When your town becomes the choice for a headquarters to one of the most recognizable tech brands in the world, employers and training organizations take notice.

This is what's happening now in Washington D.C. after Amazon chose it as its second headquarters. The tech company could have chosen any locale, but it decided to put its trust in the D.C. workforce. With this announcement, the company will need to find D.C. talent, potentially 25,000 new employees, over the next few years.

Training Future Employees

Amazon's future employees in the D.C. workforce will need to be educated and trained to work in the technology sector. One group is preparing to help train D.C. talent to fill future jobs: The Greater Washington Partnership (GWP). The partnership is working to build an impactful and well-funded training program through the Collaborative of Leaders in Academia and Business (CoLAB). So far, GWP has raised over $6 million in grants to support training programs.

Bringing Innovation and Training Together

When the programs begin, CoLAB plans to train D.C. talent through universities, businesses, and government organizations. CoLAB's goal is to bring innovators together, so they can advance technologies and figure out how to commercialize them. The organization is also planning to market the D.C. area as a potential hub for other tech companies looking to expand.

Tech Training for Non-Tech Talents

CoLAB's earliest focus has been on digital technology because employers have shared that they need employees with skills in this industry. Employers in all industries, not just in the technology sector, need people who can work with analytics, ethics, and cybersecurity. To meet the needs of talents who do not have a tech education, but are seeing tech infiltrate their industries, CoLab is working to develop general and flexible credential programs for them.

Earning Degrees, Credentials, and Badges

The training program will be created through CoLab, but implemented by universities. The tech credentials will be offered with majors, minors, or certificate programs. It will be stacked with other programs so that students could earn advanced degrees, too. Graduates can share their credentials through digital badges that can be placed on their resumes.

Training to Begin in High School

CoLAB will also partner with community colleges and high schools to build tech pathways. In programs funded by JPMorgan Chase, future employees can begin their training as early as high school. High school and community college students in CoLAB's TalentReady program can take their early training to a four-year college, so they can eventually fill advanced positions at places like Amazon after graduation.

To better prepare the D.C. workforce of the future, school districts in the area are making adjustments to their curriculum with the focus on adding the tech-credentialing system. This way, high school and community college students who begin early do not have to retake courses when they enter a four-year university. Their early courses will count toward their credentialed major or minor.

Colleges Offering Credentialing Programs

Along with the school districts, universities are also continuing their work on the credentialing program. Several D.C. area universities, including George Mason University and Virginia Commonwealth University, already offer tech credentials. Other schools like Georgetown University and American University will activate their programs for the 2020 spring semester.

Training a Workforce that Represents D.C.

The GWP has taken care to include people from all backgrounds in the credentialing program. With a grant from the National Science Foundation, the GWP is looking at innovative ways to train a population that represents the diversity of the D.C. area.

How ICS Can Help Employers and Employees

At Infinity Consulting Solutions (ICS), we take great pride in placing employees in positions that fit their training. We understand that employers want employees who are credentialed in high-tech skills, even if their degrees are in other fields. We understand the importance of these training programs with tech at the forefront of D.C. We are excited to partner with employers who will reap the benefits of GWP's training programs. We encourage employers and potential employees to contact us for more information. Start by clicking the link below!

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