February 2022 Tech Upload

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NEW Digital News

Thank You Alliance Members

The NEW Digital Alliance would like to thank Stellar Blue for their support as an Executive Level Investor, and Krueger International, Inc (KI) for their support as a General Level investor. To learn more about Stellar Blue or KI, click on their names. 

Alliance News:

Happy Ground Hog Day! As Punxsutawney Phil climbs out of his den to check for his shadow, we can all be certain that no matter his prediction, spring will ultimately arrive here in Wisconsin. We can be equally certain that digital skills will continue to be in high demand, and it’s just a matter of time before you’ve been hacked.

That’s why the NEW Digital Alliance continues to work on increasing digital talent and to promote cybersecurity initiatives. Last year we introduced UW Oshkosh’s Information Systems department to WICTRA. The IS department was working to launch a cybersecurity emphasis as part of there is degree and was looking for community partners. The relationship with WICTRA grew, and earlier in January they announced the launch of their new Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (CCOE). Check out their website to learn more about how this new Center of Excellence will benefit our community.

On February 22 the NEW Digital Alliance and CSTEY will be bringing the 14 teachers who are participating in the CS Licensure Cohort program to the new CCOE. Teachers will spend the day on campus to learn about the CCOE and how they can partner, spend some time gaining hands-on experience in the cyber range, and attend a cybersecurity lecture. The goal is to help them increase their cyber knowledge, as well as connect them with resources, so they can bring what they learn back to their classrooms. Ultimately, we hope they are able to add cybersecurity courses to the CS pathways in their districts.

The Cybersecurity Roundtable will gather on February 17 to discuss security frameworks. We will be welcoming Che Bhatia, Vice President of Cyber Resilience at Stroz Freidberg who will be presenting on the frameworks and discussing the “must haves” based on organization size and risk profile. Roundtable members will have the opportunity to ask questions and share their thoughts based on where their organizations are on their cyber journey.

On the digital talent front, we’ve had some exciting discussions with the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) about their registered apprenticeships for IT. They currently have five approved programs available:

  • IT Service Desk Technician
  • Software Analyst
  • Broadband Service Technician
  • Data Analyst
  • Cyber Security /AI Associate

The first three are currently up and running with companies across the state employing adult apprentices in these areas. They are looking to connect with additional employers who are interested in learning more about this pathway for connect with talent. We will be inviting them to present at our March Quarterly meeting. Look for more information , as well as registration links on our website soon.

Bay Area Workforce Development Board has put out a request for proposals for a DIGITAL LITERACY/EQUITY SKILLS PREPARATION & TRAINING PROGRAM. Recipients will be awarded one or more awards totaling an estimated amount of between $200,000.00 – $400,000.00 for the grant period (April 1, 2022 through September 30, 2023) to serve a minimum of sixty (60) participants. Interested parties can review the information below, or click here to review the RFP.

We are excited to announce that we are working with Alliance investor, Stellar Blue, on some updates to our website! Timelines are still being determined, but we will be upgrading the back end of the website over the next couple of months. With the upgrade will come some new functionality which will make it easier for us to maintain and update the front end. Please bear with us as we make the changes, and correct any bugs that may occur.

In January the Alliance started our strategy discussions for our 2022-23 fiscal year. We will be continuing discussions in early February and look forward to sharing with you where we will be headed moving forward.

Unemployment Updates

We are not including unemployment numbers this month as CompTia does not yet have the tech unemployment data published. We hope to bring this back next month.

Regional News

Engineering Machine Design Contest (EMDC)

STEM Forward is excited to be hosting Engineering Machine Design Contest (EMDC) again this year for high school students in Wisconsin. Think Rube Goldberg but with advanced components at a significantly lower price! The EMDC is an opportunity for teams of 3-10 high school students to design and build a complex machine using everyday objects with the guidance of a coach. The completed machine will use multiple steps to complete a simple task. Teams showcase and exhibit their machine at a regional contest on Friday, March 18, at Discovery World in Milwaukee with the opportunity to advance to the Engineering Machine Design Championship. Teams are scored on a Team Journal, Team Presentation, and Machine Design and Operation. Each year a competition theme is chosen to guide the machine build and allow whimsical creativity to flourish. Students can explore science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) principles while having fun in a collaborative environment. 

 Here are the details for this year’s Regional EMDC:

Learn More

How and Why Wisconsin is Leading on Industry 4.0

Join WIoT and Matt Kirchner, CEO of LabMidwest, on February 15th, 2022 from 2 PM-3 PM for a virtual presentation!

Matt Kirchner is the host of the nationally acclaimed TechEd Podcast on which Fortune 500 CEOs, high profile education leaders, and world-recognized public policymakers share their ideas, strategies, and predictions for the future of technology and education.

In his role Kirchner sees many Wisconsin employers taking the lead on Industry 4.0, using it to drive costs out of production, eliminate workplace accidents and improve customer experience.

With an insider’s view into education innovation, Kirchner believes Wisconsin’s educators are better than those in any other state at equipping the Industry 4.0 workforce of the future. He also knows first-hand how employers can access this new wave of talent.

If you are an Industry 4.0 fanatic, if you share Matt’s passion for the future of Midwestern manufacturing, if you believe the industry offers unparalleled opportunity for the worker of the future, then this entertaining, intriguing and thought-provoking presentation is for you.


2:00pm – Welcome

2:05pm – Matt Kirchner Presents

2:45 – Q & A

3:00pm – Adjourned

Register Here

Marketing & Social Media Management Students Gain “Real World” Experience

Moraine Park Technical College encourages service-learning experiences for students. The Marketing and Social Media Management program students attending the Advertising and Social Media Campaigns spring 2021 course were able to gain this experience working with local nonprofit partner organizations. Students attended this course entirely online and were divided into two groups. The 2 groups worked closely together acting as an advertising agency for the entire semester.

The newly created student agency sought out area nonprofit organizations, communicated with them to determine current and future needs, and developed an advertising/social media campaign plan for each organization. The two organizations selected were Kohler Credit Union, Kohler, WI and The Gathering Source, Juneau, WI.

“Students in both groups worked extremely well together all semester. They problem-solved and created ways to communicate and collaborate entirely online using Zoom, OneDrive, Canvas Group Chat, Canva and Google Docs, ” said Sarah Ninmer, Marketing and Social Media Management Instructor.

The students wrote reflections at the end of the semester documenting their experiences. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive and students truly appreciated the “real world, hands on” education and connections they made with the nonprofit organizations.

Read more about the program and hear from students here.

Read More

UW Oshkosh Opens Collaborative Cybersecurity Center of Excellence

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh has opened a new cybersecurity center, providing new space for research, training, and outreach related to cybersecurity, in a partnership with the Wisconsin Cyber Threat Response Alliance.

Known as the Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, the space is located in the Culver Family Welcome Center on the Oshkosh campus and features a live-fire cyber range where users can experience real-world cyber threats in a controlled, educational environment. The Center also includes classrooms, a lab and a small data center.

Teaming with the University is the Wisconsin Cyber Threat Response Alliance (WICTRA), a Madison-based nonprofit information technology and services organization.

Michael Patton, a UW Oshkosh information systems lecturer, said the new Center is a manifestation of the Wisconsin Idea and while initially focused on the needs of organizations and communities in northeast Wisconsin, it’s a potential model for similar endeavors around the state.

“There is no more appropriate subject for the Wisconsin Idea than cybersecurity,” Patton said. “There is no Wisconsinite today who doesn’t have a cyber presence—from a Facebook account to your banking information. And yet, to most people, cybersecurity is this mysterious, specialized body of knowledge that they hope ‘the experts’ are taking care of for them.”

Learn more about the new cybersecurity center and read the rest of the press release here

Read More

Digital Literacy Skills Preparation and Training RFP

Bay Area WDB has released a Request for Proposals related to the $1.6M received by the Bay Area Workforce Development Board under the Worker Advancement Initiative (WAI).  This Digital Literacy Skills Preparation and Training RFP is only one piece of the overall grant and focuses on providing service to individuals whose previous employment has not come back post-pandemic and offers subsidized employment and skills training opportunities with local employers.

The NEW Digital Alliance noted in their August 2021 newsletter that the unemployment rate for individuals with Tech Skills was one-half of the overall rate for Wisconsin (2% vs. 4%). This demonstrates that having these skills not only improves individuals’ ability to become employed and helps them retain employment.  (Link to full RFP)

Please contact Matt Valiquette, Executive Director at 920-327-8732 or mvaliquette@bayareawdb.org.  Thank you.

Link to full RFP

gener8tor Upskilling Northeast Wisconsin

gener8tor, in partnership with New North, Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation, Thrivent and Microsoft, is hosting free skills-training programs for job seekers looking to build their skills and confidence for in-demand jobs and earn certificates of completion needed in today’s digital economy. This is a challenging time, use it to gain valuable skills to advance your career and earning ability!

  • Self-paced virtual curriculum from Microsoft, LinkedIn, and GitHub to learn skills for Project Management roles and earn certifications and badges
  • One-on-one concierge support from the gener8tor team on the skills content, plus coaching on interview skills and resume-writing
  • Virtual access to a network of peers for support and community.

Individuals wishing to enroll in the program should sign up using the form below. This program is FREE and will prioritize individuals living in Northeast Wisconsin.

PROGRAM DATES: March 7, 2022 – April 15, 2022


Apply Here