NEW IT Alliance – February Tech Upload

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We continue to see evidence that IT professionals are in strong demand. One report from HackerRank estimates that there are now 11 positions for every computer science major. At the same time, the report also has insights on the skills needed beyond a degree as well as advice to recruiters (work-life balance is really important to new graduates).

The only way we can reasonably and sustainably meet this demand is by expanding the education pipeline all the way from elementary school through university and career reskilling/upskilling. This month, activities in the NEW IT Alliance were focused squarely on education efforts.

We held our second NEW CS Advisory Board meeting where schools, higher ed, and professionals met to discuss challenges and opportunities in expanding computer science and IT offerings in middle and high schools throughout the region. The conversation has moved to focusing on diving deep into the specific challenges faced by schools and how we can work together to solve them. Schools face challenges in finding and training teachers, adding content to the curriculum, and attracting students into CS classes. This month we partnered with to present on their pathways and available teacher training. Sandy Bader is a CS Fundamentals facilitator for Wisconsin, and has experience working in industry as an IT professional, as well as teaching as a Computer Science instructor at St. Norberts, and as a technology training specialist in the De Pere school district. She is currently developing a working document for teachers to help them understand and teach the new Wisconsin Computer Science Academic Standards.

Sandy Bader

If you couldn’t make the meeting, presentation materials can be found on the NEW IT Alliance website. Schools interested in more information, or looking to schedule training can contact Sandy Bader (

Our next meeting is on March 12 at NWTC where the focus will be on increasing diversity in the CS classroom by attracting girls and people of color. Schools, higher ed, and professionals are all  encouraged to join us. Register here:

On February 4, the NEW IT Alliance participated in the State Manufacturing & IT Industry Sector Pathways meeting. Organized by the state Department of Public Instruction (DPI), the event brought together industry leaders and colleges from throughout the state to discuss what our students should be learning in school in order to be college and career ready for high demand positions in IT and manufacturing. Feedback from employers will be leveraged by DPI and their partners to modify curriculum and standards in our schools.

One of the important partners for many schools in the region is TEALS, which offers a model where IT professionals co-teach computer science courses with high school teachers. They recently hired a new coordinator to replace Mackenzie Grondahl. Their new coordinator is Amy Bires who comes from a position as CS instructor at Xavier High School. Please help us in welcoming Amy into the Northeast Wisconsin IT community. We look forward to working with her in her new role.

Amy Bires

We would also like to thank everyone who offered to help out New Holstein as a TEALS volunteer. They were able to fill their need and students are learning CS thanks to your help.

TEALS is still in need of volunteers for the 2019-20 school year. Contact Amy at to learn more about how you can help.

Upskilling and Reskilling the Workforce - Free Training in Northeast Wisconsin

Whether you are in College or a seasoned professional, there are opportunities for upskilling and reskilling here in our region – many of which are free. One key tool used for recruiting, and developing professional connections is LinkedIn. Therefore, NEW IT Alliance has partnered with Stellar Blue to offer free LinkedIn training on February 21. This session is designed to help you get started with your LinkedIn profile, and help you take your existing profile to the next level. 

Stellar Blue also regularly hosts free training on topics such as using predictive analytics, and best practices for using social media to market your company. Check out their website for upcoming event:


New Horizons is offering free webinars on a number of topics, such as Effective Job Search Strategy, and Keys to Career Advancement to Becoming a Digital Ready Professional, and Delivering a Secure Digital Workspace with Citrix Cloud. More info here:

You can also sign up for events at Ledgeview. They focus on CRM strategies with webinars such as How to Accelerate Lead Generation with Inside Sales, and Marketing Technology Minutes – Lead Scoring. More information here:

The State of Wisconsin is also getting in on the action with their newly launched Cyber Education in Wisconsin website. Their goal is to help promote cyber security as a career, and educate our next generation of cyber security professionals. Along with links to educational programs and professional networking organizations, the site includes links to Wisconsin colleges with cyber security programs – a great tool both for prospective students as well as recruiters wondering where to find cyber talent. Looking for something and not finding it on their site? Reach out and let them know at Cyber Education. They are looking to make the site a “go-to” place for all things cyber security.

Summer Camp Opportunities

Believe it or not, summer is right around the corner, and that means it’s time to start looking for summer camps for the kids. In addition to the wonderful camps provided by our local colleges, there are a number of national camps available to students as well. One such camp is AI4All. With the growth in AI it is important that our future workforce be introduced to these concepts so they are ready for a future working alongside AI. This camp is one way to achieve that. Don’t want to send the kids out of state? Or maybe you want to learn about AI too? In addition to the summer camp offerings throughout the country, AI4All will be launching a free online open learning platform in early 2019.

Local summer camp opportunities will be posted on our events page as we learn about them. Not finding your favorite tech summer camp on our page? Let us know by completing our event form.

Learn more about what’s going on in technology in Northeast Wisconsin in this month’s Insights on Technology magazine put out by Insight on Business.

Regional News

Inspiring Careers in Digital Marketing

Nicole Hurd – Stellar Blue Technologies, Kathy Fredrickson – University of Wisconsin Oshkosh

Stellar Blue Technologies is committed to being a guiding source of information for students looking to pursue careers in the digital marketing and technology fields.  A variety of skills related to marketing efforts are in high demand, and as the industry continues to evolve, so does the potential to create jobs right here in northeast Wisconsin. For this very reason, Stellar Blue has teamed up with the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh (UWO) College of Business annually to guest lecture.  

Through an ongoing partnership with the University, Stellar Blue seeks to help nurture the confidence of the future leaders in our communities and introduce them to potential career paths. Nicole Hurd, Project Strategist and Sr. Analytics Team Lead at Stellar Blue, actively participates in the community to share her experience and offer professional insight to students pursuing degrees in digital marketing.  

In January 2019, Nicole had an opportunity to present to Kathy Fredrickson’s Digital Marketing Analytics students for the second year in a row.  In this course offered by UWO, students learn the process of pulling insights from data to make informed decisions as part of an integrated marketing strategy.

Read More

Fifth Graders at Sheboygan Falls Middle School Improve their Coding Skills

After trying the Code. org courses, the fifth graders at Sheboygan Falls Middle School moved into using Cue Bots to code and write programs for the robots. This helped them practice troubleshooting and “debugging,” as they worked in collaborative groups to get Cue to follow the program they wrote. Since having the experience with the Hour of Code in both Laurie Probst’s STEM class and Jessica Beaudry’s science classes, students have been given the option to continue working on the Hour of Code/ website during independent study. Several have increased their acumen in creating loops, repetitions, and attention-getting transitions. Understanding how to program using block code is a beginning step that opens the possibilities of a broader application within manufacturing and other careers. With the increase in automation, programmers are needed to create and maintain systems. Introducing students to programming in this child-friendly environment helps them add another choice to academic and career planning as they contemplate their future.

Fox Valley Business Intelligence and Analytics Meetup

Did you know that there is a Meetup in the Fox Valley dedicated to Business Intelligence and Analytics? This group meets monthly at corporate locations throughout the valley on the 2nd Thursday of the month. The group also attracts members from Green Bay, Milwaukee and Madison areas. For the latest on “All Things Data”, please see the group meetup site. There is no fee to join.

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View our Events!

Click the link below to see what events are being held around the Northeast region of Wisconsin, and how you can get involved.