January 2021 Tech Upload

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NEW Digital News

Thank You Alliance Members!

The NEW Digital Alliance would like to thank Plexus and Community First Credit Union for their support as Executive Level Investors in 2020. Executive level members are eligible for a position on the executive steering committee. To learn more about Plexus or Community First Credit Union, click on their names.

Alliance News:

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! With the new year often comes new ideas, new opportunities, and new faces. The NEW Digital Alliance is no different. With the new year, we will see a leadership change for the NEW Digital Alliance with Pat Rothe from Plexus taking over as Chair of the Executive Committee from Todd Whitenack from CellCom. Scott Steinfort from Community First Credit Union will become our first Vice-Chair. We wish to thank all three for their willingness to serve. See more details of the change here

We are kicking 2021 off with several exciting events. On January 14 at our Quarterly Meeting, we will explore Alternative Talent Streams for Tech Hiring. As demand for IT talent continues to be strong, companies need to look beyond the traditional college hires and consider alternative upskilling strategies.  Laura Schmidt from MKE TechHub will introduce two apprenticeship options. One from DWD and another from the Seattle-based Apprenti program that provides tech talent to firms in Seattle, Silicon Valley, and other tech hotspots. Apprenti is looking to establish a presence in Milwaukee and the rest of Wisconsin. Joining us as well will be representatives from Dev10, NRC, and Interapt. All three organizations will share their models for providing re-skilled tech talent to companies throughout the United States. Register here to attend this event.

In February we are launching the Spring 2021 TechTalk series. These have typically been held on local college campuses and have showcased the many exciting uses of technology by companies and organizations around the region to inspire college students to stay and work in Northeast Wisconsin. The spring sessions of TechTalk will be virtual and open to the community. Registrations will be capped for each session, so mark your calendar and register early. Topics and speakers for each session are being finalized and will be announced on our Events page and in future newsletters.

Session Dates and Times:

  • February 23 4:30 – 5:30
  • March 24 5:30 – 6:30
  • April 15 4:30 – 5:30
  • May 4 5:30 – 6:30

We held our NEW Connect IT event in November. While we were disappointed to not be at Lambeau Field, the virtual venue allowed us to reach a larger audience of both high school and college students. The event was conducted as six sessions during a 3-week span. With students attending from 86 K-12 schools and eight colleges, we were able to connect with almost double the number of students from last year. More than 600 students heard from 26 volunteer presenters from local companies and colleges. Huge Thank You to the Talent Committee for all their help in making it happen, and to Inspire Sheboygan for their technical and marketing help.

During the NEW Connect IT sessions, we helped promote Computer Science Week, which was held the week of December 7. Our efforts were featured by Fox News on December 9, when CESA7’s NEW Digital Alliance video was aired on the 9 o’clock news. Check out CodeWisco.com to explore the exciting things CESA7 is doing to expand computer science in their area.

Executive Committee changes at the NEW Digital Alliance

Rothe named chair, Steinfort named vice-chair, replacing Whitenack

Pat Roth, CIO Plexus Corp.

Pat Roth, CIO Plexus Corp.

NEW NORTH, January 4, 2020 – Pat Rothe, of Plexus Corp, has been named chairman of the NEW Digital Alliance’s Executive Committee, and Scott Steinfort, of Community First Credit Union, has been named vice-chair, announced Kim Iversen, Director of the NEW Digital Alliance.

“Pat Rothe has been a strong leader on the Executive Committee. He is actively engaged with the Higher Ed Committee where he provides the voice of business in conversations with deans and associate deans from regional 2- and 4-year colleges,” says Iversen. “We are excited to welcome Pat as the new chair of the Executive Committee.”

Scott Steinfort, CTO Community First Credit Union

Scott Steinfort, CTO Community First Credit Union

Rothe is the Chief Information Officer at Plexus Corp of Neenah, Wisconsin. He joined the NEW Digital Alliance Executive Committee in August 2018. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Rothe has over 35 years of experience. He has been with Plexus since 2017 and was named CIO in October 2020.

Steinfort, Chief Technology Officer at Community First Credit Union of Neenah, Wisconsin, has been named vice-chair after joining the Executive Committee in June 2018. Steinfort is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh with over 30 years of technology experience.

Todd Whitenack, CIO NSight

Todd Whitenack, CIO NSight

Iversen stated that Steinfort “has been an active participant on the Executive Committee, providing valuable insight and advice over the past two years. He brings the voice of a leading financial institution in the Fox Valley, and we are looking forward to him continuing to bring that perspective and leadership in the capacity as vice-chair.”

Rothe replaces Todd Whitenack, CIO at NSight in De Pere, Wisconsin since 2008. “We would like to thank Todd for his valuable contributions to NEW Digital Alliance over the past two years,” says Iversen. “He was instrumental in guiding the organization through part of the early startup and in the rebranding of the NEW Digital Alliance in March 2020.”

Unemployment Updates

Demand for talent continues to remain strong for Wisconsin and the New North region. National demand for tech talent also remains high, with the tech unemployment rate for November (2.4%) continuing to decrease from October (2.8%), and lower than pre-pandemic levels of 3% in January 2020.

Data Sources: CompTia IT Employment Tracker and New North Region Unemployment Tracker (not yet published).

Regional News

Packers team up with Brewers, Bucks, Microsoft to form the Equity League

The Green Bay Packers have combined forces with the MLB’s Milwaukee Brewers, the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks, and Microsoft to form the Equity League — a new impact investment division of venture capital fund TitletownTech. Microsoft is a NEW Digital Alliance investor!

The Equity League is a collaboration that forms an investment network focused on locating, developing, and investing in minority entrepreneurs and growth companies that are creating scalable, social change. The collaboration targets inequities that exist within the tech startup industry by prioritizing Black and LatinX founders, hiring minority venture fellows, and investing in sectors including, but not limited to education, financial technology, digital inclusion, health equality, urban innovation, and criminal justice reform. 

“We’re looking at these inequities that exist and trying to play our role, be a catalyst and ultimately form an investment network, a connected capital model,” said Israel Squires, director of the new Equity League, in a press conference Tuesday. “We believe this will provide us the best flexibility to make a long-term generational impact.”

The Equity League begins with a strong foundation with the backing of TitletownTech, a partnership formed between the Packers and Microsoft in 2017 that has already made inroads through investments in early-stage and existing businesses in Wisconsin communities. The series of tragic events stemming from racial injustices that elevated to a national spotlight in this year — not least of which was the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis., this past August — has inspired players and staff members from all three of Wisconsin’s professional sports teams to come together and work toward enacting tangible change.

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Greater Milwaukee STEM Ecosystem Chosen for Global STEM Ecosystem Initiative

The international STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice (SLECoP) has selected the Greater Milwaukee STEM Ecosystem (GM-STEM) to join the global movement of leaders devoted to ensuring that STEM education is a priority for all in their communities with an emphasis on the equity envisioned to support world-class STEM education. The GM-STEM application was led by Milwaukee School of Engineering, the Milwaukee Tech Hub Coalition, Northwestern Mutual, and STEM Forward on behalf of the seven-county Greater Milwaukee region. These organizations will be working on launching GM-STEM to create a unified effort across the region to enable STEM partners to share, build knowledge and connect to ensure efforts in K-20 STEM pipeline development are effective and reflect the community as a whole.

Local companies, non-profits, and community organizations are invited to join the ecosystem. Those who wish to be involved and updated on GM-STEM’s efforts can complete the landscape analysis survey to provide their contact information and thoughts on the state of STEM in the greater Milwaukee region. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WC2ZCJV.

STEM Learning Ecosystems are a national level initiative encompassing nearly 90 communities. Through collaboration and communication, these ecosystems are designed to empower local communities to create positive outcomes for students, educators, and business leaders. The SLECoP offers the architecture and support for the ecosystems to connect, learn, and share best practices to build meaningful connections among community partners to prepare students for future opportunities and challenges. 

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Is 2021 the Year You Become a Change Leader?

Change is good, inclusion is even better! Thank you for all your hard work in 2020, encouraging your students, educating them that a career in technology is a definite possibility for all young women. May 16, 2021 is the date and 2-3:30 p.m. is the time when we will honor and showcase this year’s outstanding Aspirations in Computing (AiC) Award winners and the educators who inspired them. Join us in our first-ever virtual event to see all the excitement. Be ready to be inspired.  More information and details to follow, check out our NCWIT-WI website.

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New Resources Consulting Revamps Talent Incubator Program

New Resources Consulting (NRC) has revamped its Talent Incubator program to identify, train and coach local and diverse talent to fill enterprise application roles. Graduates have real-world practical experience working on technology implementations and upgrades – combined with classroom training from NRC’s staff of experienced consultants.  The program also delivers on-the-job and evening training sessions for candidates that are open to an organization’s employees. Sessions cover technical topics, as well as project and meeting management and other ‘soft skills.’ 

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