July 2020 Tech Upload
NEW Digital News
Technology Enabled Summer
Happy July! We hope everyone had a fun and safe 4th of July holiday. We spent part of the weekend on the water with the family enjoying the sunshine, and of course using our technology to book our fun and navigate Wisconsin’s waterways.
Summer has arrived in Wisconsin, and with it we see an increase in weddings, family reunions, and vacations. Though this year they all come with a technology twist thanks to social distancing policies (though we prefer to call it physical distancing in our house!). Many families are vacationing at home and using the internet to purchase goods and turn their yards into an oasis. Others are using the power of social media to share photos of where they live with newly made connections from around the world (check out the Facebook group “What Do You See from Your Window?”). Thanks to that Facebook group Romania is likely to see an increase in tourism once global travel picks back up! Weddings and family reunions are being attended remotely as well, using Zoom and similar video conferencing platforms.
All of this sharing requires broadband connectivity, technology, and skilled workers to maintain it all. And with the recent headlines about H1B visas, the demand for local digitally skilled talent may well heat up. This bodes well for the thousands of local individuals expected to be without employment by end of the summer. With numerous re-skilling opportunities, those individuals willing to retrain have some great job prospects moving forward.
A National Skills Coalition’s The New Landscape of Digital Literacy study indicates that 30% of the American Workforce has limited to no digital skills. Individuals with limited skills would find sorting emails into pre-existing folders to be a challenging task. An additional 30% of the workforce is considered “proficient”. This group would find using a new type of form and the need to navigate across multiple pages or applications to complete the form difficult. Using a “sort” function may also be a challenge. In discussions with our local Workforce Development Boards it is anticipated that many of the displaced workers will fall into the limited or proficient digital skills categories.
With this information in mind, the NEW Digital Alliance has been organizing a task force throughout the spring and summer to map out pathways and opportunities for folks to move into an IT or digital career. Check out our digital careers page for more information about courses and other educational opportunities are available throughout Northeast Wisconsin. The task force has representatives from higher ed, training providers, businesses, and workforce development boards, and has also resulted in a letter to be sent to congressional lawmakers advocating for the passage of Relaunching America’s Workforce Act. This would provide funding for Workforce Development Boards to help displaced workers up-skill and re-skill for new, higher paying careers.
Public Computer Access Needed
With the regional Job Centers closed, it is difficult for those who are looking for employment and re-skilling/up-skilling to get access to the computer resources needed to apply for jobs and attend training sessions. The NEW Digital Alliance is working on creating a directory of publicly accessible computers throughout Northeast Wisconsin. If you are aware of a location at a library, a school, a business or some other location, that provides such a service, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the past month, the NEW Digital Alliance has also:
- Participated in New North’s Broadband EDA Grant Taskforce to increase broadband throughout Northeast Wisconsin
- Launched the Breadth of Awareness Taskforce, part of a New North effort to help increase digital transformation and innovation in the region.
- Launched the NEW Digital Alliance Innovation and Collaboration ThinkTank to help grow corporate and education connections in the region as a way to help drive innovation.
- Relaunched our Marketing Committee…expect to hear more about our efforts moving forward!
- Engaged with the POINT $18/hr Jobs Committee to explore how we can collaborate in order to increase the number of people in high paying digital jobs
- Been invited to speak with the Mid-Day Women’s Alliance about the need for digital skills now and in the future
- Participated on the Northeast Wisconsin Inspire and Pathways Advisory Committee to help school districts implement IT and Manufacturing Career Pathways education and job opportunities with employers
- Our Talent Committee has begun work re-imagining the NEW Connect IT event in an online format
- In July our Higher Ed committee will be engaging in a discussion about how to increase diversity in their IT programs
- Our Re-skilling Taskforce drafted and sent a letter to Wisconsin lawmakers educating them about the need for funds for displaced workers to help re-skill into digital roles
Drive Thru Job Fair – July 15
Are you out of work, or know someone who might be? Workforce Development Boards across the state are holding a Drive Thru Job Fair on July 15 from noon to 4pm.
Fox Cities Region:
Noon – 4pm Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce
120 Jackson St., Oshkosh, WI
Green Bay Region:
Noon – 4pm Riverside Ballroom- Parking Lot
1560 Main St., Green Bay, WI