NEW IT Alliance – July Tech Upload

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Career pathways…everyone seems to be talking about them lately. What are they, and why should we all care? Career pathway development is an initiative driven by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) with the aim of developing a series of connected education, training, and support strategies designed to help students achieve their own definition of success. Documented career pathways help align education and training from K12 through higher ed based on the needs of the local job market. Career pathways are being developed and regionalized around the state for high demand jobs in manufacturing, nursing, and information technology.

Within IT, DPI has defined five career pathways: Data Technology, Cyber Security, Software Developer/Programmer, Network Systems/Infrastructure, Business Analyst/Project Management. These correspond to most of the job openings in our local member companies as well as the educational offerings by our higher ed institutions in the region. School districts and students alike benefit from knowing what skills and knowledge to cover in K12, so students can see what job roles are available in IT, as well as how to get to those jobs. By focusing at the k12 level on career readiness skills and credentials, colleges can focus on taking students to the “next level” as basic concepts will have been covered in high school. 

The NEW IT Alliance received a grant from DPI to help regionalize the state-defined career pathways within IT. On June 13, we reported the results of the Digital Learning Opportunities survey showing the current state of IT offerings in K12 across the region. The next step in this process is to provide employers with an opportunity to help inform and shape the future talent pipeline within IT in Northeast Wisconsin. We will collect input from employers at a meeting on July 18. For more information and to register for the IT Career Pathways Discussion, click here. Note that this is the ONLY opportunity to provide employer input into the official IT pathways to be used across Northeast Wisconsin.

NEW IT Alliance Web Page Spotlight: IT Professionals

As an IT professional, it is important to stay current on the latest trends in your field. Connecting with other area professionals with similar interests can be a great way to learn about emerging trends and explore creative solutions to common problems. This page on the NEW IT Alliance contains a wealth of resources that can connect you to local user groups in everything from the Green Bay Power BI Users to the Appleton Maker Space and the Northeast Wisconsin Agile Users Group. Check it out and start connecting and learning in your local IT community.

IT Professionals Page

Grant Opportunities

Microsoft is partnering on a few grants that may be of interest to our community. Please check them out and share with others.

Thru July 31st
AI for Earth Innovation Grant with Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation announced at Collision.

AI for Earth and the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation announced a call for grant proposals using AI to address environmental issues. The grant is aimed at nonprofits and academic institutions and is geared toward open source projects. 

Thru October 9th
AI for Earth Innovation Grant with National Geographic Society.

AI for Earth and National Geographic Society are partnering together again on a grant supporting projects using AI to address environmental issues.

Member Spotlight - Smart IS

Smart-IS InternationalEach month, we are showcasing our members by a “Member Spotlight” article on our blog page. These spotlights are a way for our members to help the community learn about who they are, and more importantly why community members might want to work for them. The member spotlight for June was on Smart IS International. If you would like to learn more about Smart IS, click on the link below!

Member Spotlight Article - Smart IS

Regional News

Wisconsin needs more kids to take computer science. Can a Microsoft program help make that happen?

Grace Vanden Heuvel - Journal Sentinel

Grace Vanden Heuvel, 15, just finished her freshman year at Hortonville High School. (Photo: David D. Haynes / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

NEW IT Alliance’s newest intern, Grace Vanden Heuvel, was featured in an article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about TEALS and its effectiveness in increasing student interest in computer science. 

“Grace Vanden Heuvel takes math courses online just for fun. She also likes to play music, especially percussion — ‘anything I can hit, bang or make noise out of.’ She’s even written a few of her own compositions.

“But at age 15, she has one other important distinction. She did something many other students in Wisconsin won’t get a chance to do: She completed AP Computer Science.

“The Hortonville High School freshman (now a rising sophomore) could do that because of a program that pairs tech professionals with classroom teachers. Hortonville High just finished its second year with TEALS — or Technology Education and Literacy in Schools. It’s one of 34 Wisconsin schools that have embraced the program, which was created by the philanthropic arm of the tech giant Microsoft.”

Read the full article that highlights not only Grace, but several other students and teachers and the positive impact TEALS has made in their life.

Read Full Article

5 Reasons to Offer E-Recycling Drives as a Company Perk

Recycle LogoIn a recent Employment Confidence Survey, Glassdoor found that 4 out of 5 employees preferred benefits or perks more than a pay raise. These included traditional benefits such as healthcare insurance and paid vacation, but significant numbers of employees also listed office perks such as casual dress, gym memberships, and other creative benefits.

Companies such as Google, Twitter, and Apple have received attention for extravagant benefits like catered lunches, massages, yoga classes, and “beer bashes,” but you don’t have to go to such great lengths to give back to your employees—you can find more cost-efficient or cost-neutral ways to show them you care.

One such option is an e-recycling or scrap metal drive, which can benefit employees and employers alike. Click on the link below for 5 reasons to consider adding an e-recycling drive to your list of creative benefits for employees.

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CIO Panel on Ethical Framework for AI & Big Data

The CIO panel on Ethical Framework for Big Data was organized as part of the 14th Annual Midwest Association for Information Systems 2019 Conference (MWAIS).

The panelists provided deep insight on issues pertaining to the usage, adoption, and challenges associated with AI, along with the pathway going forward. The panel helped uncover the common issues across different industries and with the technology itself.

To read more about the insights on AI discovered from the panel discussion, click on the link below. 

Read Full Article

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