March 2021 Tech Upload

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NEW Digital News

Thank You Alliance Members

The NEW Digital Alliance would like to thank Faith Technologies & Heartland Business Systems for their support as general investors in 2020. To learn more about Faith Technologies & Heartland Business Systems, click on their names.


Alliance News:

March is here. The daffodils on the corner of the NEW Digital Alliance headquarters building are peeking up and signaling that spring is here – we hope. After nearly a year of remote work and isolation, it will surely be nice to be more outside again. And with vaccine supplies increasing, we may be seeing the beginning of the end of the pandemic. We do have to keep up the good work with masking and washing hands a bit longer – but hang in there – it will be worth it. With warmer temperatures, it may also be time to unplug. Even the Digital Alliance will try to observe National Day of Unplugging on March 6 and spend some time outdoors. Then we can get back inside in time for World Backup Day on March 31 where you should take some time to ensure your backups are working and you know how to restore your data – just in case.

We are happy to announce three new executive board members coming on board. Rob Kleman joins us to help strengthen our collaborative ties to Amplify Oshkosh. Joshua Djupstrom replaces Paul Schwartz from J. J. Keller & Associates. Thank you to Paul for his time on the board. Finally, Mike Bertello from Faith Technologies will join as a new member. See full statement below.

In late February we welcomed another talented high school student to the NEW Digital Alliance team. Ryker ZaK is a freshman at Hortonville High School. He started his internship onboarding in late February. Learn more about Ryker below.

Our TechTalk series aimed at college students in IT programs across the region has gone virtual and is now open to the first 100 people registering. This month we feature member company Faith Technologies, which will present March 24 on the exciting ways they work with technology. Registration is open here.

Our annual surveys to collect data on the state of IT in Northeast Wisconsin will be coming out later this month. The surveys go out to K-12, higher education, and employers and provide us with a detailed picture of the health of the talent pipeline and the IT community in our region. Results will be presented at our annual TechTalent Summit in October.

Last month we held the pilot for the TechConnect Pro event, in which one of our member companies invites faculty representatives from all the region’s higher education institutions to discuss opportunities to collaborate. The first event was hosted by member company Plexus and was very well received by the 40+ participants in the meeting. Several concrete collaborative projects are already being explored. We are planning to hold TechConnect Pro events 3-4 times a year with the next event in the last half of April. Member companies interested in hosting an event can contact Kim Iversen to be put on the list.

February’s NEW CS Advisory Board meeting was also focused on collaboration – but this time between colleges and high schools in the form of dual credit courses and articulation agreements. Representatives from UW Green Bay, UW Oshkosh, Moraine Park Technical College, and Northwest Technical College presented their dual-credit programs where high school students can earn college credit while in high school. These courses can be very beneficial to students looking to get a head start on college and take advantage of coursework not offered at their high school. We also learned about articulation agreements that create a defined pathway between different colleges allowing students to start at a technical college and continue at a four-year college. Educators and administrators also learned about some of the requirements they would have to meet in order to offer college courses in their schools.

Finally, The NEW Digital Alliance is now published! Over the last 18 months we have worked with two researchers at UW Oshkosh (John Muraski and Jakob Iversen) to describe the history of the alliance and how the collaboration and the alliance have both matured since we started. The paper is titled “Building Collaboration Networks and Alliances to Solve the IT Talent Shortage: A Revelatory Case Study” and is published in the Journal of the Midwest Association for Information Systems. You can read the full paper here


Executive Committee grows at the NEW Digital Alliance 

Mike Bertello

NEW NORTH, February 16, 2021 – Mike Bertello, Vice President Business Technologies (IT)/CIO at Faith Technologies, Rob Kleman, Senior Vice President of Economic Development for the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce and Josh Djupstrom, Sr. Director of Information Technologies at J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc. have joined the NEW Digital Alliance Executive Committee Kim Iversen, Director of the NEW Digital Alliance, recently announced.

Bertello brings over 25 years of experience in digital technology, strategy and CIO leadership to the Committee. A graduate of Eastern Illinois University and the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Bertello worked at Kimberly Clark and Accenture (formerly Andersen) Consulting before joining Faith Technologies. “I look forward to having Bertello join the NEW Digital Alliance. He will bring new ideas along with energy and passion for developing the IT community in Northeast Wisconsin,” says Iversen.

Rob Kleman

Kleman is the lead staff person for the Amplify Oshkosh, a consortium formed to create awareness of opportunities surrounding all aspects of technology in the Oshkosh region.

Iversen says, “we have collaborated with Amplify since the launch of the NEW Digital Alliance. I am happy to have Rob’s experience in creating vibrant community partnerships on the executive committee.” Kleman has served on the Board and Executive Committee of New North, Inc., the Fox Valley Workforce Development Board and is a current board member and past president of the Wisconsin Economic Development Association (WEDA) and is a past chair of the Northeast Wisconsin Regional Economic Partnership (NEWREP).

Josh Djupstrom

Djupstrom replaces Paul Schwartz, VP of Technology Solutions at J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc., on the Executive Committee. He’s currently responsible for SAP development and infrastructure required to support all applications throughout the organization. Prior to joining J. J. Keller, Djupstrom worked for Kimberly-Clark and SAP.  “We would like to thank Paul for his valuable contributions to NEW Digital Alliance over the past two years,” says Iversen. “I would like to welcome Josh on board. He brings a lot of experience in IT, coupled with deep connections to our region, having graduated from one of our higher education institutions and worked in several companies in the region. We appreciate J.J. Keller’s ongoing support of the mission of the NEW Digital Alliance”


NEW Digital Alliance Brings on New High School Intern

NEW NORTH, February 22, 2022 – Ryker Zak has joined the NEW Digital Alliance as an intern, focusing on web maintenance, data analysis, search engine optimization and backend web development.

Zak, a freshman at Hortonville High School, has a passion for technology and learning all aspects of it, including coding, cyber security and artificial intelligence. He has industry knowledge of computer aided design (CAD) and knows multiple coding languages, including Java, HTML, and C++. Work with machine learning and artificial intelligence are among Zak’s career goals.

“We’re excited to have Ryker as part of the NEW Digital Alliance team,” says Kim Iversen, Director of the NEW Digital Alliance, “His knowledge of current technologies, combined with his willingness and drive to learn, will make him a valuable asset.”

Zak is a member of the Hortonville Robotics team. Outside of school, he enjoys volunteering, Boy Scouts and going on family trips throughout the United States.


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 January (2.4%) down slightly from December (3.0%), and lower than pre-pandemic levels of 3% in January 2020.

Data Sources: CompTia IT Employment Tracker, Bureau of Labor Statistics (Wisconsin data for January unavailable per time of publication), and New North IntelTracker (Unemployment graph not updated for region beyond November, 2020).

Regional News

NCWIT-WI Affiliate: Recognizes 2021 AiC Educator Award Recipients

NCWIT-WI Affiliate is thrilled to announce that we have selected three educators who have both supported and motivated young women to consider a path in the field of technology within our local community. We recognize and honor these educators for their commitment and encouraging these students to aim higher and create their own path to success. Congratulations to our Winner, Mark Taylor, Milwaukee Excellence Charter School and Honorable Mentions, Jim Ferwerda, Mukwanago High School and Samantha Kable, New London High School. Thank you for all you do to inspire students!

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UW-Green Bay M.S. Cybersecurity

In collaboration with UW-Extended Campus – Secure and defend data in today’s digital economy with a M.S. in Cybersecurity with UW-Green Bay. A 100% online program with four tracks of study, formatted to prepare learners for the unpredictable. Cyber crime continues to threaten large organizations, small businesses and the everyday consumers. It never takes a day off! Design the best project-based, self-starter master’s degree experience for you and learn to think on your feet to safeguard sensitive information. A cybersecurity education you can count on. Visit our website to learn more and download our degree guide.

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How to Enter/Advance a Career in IT

In a world of so many unknowns, one certainty is the rapid acceleration of technology. Technology is at the heart of almost everything we do these days in both our professional and personal lives fueling unprecedented demand in tech jobs. Yet, tech talent remains in short supply creating high demand for skilled technology workers.

As a member of the NEW Digital Alliance, New Horizons of Wisconsin is helping to close this gap. To achieve this, Coalition members are joining forces around key initiatives, including meeting job demand with talent supply. One area of focus in this arena is re/upskilling.

Whether you are new to the industry or enhancing your current skills, there are resources out there to help set you on a direct path to success in the tech field. New Horizons is one of them. We provide individuals the skills and credentials they need to earn a well-paying career in IT from entry-level to director-level positions. The best part about it is you don’t even need a background in IT to start your tech journey. All it takes is interest in computers, motivation and certified curriculum to get you on your way.

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Wisconsin Regional Engineering Machine Design Contest

STEM Forward is excited to be offering a new engineering design program for high schools this year! We are hosting a regional Engineering Machine Design Contest (EMDC). 

Students 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 the virtual regional contest 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. The theme this year is Driving Change Through Transportation. Also, consider volunteering your time or becoming a corporate sponsor.

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