NEW IT Alliance – March Tech Upload

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Welcome New Members

We would like to welcome Remote Operations Company (ROC) and Sadoff E-Recyling and Data Destruction for joining the NEW IT Alliance!






Bridging the Talent Gap (Attract, Develop, Retain)

We recently came across an interesting collaborative study done by CapGemini and LinkedIn entitled “The Digital Talent Gap— Are Companies Doing Enough?”. The study speaks to the growing gap between companies’ digital talent needs, and the market supply. In this case digital talent needs looked beyond the traditional IT roles and included digital needs throughout the organization. Over half of the organizations surveyed indicate that the gap is hindering their ability to digitally transform, leading to negative impacts on their ability to remain competitive. At the same time, employees indicate a growing concern that their skills are redundant, which combined with their lack of faith in upskilling opportunities at their organization, leads to a greater likelihood that they will look elsewhere for employment. With this in the back of our mind, the NEW IT Alliance is looking at ways we can help local companies attract, develop, and retain digital talent. In the coming months we will be working to collect local data, and share that with our community, as well as on initiatives to help our members close that gap.

Toward that end, we have been connecting with other groups throughout the state to understand the challenges and what is currently being done, whether in K12, higher ed, or at the professional level. Early in February we attended the Manufacturing & IT State Industry Sector Meeting DPI meeting to help define career pathways for our k12 students. What classes, and skills do they need to be successful in a digital economy? What knowledge sets do they need exposure to in order to move into an IT position straight out of high school, or to position them for success in an IT degree program in college? Discussions are ongoing, and will be used to inform new Department of Public Instruction (DPI) standards and youth apprenticeship guidelines for our school districts.

Later in the month, we had the opportunity to connect with middle schoolers in Plymouth as part of their career panel. Most of the panel was made up of representatives from financial institutes. This opened up some fantastic dialogue with the students about how IT enables everything our financial institutions do…we explored everything from online purchasing, to bitcoin. Students and teachers alike were surprised to learn about the diversity of IT careers and how they play a vital role in driving business, regardless of sector.

Shortly after, we participated in the Collaborate to Succeed workshop hosted by the Department of Workforce Development. Thank you Kevin Virobik for pulling together this wonderful event. We learned about how one company has teamed up their marketing and HR departments to develop marketing campaigns designed to attract talent, and another company is using design thinking to not only get things done, but also increase employee engagement. The interactive session on zero or low cost retention ideas was also very enlightening. We will be sharing some of these ideas in our discussions moving forward.

Finally, on February 21 we launched LinkedIn training in collaboration with Stellar Blue. We had a great turnout for our first session hosted in the Stellar Blue studio. Participants left with some great tips on how to improve their LinkedIn profiles (or even how to get started in they didn’t already have one!). A few small business owners also attended and left with things they can do to increase traffic and improve their business profiles. We hope you’ll join us for our next LinkedIn training session on March 28 from 8-9 am. This session will be hosted by UW Green Bay. This event is open to professionals, business owners, and students. Bring your laptops so you can make changes along the way! Registration on our events page:





International Women’s Month

March is designated as International Women’s month, and to highlight this, there are a number of IT related things occuring related to women this month.

On March 12, ou NEW CS Advisory Board meeting will focus on increasing diversity in the computer science classroom. Women in Technology will be sharing some of the opportunities they provide for middle through high school girls. We will also be taking a look at some national data and programs that can help schools attract girls and other diversity groups in to CS. We will be meeting from 1:30 – 3:30 at NWTC. For more information, and to register for the meeting, go to our events page:

Women in Technology is collaborating with local businesses to deliver a number of WIT4Girls workshops throughout the region. J. J. Keller and Associates, partnering with FVTC, kicked off the month by delivering the workshop to over 70 girls from the Boys and Girls Brigade. Female IT volunteers shared their stories and worked with girls to teach them basic coding using Ada Fruit in a two hour session. Ten more sessions, hosted by various businesses and school districts, are planned across the Fox Valley throughout the month. If you are interested in volunteering, or in learning how you can host an event, contact

The NEW IT Alliance has partnered with UW OShkosh Information Systems department to understand how collaboration networks can be used to help solve talent shortages. We hope to present a workshop paper at the local MWAIS conference in May entitled “Building Collaboration Networks to Solve the IT Talent Pipeline Shortage: Where are the Women?”. As the research proceeds, the authors will share their findings with the Alliance, so we can use the information to inform and drive our initiatives. In turn we will provide them with a case study to help test their hypotheses. We look forward to seeing how this collaboration can help us drive change to help close the IT talent gap at an accelerated rate.

Encouraging our Youth

In working with our schools throughout Northeast Wisconsin, we are hearing that our students are looking for opportunities to apply the skills they have learned in their CS classes. As such, we are looking for companies who would be willing to learn more about Youth Apprenticeship or Internship options for local high school students. We currently have more student demand than employer opportunities. If you are interested in exploring how you can help, please contact us at

Mel is one such talented student. She is a local teen involved in the Creative Crew club at the Boys and Girls Club in her hometown. This young digital animation artist hopes to move into a career where she can apply her skills in digital art. She is competing for a Taco Bell skills based scholarship to help cover college costs when she graduates. Learn more about Mel, and see what she can do on this short YouTube video:

Other Opportunities

In keeping with International Women’s Month, we’d like to make you aware of a scholarship opportunity for women interested in attending the ITO Compass event. ITO Compass is an event for IT Owners taking place in Chicago this year on April 25-28. Karl Palachuk is the keynote speaker, and is very interested in doing his part to help advance women in the IT Field. As such, he has offered $2,500 in scholarships to all women attendees, so any woman who registers for this event will get $100 off of her ticket price. Learn more about this event at

Concordia University LogoConcordia University Wisconsin’s (CUW) Business Community Partnership program is looking to partner with businesses who would like to work together to grow and develop the workforce in Northeast Wisconsin.  With active CUW campuses in Appleton and Green Bay, CUW is poised to offer support and solutions to today’s workforce challenges. By entering in to a mutually beneficial partnership, companies have opportunities and access to CUW interns, customized professional development, and scholarships for their employees who would like to complete Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees including Business Management, MBA with 15 concentrations, and Organizational Leadership management.  To learn more about this program, visit or contact Christy Call at 262.243.218,

Regional News

Stellar Blue Technologies Launches into Green Bay

Stellar Blue Technologies has officially announced their expansion into the Greater Green Bay area with a new office, which opened in late February 2019. Located within Startup Hub on the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College campus at 2701 Larsen Rd., Building 10, Suite 213, Green Bay, WI 54303, the new space provides businesses in Green Bay and the surrounding area with the opportunity to meet with and leverage the expertise of Stellar Blue’s talented staff of digital marketing and website design professionals without having to travel south to their Neenah, WI location.

Stellar Blue is no stranger to the Green Bay market, having worked with clients in the area for years. They have established partnerships with local businesses and nonprofits including the Startup Hub powered by the Greater Green Bay Chamber. The Startup Hub recently took advantage of Stellar Blue’s team of knowledgable creators to design
and launch a brand new website: The project allowed Stellar Blue the opportunity to put on display their portfolio skills, including website design, web development, multimedia, and search engine optimization, and granted businesses in Green Bay a glimpse into the tremendous results that this team could provide them on any future digital marketing endeavors they may be considering.

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Johnsonville Sausage Director of Enterprise Applications Shares Advice with Aspiring IT Professionals

Lori Plate

Lori Plate

Lori Plate, advisory board member of the UW Bachelor of Science in Applied Computing online degree program and the Director of Enterprise Applications at Johnsonville Sausage in Sheboygan Falls, WI, did not have a direct path into the IT industry. Plate graduated with a civil and environmental engineering degree from UW-Madison, but realized during her senior year internship that she didn’t want to be an engineer.

Luckily, the IT market was (and still is) booming. Accounting and consulting firms were focused on hiring engineers to retrain as IT professionals, so after graduation, Plate started a career in IT consulting. From there, she took on various IT roles, working her way into positions at Miller Brewing and now Johnsonville Sausage.

Plate’s passion for IT is rooted in supporting consumer products. The following Q&A explores her view of the current Wisconsin IT industry and how prospective IT professionals can find their own unique path into the field.

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Moraine Park Technical College IT Club Community Projects

The Moraine Park Technical College IT club has been doing some great things in the community regarding experiential learning. Although the development of integrated learning experiences is important to prepare future graduates for the diverse demands of industry, it is difficult to incorporate these experiences in curriculum and program planning. The projects detailed below have been instrument in providing experiential learning opportunities for students with benefits of connecting students to community, as well as gaining a more thorough understanding of other disciplines they will work with in their future careers.

Project One: Tech Tyme

This year, the students worked with the Senior Center to provide service through a project entitled, Tech Tyme. Here are a couple of blogs about the wonderful service and impact to the community:

Project Two: Gallivant

Another project that stemmed from Jeff Sonnleitner’s Emerging Technologies course was developed for submission to the Foxconn competition. The students in class generated an idea about an app that could be used to connect communities in rural areas. In a thirty day period, the IT student group partnered with students in five other program areas (Business Management/Small Business Entrepreneurship, Accounting, Marking and Social Media Management, Web/Mobile Applications) to develop a business plan, and develop a conceptual design of the project. Here is a link to the video the group produced to highlight the project:

Moraine Park Technical College Emerging Technologies Gallivant Project

Sadoff E-Recycling: Four of the Biggest Data Security Risks for Businesses in 2019

Sadoff E-Recycling LogoData breaches made plenty of headlines in 2018, and malicious attacks on organizations large and small will continue to impact businesses in many ways.

We’ve seen how data security issues maligned household names from Facebook and FedEx to Marriot and Macy’s. Even the U.S. Airforce was the victim of a military data breach when a hacker who gained access to a captain’s computer stole classified information and sold it on the dark web.

Trust is an extremely important part of any business relationship. Your customers and the people you work with trust you with their data. As an I.T. professional, you’ve been entrusted with the task of helping protect that data. That means finding partners you can trust to help keep sensitive data out of the wrong hands.

Sadoff E-Recycling takes a look at a few of the biggest data security threats in 2019 and what measures I.T. leaders should consider. As you’ll see, these risks can come in familiar yet more-complicated forms, and they can emerge from technology both new and old.

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UWO's Interactive Web Management Club Seeks Guest Speakers

Interactive Web Management combines four main majors at UW Oshkosh: marketing, computer science, information systems and journalism. Since it covers such a broad spectrum we try to bring in speakers from each of the four areas throughout the semester. Right now we are currently looking for one more speaker for our April 15 meeting. We would also be interested in finding a few speakers for the fall semester as well (this starts in September). If you are interested in sharing what you or your company does that relates to our degree please reach out to Clare Hietpas at the IWM Club email:

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Work Experience Program

The Work Experience program through Bay Area Workforce Development Board’s (BAWDB) WIOA program, provides an opportunity for employers to impact the quality and preparedness of the next generation of workers.  It also provides career exploration, academic and occupational learning opportunities, on an employer’s premises, that allows young adults (ages 16-24) to examine and work in a field of interest or study.

In a work experience, a participant carries out specific tasks and duties, much as an employee would.  Emphasis is placed on the learning aspects of the experience. BAWDB is the employer of record, but looks for worksites within a participant’s area of interest/study.  A typical work experience lasts for 200 hours total; however, the specific number of hours can be tailored based on the needs of the participant and worksite.

If interested in learning more about the Work Experience Program, please contact Vickie Patterson, at (920) 431-4108 or email

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