May 2020 Tech Upload

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As we move into the month of May, it occurs to me that the trends in Mother Nature and in our Covid-19 impacted lives parallel one another rather closely. For Wisconsin gardeners, May means the last frost dates and ability to start planting outdoors. May also means it’s time to get out in the yard to explore which plants survived the winter, trim those that have become overgrown, spread fertilizer to encourage new growth, and determine which plants will need to be replaced. We also begin to emerge from our homes in greater numbers and with greater confidence of better weather, to check on friends and neighbors whom we may not have seen all winter. As we explore the new growth, we are reminded that life has continued despite the harsh winter conditions, and things have been happening even while hidden by a blanket of snow. 

Turkey peeking through NEW IT Alliance director, Kim Iversen’s home office window to make sure everyone is ok during the Covid-19 shelter in place.

In our Covid-19 impacted lives, it is much the same, though it may be the wildlife checking in on us instead of our neighbors! May brings the promise of a reduction in the Safer-at-home rules, though much like an unwelcome late spring frost, we may experience some setbacks as we loosen the rules. As we emerge from our shelters and the region begins to recover there will be changes in our communities. Our favorite restaurant may not have made it through the challenge, our company may need to do some pruning in order to bloom later, or maybe during the time in shelter our company leaders were quietly busy reimagining strategy and we will experience new growth coming out of the crisis. One thing you can be certain of is that though it may feel like things have been at a standstill, things have been happening around the region. 

What we’ve been up to

At the NEW IT Alliance we have been busy migrating our meetings and events to virtual platforms so we can help the region continue to move forward.  

  • On April 30 we relaunched our Quarterly Meetings with a discussion of how various organizations have handled the transition to remote operations and how they plan to move forward. We also had a very informative and timely presentation by Tim Foor from New Horizons on how to get the most out of Microsoft Teams. Our next Quarterly Meeting will be held on June 16 in conjunction with the Tech Talent Summit where we will present on the state of IT in Northeast Wisconsin.  
  • Launched NEW IT Professional Community Survey for companies to provide data on their IT operations and plans. This will help us understand at a detailed level what the state of IT is within companies within the region. We hope to learn answers to questions like which skills are in demand, how difficult it is to hire IT resources, and how upcoming retirements might affect the IT eco-system in Northeast Wisconsin. The survey is open until May 8 to any organization in Northeast Wisconsin regardless of size and industry.
  • Launched Covid-19 Internship Impact survey to collect data on how college internships have been impacted by Covid-19. Any organization that offers internships is encouraged to fill out the survey by May 8. 
  • Launched Digital Learning Opportunities survey to collect data from K-12 about IT offerings in high schools across the region.  
  • Launched IT Reskilling Committee to look at what opportunities are available and could be created to support reskilling our workforce into IT. We will be holding the first meeting next week with representatives from higher ed, training, companies, and workforce development boards. If you are interested in participating, please contact Kim Iversen at
  • Will be launching a Covid-19 Regional Taskforce to understand the challenges faced and implement solutions region wide. If you are interested in participating, please contact Kim Iversen at
  • Participated in the Inspire Sheboygan Virtual Job Shadow series as one of two presenters talking to over 40 high schoolers about IT careers. 
  • Attended the New North Partners Zoom meetings  
  • Attended the WEDC and Regional Leadership Council’s Covid-19 CEO Leadership webinar series  
  • Conducted the NEW CS Advisory Board meeting with 12 school districts attending along with our local colleges and employers to discuss the impact of Covid-19 on schools as well as the importance of starting a local CS Advisory Board. 
Coming up, the NEW IT Alliance is working on  
  • Planning of the TechTalent Summit on June 16, register here
  • Planning of our NEW Connect IT event scheduled to be held in mid-November at Lambeau field. We are also working to develop a Plan B so we are ready to pivot if the needed. 
  • Developing a virtual version of our Collaborative Intern event designed to help interns connect with Northeast Wisconsin as a place to live and work following graduation. 
  • Developing internship alternatives with our local colleges 

 In true Northeast Wisconsin style, the NEW IT Alliance and many other organizations have been collaborating to help our communities survive and come out stronger than before. 


Covid-19: Tales from our Students 

 Grace Vanden Heuvel – Hortonville High School

As a high school student, not only is COVID-19 putting a cramp in my social and extracurricular activities like marching band and robotics but it’s also affecting how I am learning. While some of my classes are easier than others, the change to a completely online base is making each of them challenging in their own ways. However, I am surprised at how well the switch from a traditional school setting to online schooling has gone across the board.  

I think technology has been an unbelievably strong factor in this transition. Because all of my teachers are using tools like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Canvas, I’m able to continue my education, even if it wasn’t quite as planned. In addition, as right now it is extremely important to maintain human connection although separated, I have also been able to keep up with my friends and teachers through these tools. 


Kaitlyn Alexander – University of Wisconsin Oshkosh

Things changed for me pretty quickly mid-March. I went from living in my apartment 5 minutes away from campus where I spent most of my days studying, working, and hanging out with friends to moving back home in a rush while finding out that the rest of the semester would be spent off campus. It was a quick turnaround and I wasn’t sure how online school would work for some of my classes. Two classes in particular, Digital Marketing Analytics with Kathy Fredrickson and Application of New and Emerging Media with Timothy Gleason, consisted of large semester projects with real business clients from the community. With being off campus, we could no longer provide some of the deliverables we had hoped, and working with group members online became increasingly difficult. Some had poor internet connection while others had busy work schedules that came from being essential workers. There were many difficulties adjusting for not only the college students, but also professors and campus staff. I was impressed by how understanding and sensitive our professors were to each student because of these circumstances. 

This summer, I was planning on having a second internship at Catch-22 Creative in Milwaukee. My start date was going to be the Monday after the end of my spring semester, May 18th. However, with most businesses being shutdown or being forced to work from home, my start date is being pushed back. I may not start my internship until mid-June, if the employees of Catch-22 are able to get back into the office. I am grateful that my internship has not yet been cancelled, since most friends I know have gotten devastating news that they no longer had a summer internship lined up. Through technology, I’ve been able to stay in contact with people and finish (almost…one week left!) out the rest of my semester. It definitely will be one that we never forget. 

Regional News

How to Effectively Manage Your Team with Microsoft Teams

As a leader of a team or group of individuals, it’s your role to inspire and motivate your team to accomplish their goals for themselves – as well as those of your company. With the transition to remote work and leadership, it’s even more important to stay connected and engaged with your team.
Skyline uses Microsoft Teams as their collaboration tool. Beyond using it for general team chats and project management, they also use it to engage their associates on their goals and development plans, have their 1×1 meetings, and share pertinent notes and files.
In this blog, Libby Fisette, Skyline’s Modern Workplace Director, will walk you through how to best use Teams as a manager or leader within your company.

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3 Ways to Get Ahead of IT Challenges in the Wake of COVID-19

It’s no secret that the world has changed radically—and rapidly—due to the threat of COVID-19. Seemingly overnight and all at once, more Americans than ever began working remotely, resulting in plenty of challenges for employees, families, and employers alike, and those challenges are continuing as stay-at-home orders remain in many states.

In addition to dramatic changes in lifestyle and the economic hardship many Americans are experiencing, one of the significant—and perhaps understated—challenges during this pandemic has been in information technology. Many businesses and organizations were unprepared for so many employees to be working from home. Whether you’re currently experiencing IT challenges or trying to plan in the face of uncertainty, click the link below for a few steps from Sadoff E-Recycling  you can take to alleviate some of that stress.

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Application Opens for New University of Wisconsin Online Master’s Degree in Cybersecurity

UW Master of Science in Cybersecurity_Featured ImageIn response to increasing demand for information security professionals, the University of Wisconsin Extended Campus has launched an online Master of Science in Cybersecurity.

The degree program, which received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, is now accepting its first cohort of applicants for the fall semester, which begins in September, 2020.

The new Cybersecurity graduate degree is a collaboration among eight University of Wisconsin campuses: UW-Green Bay, UW-La Crosse, UW-Oshkosh, UW-Parkside, UW-Platteville, UW-River Falls, UW-Stevens Point and UW-Superior. The program joins 17 other accredited online degrees, which range from the associate to the master’s level offered through UW Extended Campus.

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From Surviving to Thriving - A Webinar Series

The Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce and Stellar Blue Technologies presents a four-part webinar series starting May 5 at 11:00 a.m. These workshops will help boost your digital marketing efforts from surviving to thriving. Click the link below to see more details and register for the webinars. 

Register Now

Faith Technologies Earns National Safety Award from Associated Builders and Contractors

The Alliance would like to recognize member organization Faith Technologies for being named a National Safety Excellence Award by Associated Builders and Contractors. The award will be presented at the 30th annual Excellence in Construction® Awards during the ABC Convention 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee, on Aug. 18. See a complete list of winners on ABC’s website. For more about Faith Technologies’ culture of safety and company values, visit

Business Development Manager Position Available at Loyality

Alliance Member Loyality is looking to fill an IT position at their Green Bay location. The Business Development Manager must be able to work independently to secure new business that will meet the company’s ideal profile, revenue and profitability goals. This will be accomplished by continued development of our current data base, interacting with prospects and applying the Loyality Sales process and methods. Minimum qualifications: four-year degree or equivalent, knowledge in the I.T. industry, and experience selling.

For the full job-listing, click on the link below.

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HackAppleton 2020 Moved Online

HackAppleton 2020The third annual HackAppleton competition will be held on June 14, 2020. In light of the Coronavirus pandemic, this year’s event will be hosted virtually through Microsoft Teams. 

Teams of students will develop software projects based on a topic statement which will be judged by industry professionals in consideration for a variety of titles including most creative, best documented, and best overall. Students will be competing for incredible prizes including Xboxes, Drones, Amazon Echo Shows, and Google Nest Minis. We are able to hold this event with the support of companies such as Microsoft, Schnieder National, and Stellar Blue Technologies. Last year, we had over one hundred students from 17 different schools participate comprising 25 teams in total. The event is open to students in 6th through 12th grade in the 2019-2020 academic year. 

More information and the link to register can be found on our events page below.


Information Security Certificate Available at MPTC this Summer

Build on your current career in IT, or propel your IT career forward with a certificate in Information Security. Students in the Information Technology – Information Security Certificate program focus on today’s needs in internet security development. Moraine Park Technical College will be offering a 12-credit Information Security Certificate this summer.

Courses will be offered online and are fully transferrable to Moraine Park’s Cybersecurity Specialist Associate of Applied Science degree that will begin this fall. Moraine Park plans to offer fall courses in online, hybrid, and on campus formats in fall when our new IT addition will be complete.

MPTC New IT Addition

An interior artist rendering of the new IT facility features state-of-the art classrooms, server rooms, and labs for Software Developer, Web/Mobile Developer, Cybersecurity Specialist, Network Specialist, and Technical Support Specialist.

In addition to the Information Security Certificate  courses, Moraine Park will offer many courses in other Information Technology Programs. If you are interested in taking a class or two, please visit us today online!

Wisconsin Computer Science News for May 2020

There is a lot of computer science news for Wisconsin regarding event updates/cancellations, summer workshops, and useful links for this month. Click on the link below for more information.

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