October 2021 Tech Upload
NEW Digital News
Thank You Alliance Members
The NEW Digital Alliance would like to thank Community First Credit Union for their support as an Executive Investor in 2021 and Ariens Corp for their support as a General Investor in 2021. To learn more about Community First Credit Union or Ariens Corp, click on their names!
Happy Cybersecurity Awareness Month!
With fall in the air, and Halloween at the end of the month, most people’s minds turn to trick or treating and ghoul’s and goblins when the calendar turns to October. Local CIOs and cybersecurity experts, however, are focusing on an entirely different kind of ghoul at the Governor’s Cybersecurity Conference this week. October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and what better way to kick off the month than to discuss all things cyber-related?
According to Purplesec’s 2021 Cyber Security Statistics The Ultimate List Of Stats, Data & Trends, cybercrime is up 600% due to the Covid-19 pandemic. And damage related to cybercrime was projected to hit $6 trillion annually this year. So, it’s no wonder that Cyberseek is reporting 464,420 cybersecurity-related job openings nationally over the past year. Here in Northeast Wisconsin, there are an estimated 400 cybersecurity-related job openings during the same time period. Based on the numbers that Cyberseek is reporting, we need to increase the cybersecurity workforce by another 50% to fill all the open positions.
The NEW Digital Alliance is busy working on programs to help make a difference in our region. Unfortunately, there are no quick fixes to the tech talent shortage, and with shortages in nursing, education, and manufacturing to name a few, it’s an uphill battle. Some of our initiatives are geared to help companies today, while others are designed to build a sustainable pipeline.
Computer Science Teacher Licensure Cohort
The talent pipeline starts in K12, and when we talk about digitally skilled tech talent, it means we need computer science educators. Here in Wisconsin, half of our 429 public school districts teach computer science…and of those half have teachers who are licensed to deliver higher-level computer science as opposed to an introductory computer or digital literacy classes. In order to help change this paradigm, the NEW Digital Alliance partnered with CESA7’s CSTEY director Amy Bires to launch an initiative to help middle and high school teachers obtain their CS licensure.
Twelve teachers from across Wisconsin gathered at FVTC Bordini Center on September 28 for the cohort launch. Several drove up from the Milwaukee area, and a couple joined us virtually…one of whom lives in Superior. We started with some networking time so teachers could get to know one another and start building their support community.
A huge THANK YOU to Faith Technologies for sponsoring dinner! It was greatly appreciated by everyone.
Cohort participants learned what to expect over the coming months, and heard from a couple of guest speakers. Amy Bires shared key information with everyone.
And Brooke Sumner, Associate Dean of IT at FVTC, shared information about their IT programs including dual credit opportunities for high school students.
We also had a surprise video from State Superintendent Dr. Jill Underly with words of encouragement for the group.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the launch meeting! Amy and I look forward to our meeting at the end of October to hear about your progress with the learning modules, and meet with guest speakers from several of our regional colleges.
NEW Connect IT Event
In November, the NEW Digital Alliance will be hosting the NEW Connect IT virtual Career Fair for high school students. This annual career fair is in its 5th year and has grown from 250 students to over 600 students attending. Students learn about IT careers from IT employees, as well as the educational pathways that will help them prepare for those roles.
Traditionally this has been a face-to-face event, open to all employers in the region. However, as we are continuing in a virtual format this year, we are limiting the volunteer opportunities to our investors. This allows organizations to get in front of your future workforce to promote your brand, as well as the exciting careers in your technology departments.
On October 12 the NEW Digital Alliance will be holding our second annual TechTalent Summit. Our topic this year is “Expand Your IT Pipeline”. NEW Digital Alliance director Kim Iversen will share information about the regional tech pipeline along with some national trends, and what the Alliance is working on. Guest speakers will share what is going on in K12, and how companies can connect with untapped talent in our high schools.
- Rebecca Deschane, Talent Initiatives Director New North: Digital Careers Pathway
- Julie Frausto, Director Business & Education Partnerships Inspire Sheboygan: Inspire
- Jack Brown, Director Business Intelligence Secura: IT Youth Apprenticeships
Click here to join us via Zoom on October 12 at 2:30.
At the end of the month, the NEW Digital Alliance is launching a new Cybersecurity Roundtable. This discussion group is open to cybersecurity leaders from our investor companies and is designed to
- Help regional cyber leaders connect and build a local network they can reach out to for support
- Share cybersecurity hiring, skills & training needs, tool usage, best practices, and the latest threats
- Learn about local resources to help them and their teams
Our launch meeting will be held at UW Oshkosh’s newly formed Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (CCOE). Michael Patton, UWO IS Instructor, and Jerry Eastman, President, CEO and Founder of WICTRA will be sharing information about the CCOE and the resources that will be available to local companies, such as their live cyber range.
The Cybersecurity Roundtable will meet every other month in a hybrid format. To learn how you can take part in the discussions, contact NEW Digital Alliance Director, Kim Iversen, at Kim@newDigitalAlliance.org.
Updated data for September was not yet available at time of publication.
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 August dropping to (1.5%) and lower than pre-pandemic levels of 3% in January 2020. National unemployment was at 5.2% for August while Wisconsin held steady at 3.9%.