October 2021 Tech Upload

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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!

Alliance News:

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.

Registration is now open for schools and students. Click here, or go to http://newconnectit.com/register/ , to reserve your spot.

Our call for volunteers went out to our investors last week. If you would like to participate as a panel volunteer, contact Kim@newDigtialAlliance.org

TechTalent Summit

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.

Cybersecurity Roundtable

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

Unemployment Updates

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%.

Data Sources: CompTia IT Employment Tracker, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and New North IntelTracker

Regional News

SySTEMnow Conference

STEM Forward’s annual SySTEMnow Conference is on Wednesday, October 27, 2021.  This year’s theme is STEM for Good: Equity/Innovation/Change.  Join us for this excellent Conference: Keynote Speaker Justin Shaifer, Morning Session Student Panel, and Breakout Sessions galore (Milwaukee Robotics Academy, Building a Regional Community of Practice to Diversify Your Tech Talent Pipeline, Data-for-Good, and so much more)!   Although we are holding this unique Conference in person in Milwaukee (with COVID safety guidelines in place), there is also a virtual option available this year.

Aspirations in Computing Award

Crisp fall air and schools are back sessions! Please join NCWIT-WI Affiliate and continue to encourage the development of a new generation of technical talent! We want to keep the focus on registration dates for the 2021-2022 Aspirations in Computing Award, now open and available through November 5, 2021. Help spread the word and feel the excitement as we continue to work with these promising high school and college women as they explore the possibility of  a bright future in the field of computing. For more information or to learn more about our mission, see our website at www.ncwit-wi.org

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Microsoft Student Summit

Microsoft Student Summit is a 3-day event designed to help students learn from Microsoft executives, EXPLORE the latest on Microsoft technologies and ACCELERATE their path by skilling up and raising their profile. 

Students also have the opportunity to join the community of students and learn from each other!

Each day offers 2 hours of keynote sessions covering a variety of topics including executive insights, tech tools, and career advice. 

We’ve also made it easy to get ready for Microsoft certification by offering additional daily 4-hour exam cram sessions aligned to Microsoft’s Fundamentals certifications – featuring Azure Data, Security, Identity & Compliance and Power Platform!

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Microsoft TEALS Program

Building equitable, inclusive computer science programs in high schools

The 2021-2022 school year is off to an incredible start with several Northeast Wisconsin high schools that are participating in the Microsoft TEALS Program.  Teachers and volunteers connected throughout the summer for professional development opportunities where they were able to build team rapport and prepare for the start of school.  Thank you to everyone for their time and dedication to kick-off classes on the first day.

While each high school is on a journey of offering an equitable and inclusive computer science pathway, they are at different places along their journey.  Each school selects the curriculum and classes that suit the needs and interests of the students.  Here is an overview of the different curriculums the TEALS Program is supporting throughout the region. 

  • Introduction to Computer Science (CS): an introductory class with a focus on block-based and/or Python programming
  • AP Computer Science Principles: an advanced placement class with a focus on a wide range of CS topics varying from big data, cybersecurity, programming, and the impact of computing
  • AP CS A: another advanced placement class with a focus on object-orientated programming using the Java language
  • Other topics: schools offering additional CS classes that can focus on topics such as cybersecurity and data analytics

Follow me on LinkedIn to see classroom highlights from participating high schools and learn more about how you can get involved.  Also be on the lookout for “Casey in the CS Classroom” my trusty rubber ducking sidekick, as we visit classrooms throughout the school year. 

How can you help?

Do you know a school who is interested in offering or growing their computer science courses?  Please contact me or share my information to learn more about what the TEALS Program has to offer or visit www.microsoft.com/teals.  The 2022-23 school application will be going “live” at the end of October. 

Amy Bires | amy@tealsk12.org | (920) 234-6485 | Regional Manager, Northeast Wisconsin | Concordis 003 LLC | Microsoft Philanthropies TEALS Program               

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