September 2020 Tech Upload

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NEW Digital News

Thank You Alliance Members

The NEW Digital Alliance would like to thank all of our members for their ongoing support during these unprecedented times. 

 To learn more about our members, click Here. 

Alliance News:

Since March when everything moved onlineIT teams throughout Northeast Wisconsin have been busy keeping companies and school districts running. You know the drill by now. Students finished the academic year online, and educators have been meeting virtually throughout the summer to plan for the upcoming school year. Companies have been no different, first sending employees home to work, then meeting virtually to determine how best to reopen the office. In some cases, companies have decided to continue letting office employees work remote with no end date in mind. Many school districts and colleges have settled on hybrid delivery models while communicating that classes may move online with short notice, as happened for Oshkosh’s North High School and Merrill Middle School the day before school was to start.  

Supporting these efforts are the IT workers who continue to be in high demand despite a challenging national job market. Back in January of 2020, national unemployment rates hovered around 4.1% while IT unemployment sat at 3% according to a Forbes article referencing Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data. In early August, CompTia reported July’s BLS unemployment data, citing national unemployment at 10.2% with tech unemployment at 4.4%. 


Forbes Unemployment Rate for Computer Occupations Fell in May (

  • Computer occupations: January 3% unemployment; May 2.5%  
  • All other occupations: January 4.1% unemployment; May 13.5% 

Tech Employment Gains Pause for the Month, CompTIA Analysis Shows 

(…July , 2020 

  • Unemployment in IT 4.4% 
  • National unemployment: 10.2% 

CompTia IT Employment Tracker: 


Despite a small increase, unemployment in the tech field continues to be low. Local companies continue to struggle to find the digital talent needed to support their needs, and several NEW Digital Alliance members such as Smart IS International report they are continuing to hire. CompTIA and Dice report an increase in national demand for cyber security analysts, likely attributed to an ongoing increase in cyber threats. CompTia also indicate an increase in demand for Systems Analysts as a work from home position, while Dice indicates an increase in demand for certain types of developers. 

In order to help meet the needs of local organizations, reskilling efforts are critical. To help with the reskilling effort, organizations throughout Northeast Wisconsin are working together to provide information and opportunities for displaced workers. The NEW Digital Alliance has pulled together a Digital Careers and Pathways page to help displaced workers navigate the digital career field and associated educational pathways. Microsoft launched their LinkedIn Learning Pathways, and in collaboration with gBeta, the first cohort of reskilled workers has graduated with certificates in a number of programs. New North is working with gBeta and NEW ERA to connect cohort graduates with continuing education opportunities within our local colleges. The NEW Digital Alliance is also working with NEW ERA on a grant to develop flexible learning pathways that will help further upskilling and re-skilling opportunities in the region. We also continue to share with our member organizations resumes of job seekers looking for opportunities in the digital space.  

In the past month, the NEW Digital Alliance has also: 

  • Participated in New North’s ongoing Broadband grant discussions.  
  • Launched our Innovation and Collaboration committee on August 13. A small task force is exploring opportunities to connect Higher ed and local companies to increase collaboration and innovation in this space, what this might look like, and who else should be invited to the early stage discussions. 
  • Engaged with New North’s NEW Launch Alliance focused on growing the entrepreneur ecosystem in Northeast Wisconsin. The NEW Digital Alliance will have a permanent seat on the committee and will help provide mentorship for ideas with a digital element. 
  • Explored how to track regional progress towards digitalization in the August 18 Digitalization and Breadth of Awareness meeting. We are currently exploring frameworks which can be used to baseline and track progression, as well as help define gaps and steps to take to increase digital maturation of companies within the region.  
  • Participated in New North’s Intel Tracker discussions to develop a regional dashboard designed to track economic trends in the region. 
  • Continued diversity discussions with our Higher ed committee, exploring what is currently being done on campuses and how the Alliance can help play a role in increasing diversity in IT programs. This committee is also brainstorming ways to increase college and corporate collaboration. 
  • Started planning for the October TechTalent Summit where we will share data about the tech pipeline in Northeast Wisconsin, and have a panel discussion about remote collaboration and meeting best practices.  
  • Continued discussions within the Talent Committee for how to migrate the NEW Connect IT event to an online platform. We’ve narrowed or online platforms down to two and will be meeting with Inspire Sheboygan to explore collaboration opportunities. 
  • Shared resumes from several IT professionals and interns with our member organizations. 

Summer Reflections by Our Interns

Grace Vanden Heuvel“Everywhere you look, listen, or go, you will find constant reminders that this summer is unprecedented, unusual, and a different experience for everybody. Personally, I’ve had a very different summer than in years past. Where I once filled my schedules with technology and band camps, summer hangout sessions with friends at Bay Beach, and attending summer firework shows, I now placed time to work full time as a software developer at Secura, binge watching some popular Netflix shows, and making friends from around the world.

“Dealing with not being able to have in-person conversations for me has been very difficult. While I am a shy person in general, once I warm up to a group of friends, I enjoy talking when them about anything and anything. Due to the quick transition and my own self-isolation, I have not seen any of my close friends and have not conversations with them since the beginning of March. It was around this time where I started to connect with people from all around the world including Argentina, Australia, the UK, Italy, New Zealand, and Egypt through several Discord servers. By April, I had a solid connection of friends who (mainly) spoke English and started to voice/video call them to play online multiplayer games. While I didn’t get to connect with my school friends as much during this strange summer, I have been able to connect globally to so many more people with diverse experiences, languages, and personalities.

“Starting as a new employee to the workforce in general can be intimidating, especially during a global pandemic where Safer At Home orders are in place. While I was hoping for an ‘office job’/’go into the office each day’ job, I was extremely fortunate to be able to still start at Secura Insurance as a software developer as planned with the caveat that I would be working from home for the foreseeable future. Many of my experiences so far have been unusual and, quite frankly, not normal, however, many of them have become the new normal for me and the entire team I have the opportunity to work with. I enjoy the flexibility of working from home and I am truly grateful to still have this opportunity, especially as a high school student.” -Grace Vanden Heuvel


“Reflecting on this summer causes me to be thankful for technology and its role in my life. Going into the summer, I thought I would have two internships–one at NEW Digital Alliance another part-time internship at Catch-22 Creative in Milwaukee. I thought I would be able to start working in their office 3 days a week and learn new skills that would help me with future careers. However, COVID-19 caused their office to be closed for the remainder of the summer, meaning they no longer had an internship available to me. 

“I was disappointed but not entirely surprised at this. A few weeks later Catch-22 Creative reached out to me again asking if I would be interested in doing freelance work for them. While it wasn’t a full internship experience as I had hoped, I was still able to do a few freelance projects for their company from the comfort (and safety) of my own home while still gaining valuable experience. 

“Technology and the ability to work from home via shared documents, video calls, and email communication helped me to still have a summer filled with work and learning opportunities. Technology also helped me to stay connected with friends via FaceTime and Zoom. This summer was definitely different than others, but it is one I will always remember.” -Kaitlyn Alexander

Regional News

Drive Thru Job Fair on Sept. 17

Are you out of work, or know someone who might be? Workforce Development Boards across the state are holding a Drive Thru Job Fair on Sept. 17th from noon to 4pm.

Employers looking to fill open positions can create fliers and drop them off with the contacts listed in the article below or reach out to contacts with any questions.

Check the article below to see where the nearest job fair is to you!

More Information

E-Recycling: Look for a Partner, Not Just a Service

Sadoff E-Recycling & Data DestructionDo you have old phones and computers you need to dispose of? This article by Sadoff E-Recycling helps you know who to contact for your e-recycling needs and how a partnership approach to e-recycling can bring greater value to your company.

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Computer Science Talent Ecosystem Youth – Brown County Newsletter

The Computer Science Talent Ecosystem Youth (CSTEY) has shared with us their first newsletter issue in August. With the launch of CSTEY this past February, they are continuing to move forward towards their goal of teaching all K-12 students computer science prior to graduating from high school. This initiative focuses on providing guidance and resources to all K-12 school districts within Brown County to build, grow, and integrate Computer Science (CS) pathways at all grade levels. In their first newsletter, they are sharing numerous resources to assist teachers and staff learn about different events and training surrounding computer science.

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Computer Science News around the State

The document attached below contains CS news for Wisconsin including updates on events and useful links.

Useful Links

  • CS Teachers list, PUMP-CS PD, WI CS K-12 Standards, Join CSTA

Upcoming Events

  • New: NCWIT Aspirations Awards – Applications open Sept 1, 2020
  • Update: Virtual Meetings about Teaching CS
  • New: Support for 1st or 2nd year AP CSA Teachers
  • Update: Sixth Annual WI Computer Science Education VIRTUAL Summit

Click the link below for more information.

More Information

OnRamp Manufacturing Conference to Host Virtual Startup Track

gener8tor, in partnership with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) will host the OnRamp Manufacturing Conference virtually on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. This virtual conference will attract more than 400 startups to its “Startup Track” – curated, one-on-one pitch sessions between selected startups and corporate venture capital & innovation executives, venture capitalists, and accelerators – to discuss potential customer relationships, strategic partnerships and, if appropriate, investment opportunities. The deadline for startups to apply is September 4th at 11:59pm CT. For more information, read the full article linked below.

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Learn Relevant Skills for In-Demand Jobs

Understanding and creating diversity, inclusion, and belonging are essential to building a better workplace and society. Here is a free learning path to help us all recognize unconscious bias, communicate across cultures, and have inclusive conversations. This is a great resource for those that are unemployed, underemployed or are looking to up-skill. This is also a great resource for all HR departments and diversity and inclusion leaders to leverage in your internal company conversations.

More Information

October is Cybersecurity Month

Join UW-Green Bay Continuing Professional Education for a series of 4 virtual lunch-and-learn sessions.

October 7, 14, 21 & 21

Learn More & Register

New Certificate Program Available at UW-Green Bay in Data Science

Add to your credentials with a noncredit certificate in data science, one of the fastest-growing professions, with demand for analysts booming. This certificate will give you the knowledge and expertise to thrive in big data in almost every category of business.


Learn More & Register

How to Make Your Virtual Meetings More Engaging - Webinar

Conducting meetings online has become our new normal. But just because you’re meeting on a screen doesn’t mean your meetings can’t be meaningful and valuable for you and your coworkers.

UW-Green Bay has developed a 90 minute virtual session to help. You will:

  • Explore the top five virtual meeting platforms and what they have to offer
  • Identify how to set participants up for success through setting expectations
  • Discover the various engagement tools available on virtual meeting platforms and beyond

There will also be plenty of time for Q&A with an instructor who has lead Fortune 500 companies through transformational change.

Tuesday, October 13

8-9:30 a.m.

Cost: $29.99

Learn More & Register

Congratulations to the Graduating TEALS Program Schools and Teachers

Three years ago, the TEALS Program made its debut in the state of Wisconsin and started working with high schools in Northeast Wisconsin and Milwaukee. Thirteen schools were ready and excited to bring computer science (CS) to the classroom. Districts and teachers were eager to give students an opportunity to explore, grow and experience the many facets within the computer science field of study. As the TEALS Program gained exposure, many other high schools in the Northeast Wisconsin, Madison, and Milwaukee area have joined the program. For the 2020-21 school year, TEALS will be supporting 35 high schools with over 100 volunteers joining teachers and students on a weekly basis. Read on for more information about the new Alumni School program and how to get involved with TEALS.

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