INVESTMENT STRATEGIES FOR DEVELOPING TECH TALENT

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1 EmployIndy, through its Hire Up initiative and in partnership with TechPoint, conducted an in-depth study of talent demands in Central Indiana s tech sector and found opportunities for investment that will place Central Indiana ahead of the curve in tech talent development. INVESTMENT STRATEGIES FOR DEVELOPING TECH TALENT

2 HIRE UP: INTRODUCTION Central Indiana s tech sector is booming with start-up tech ventures establishing roots here, existing businesses expanding and companies relocating to Indianapolis and its surrounding communities. Touted as a new economic driver in Central Indiana, the tech sector and its associated growth dominate headlines and are supported by significant real-time data. If current rates of growth in Central Indiana s tech sector continue as expected, Central Indiana could soon surpass the rest of the nation s concentration of tech employment. This represents considerable opportunities for Central Indiana. These careers pay significantly higher wages than most other sectors of the regional economy and will help bolster the regional economy. EmployIndy, through its Hire Up initiative and in partnership with TechPoint, conducted an in-depth study of talent demands in Central Indiana s tech sector and found opportunities for investment that will place Central Indiana ahead of the curve in tech talent development. Hire Up leads research and data analysis that guide investments and workforce development programming and training in Marion County. The data serve as the cornerstone for EmployIndy s investment strategies, but also have far-reaching application. Hire Up data have been used to inform The Plan 2020 Work Indy Committee, Indiana Works Councils, and various economic development and communitybased development initiatives. Hire Up has been instrumental in bringing more than $13 million in funding to Central Indiana to train and educate technical talent. Its most recent data analysis, 2015 Central Indiana Tech Workforce Study, has provided the first and most thorough analysis of the region s supply and demand for tech talent. Just months after its release, EmployIndy has taken important investment and program development steps to prepare the county s tech talent for continued economic growth. These investments include both time, such as EmployIndy s leadership role on the Informatics: Diversity-Enhanced Workforce (idew) advisory committee, and money, such as post-secondary scholarships and program development for coding academies and tech talent assessment tools.

3 WHAT WE KNOW: THE GOOD NEWS THE TECH SECTOR IS BOOMING Over the past 5 years, the regional growth in computer and IT positions increased at a much faster rate than all other occupations. TECH JOBS ARE GROWING FAST Jobs in computer and IT occupations grew twice as fast as all jobs in Central Indiana (from ). Jobs in Central Indiana s computer and IT occupations grew by 17 percent, while all jobs in the region grew by 8 percent during this time. TECH JOBS ARE GOOD-PAYING REALLY GOOD-PAYING The annual salary for regional computer and IT jobs in almost double the pay of all other jobs. WE KNOW WHERE THE JOBS ARE Computer and IT positions are a strong component of both tech-product and tech-services companies as well as tech-enabled companies. THE CHALLENGE KEEPING PACE While the tech sector growth is leading to a higher demand for technically skilled workers, our current production of those workers isn t enough to meet projected demand. NOTHING STAYS THE SAME Changes in technology and tools to produce new products and services sweep through the sector at roughly the same rate that new products and services appear, making it difficult for talent to keep pace with industry needs. DIVERSITY OF DEMAND Central Indiana s tech sector spans the regional economy. Computer and IT workers are critical components of tech companies in software and IT as well as tech-enabled companies such as healthcare, manufacturing, and financial services. OUR SOLUTION As Marion County s workforce development board, EmployIndy invests in programs and solutions to prepare talent for today s and tomorrow s tech opportunities. The data reported in the Central Indiana Tech Workforce Study provide the precise data needed to ensure targeted investments in existing programs and new programs to prepare talent for one of the fastest growing industry sectors. Hire Up provides the data and has designed a framework for EmployIndy investments based on detailed analyses and identification of skills gaps: Smart Choices. We will help more students choose educational pathways that lead to technical careers that both fuel the Central Indiana economy and provide excellent career opportunities. Skills that Matter. We will work with educators and employers to align the content of technical education to the needs of employers. Talent Highways. Because all current and potential members of the labor force should have access to the education and training for indemand skills, we will foster multiple access points for adults and students to accelerate degree and credential completion and career success. NEAR-TERM INVESTMENTS FOR TECH TALENT DEVELOPMENT INCLUDE: Smart Choices Developing new and enhancing existing pathways to bridge the information divide between the tech sector s demand for talent and students. Skills that Matter Developing talent that includes the fundamental learning central to degreebased programs, exposure to and experiences with real-world technology application, and more rapid acquisition of skills in specific technologies for quickly changing application. Talent Highways Growing or replicating innovative learning models like coding academies and online degree programs to upskill the current workforce to respond to rapid technological advances in this ever-evolving sector, and to ensure adults and students can accelerate degree and credential completion.

4 OUR INVESTMENTS Data have supported the development of several new programs specifically for tech talent. Data also have supported EmployIndy s ongoing efforts with several keystone projects, such as the launch of a new charter school focused on STEM education for high school students. Through Hire Up and ongoing data analysis, EmployIndy will continue to identify opportunities for investment and will build momentum with existing programs that meet business needs. KNOW YOUR CODING APTITUDE AND LEARN NEW SKILLS KEEP TRACK OF WHERE THE JOBS ARE EmployIndy aggregates data from multiple sources to develop a Where The Jobs Are tool that identifies in-demand occupations. With these data, EmployIndy strategically guides investments in education and training, which are geared toward prime opportunities to maximize residents earning potential and sustain career success. While this list will not exclusively represent the tech sector, tech sector occupations will be highlighted and considered a top priority in terms of talent pipeline development. Furthermore, EmployIndy s strategic investments in tech sector opportunities will proportionally mirror the demand in that sector as illustrated by the data. EmployIndy entered into a strategic partnership with Eleven Fifty Academy, a nonprofit coding academy that teaches the most relevant and up-to-date coding coursework through a short-form and immersive learning model. EmployIndy funded and supported the development of an assessment tool to indicate aptitude for coding success. This tool helps identify the right talent with the aptitude for coding and then guides those candidates into the appropriate education path whether degreebased or short-form competency-based and credential-based learning. The assessment tool is targeted to students and adults and provides a behavioral assessment that maps responses to natural and adapted behavioral styles of learning. The results suggest prospective career paths based on level of education, including high school degrees, bachelor s degrees and master s degrees. The assessment tool is being piloted in EmployIndy s Employ Up program for long-term unemployed individuals and will be integrated more broadly into additional EmployIndy programs and WorkOne Indy offices to help identify and guide appropriate candidates into a technical field. Employ Up launched in May 2015 and within several months the assessment tool was used to help identify aptitude for coding and ideal computer occupations and guide training pathways for six program participants. As a result of the assessment tool findings, those participants have been enrolled in training programs focused on coding, programming fundamentals, intro and intermediate.net MVC and intro and intermediate Javascript and Angular.

5 ROBOTS INSPIRE STEM LEARNING Students can be motivated to pursue STEM education when they experience hands-on activities. That s the goal of the Indianapolis VEX Robotics Championship, the largest city-wide robotics competition in the country. As part of its effort to help students choose STEM-related fields of study, EmployIndy is continuing its partnership with various community leaders to sponsor this fourth annual event in November With more than 1,000 students from 180 high school, middle school, and elementary schools participating, the event introduces students to robotics and demonstrates how it intersects with IT. The competition allows student teams to design and build a robot to play against other teams from around the world. This game-based engineering challenge puts classroom STEM concepts to test. The robotics championship is paired with an interactive STEM fair, where up to 40 community partners hold activities such as robot chess to engage students. This event touches a total of 6,000 people who attend the fair and the championship event. would start with an aptitude assessment followed by a 12-week training using an online learning platform such as Team Treehouse. Students would also have weekly face-to-face class sessions with experienced professionals who serve as mentors. During these sessions, students will have the opportunity to validate their work product, have their questions answered and receive valuable coaching and counseling. Courses would align with current in-demand skills from Central Indiana employers that could include Mobile App Development and Front-end Web Development. LEARN NEW SKILLS SCHOLARSHIPS FOR ADULT LEARNERS EmployIndy is also funding curriculum development at Eleven Fifty Academy for a mid-level program for experienced coders who are seeking to upskill in.net operating platform system..net was identified by regional employers as one of the most in-demand skills in the Central Indiana Tech Workforce Study. CODE INDY, CODE Programs, such as Code Louisville and Code Bloomington School, have successfully prepared talent for the growing need for software developers in their respective communities through online learning programs that provide low-cost, flexible and self-paced training courses. EmployIndy is exploring ways to bring aspects of these programs to Indianapolis through partnerships with multiple stakeholders. With 2/3rds of the workforce needed already out of the K-12 system, EmployIndy must help accelerate skills development for its adult workforce. A strategic partnership with WGU Indiana supports 25 scholarships for current workers interested in advancing their IT skills. In April 2015, Hire Up pledged $25,000 to create the scholarships that will be matched by WGU. The $2,000 scholarships are available to Central Indiana students interested in pursuing a degree in information technology at WGU Indiana. Students at WGU have access to a flexible and affordable educational opportunity, which is ideal for busy working adults. At WGU, these scholarship students will pursue in-demand IT bachelor s degrees, setting them on the pathway to be successful in a 21st century economy. If implemented, the Code Indy program would be geared toward adults and youth who have dropped out of school with beginning and intermediate coding skills. Similar to other programs, Code Indy

6 CONCLUSION: EmployIndy will continue to invest in tech program development and support while ensuring alignment with results of these data and employer feedback. As the tech sector continues its upward trajectory, talent development is increasingly important. In a sector like tech, alignment between business needs and skills training is particularly challenging as technology changes and evolves rapidly, which constantly challenges the status quo. EmployIndy has taken the steps to keep pace with tech sector talent development and will embark on additional data analyses to develop targeted talent development strategies in additional wealth-growing sectors. This report and the work of Hire Up are made possible by the financial support from: The Joyce Foundation The JPMorgan Chase Foundation USA Funds Lumina Foundation Central Indiana Community Foundation

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