Giving Compass’ Take:
• Shailaja Neelakantan explains how Louisville, Kentucky is working to attract tech companies by partnering with educational institutions to train the workforce.
• How can other cities improve their tech workforces? What does your city need to attract businesses?
• Learn how tech training can help moms re-enter the workforce.
In the last couple of years, when Louisville, Kentucky, found itself low on the list of desirable cities where large companies might want to set up offices, Mayor Greg Fischer had to take a hard look at the reason his bailiwick was losing out.
Turns out, this part of the country — home to Fort Knox, bourbon whiskey and a legendary derby — is woefully short of tech workers. And it’s not just technology companies that are in need.
Consider these statistics: The city has just 79% of the technology jobs it should have for a metro of its size, per the mayor’s office. And in the last decade, it added a mere 17,000 jobs in the professional scientific technical services, compared with neighboring Nashville that generated 75,000 such jobs, Indianapolis that added 50,000 and Cincinnati that gained 29,000, said Uric Dufrene, executive vice chancellor for academic affairs at Indiana University Southeast, citing federal data.
To make up the gap, Louisville would need to put efforts to expand its tech talent pipeline into overdrive, adding around 1,500 jobs annually for four years, based on city estimates. For help doing so, Fischer called on local schools, higher education institutions, nonprofits and employer partners.
An announcement of the launch of LouTechWorks offers an early look at how the group is tackling the issue. Rather than tweak STEM curricula to the needs of specific employers, as is happening around the U.S., the initiative is about promoting existing technology education options to make tech a desirable career.
“To compete — and win — in the economy of the future, Louisville must greatly expand the number of technology jobs and radically scale our training platform, in partnership with employers, education partners and others,” Fischer said in the announcement. He called LouTechWorks “the first step” in doing so.
Read the full article about bringing tech training to scale by Shailaja Neelakantan at Education Dive.
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