Tech Trend: Growing tech talent in Flyover Country

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According to Gartner, businesses believe a shortage of talent to be the biggest obstacle standing in their way of adopting new tech. A lack of talent availability was cited far more often than other barriers this year, like implementation cost or security risk.

Flyover Cities are not taking this lying down, as many of them are proactively creating “grow your own” programs to nurture new tech talent in their regions.

Here are examples of Flyover regions that are making moves to continue attracting and developing the best STEM talent in the world, through their universities and nonprofit organizations.

The University of Cincinnati plans to establish a dedicated computer science department that will offer more opportunity and collaboration. The new department will consist of existing undergraduate and graduate-level programs, including BS in computer science, MS in computer science, and will jointly manage the Ph.D. degree in computer science and engineering.

Michigan Tech University has broken ground on its H-STEM Engineering and Health Technologies Complex, which will increase Michigan Tech’s footprint in health-related fields and research capabilities, giving the university a flexible laboratory space for both H-STEM and the adjacent Chemical Sciences and Engineering building.

An assistant professor at Saint Louis University is using a $700K grant to launch a new software development facility on campus. She says that she’s seen interesting software projects being developed in her graduate courses but when the classes are over, the projects are as well. The new center is designed to give greater utility to those student software projects.

In Kansas City, LaunchCode 101 is offering free training for people who want a career in computer tech. The course offers 25 weeks of extensive IT training. LaunchCode works with local tech companies to see what the needs are and matches those up with student projects.

Ann Arbor SPARK is bringing business together with students attending local colleges in its new STEM Forward program. STEM Forward will handle all onboarding paperwork for participating companies and pay 50% of an intern’s wages, up to $6,000 for a full-time intern and $3,000 for a part-time intern.

Kudos to the cities that are recognizing the need for tech talent and are taking steps to develop their own!