A recent article that ran as the “Nonprofit View: of the Carroll County Times on April 24, 2017

Making Technology Connections

Kati Townsley, Carroll Technology Council

I like to think that I’m a connector of people, ideas and things, and the Carroll Technology Council allows and encourages me to do that every day. Carroll County was recently named a TechHire Community, joining an esteemed national network of over 70 communities spearheading efforts to help overlooked and underrepresented Americans start technology careers.

While “Carroll County TechHire” (CCTechHire) is a “new” designation, this is something that the county has been doing for years. The Carroll County initiative connects local participants in leading-edge tech training programs to a network of over 520 county employers. TechHire partners will communicate tech job openings, help to improve alignment of curricula with employer needs, and promote hiring and recruiting from nontraditional training programs.

The county’s efforts to attract more tech business and train more of the county’s nontraditional tech workforce for high-demand tech positions is being furthered by educators, employers, government and community organizations. The county’s burgeoning technology sector has also been advanced, in part, by the Carroll County Broadband Network and the Westminster Fiber Network. As the fiber network’s reach is growing, additional efforts are being made to expand alternative high-speed service to more remote areas of the county and within the City of Westminster, expanding opportunities for employers and workers alike.

CCTechHire is led by a strategic partnership among Carroll Community College; the Carroll Technology Council; the Mid-Atlantic Gigabit Innovation Collaboratory, Inc; Carroll County’s Department of Economic Development and its partners. CCTechHire is developing a long-term plan for a TechHire Ecosystem driven by accelerated training, job assistance, internship programs and job placement.

Carroll County training partners in higher education, secondary education and community organizations will host low-cost, accelerated tech training in coding, cybersecurity, technical design and media blending online and classroom curricula with hands-on, real world projects. Employer partners have signed on and are prepared to offer internships and hire qualified students for technology positions through the TechHire network. Community partners have united to support the TechHire effort through job preparation programs, employer communications and the use of tools like the Maryland Workforce Exchange job board.

Carroll County Business & Employment Resource Center (BERC) offers candidate assessments, occupational skills training, on-the-job training, incumbent worker training, and adult education and literacy provided concurrently or in combination with other training services. Job search assistance including resume development, interview practice, job campaign development and work experience help clients get TechHired!

Carroll County is primed to become a “hot tech community” and the Carroll Technology Council is the common thread that connects it all. CTC business members create environments and programming for the local tech community … makerspaces, broadband, biz challenges, innovation centers, robotic competitions, hackathons, STEM events and educational opportunities galore. They are the visionaries for the future of our county.

There are a lot of community tech events coming up that I’d encourage you to explore. A technology-focused golf tournament on May 19; the second annual Tech STORM Conference on June 8; the fall brings the Maryland STEM Festival, hackathons, biz challenges and so much more. Take the time and make your own technology connection in Carroll or contact me and I’ll help you do it.

If you are interested in learning more about the Carroll County TechHire initiative, please visit: www.cctechhire.com.

Kati Townsley is the executive director of the Carroll Technology Council Inc. She can be reached at kati@carrolltechcouncil.org. For more information about the Carroll Tech Council, visit www.carrolltechcouncil.org.

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