July Meeting Outcomes - Employers Driving Action


July Meeting Outcomes - Employers Driving Action

The East Bay ICT Partnership is driving meaningful impact in the region through an aggressive and high impact slate of initiatives.  During the partnership's quarterly meeting in July, the group ratified the definitions for workplace skills, launched two new action teams to move forward with a pilot internship program, and approved the launch of a Community College Advisory pilot program. 

Following are highlights from the last meeting:

1.      We agreed to launch two new communication channels for enhanced communication and community building:  LinkedIn and Slack.

2.      We reviewed and ratified two of the three essential workplace skills (Business Communications and Relationship Management.)  The third skill, Critical Thinking, will be reviewed and ratified via an email process in the coming two weeks.

3.      We launched two new action teams as follows:

a.      Industry Champion Team to plan the internship pilot program – Bjorn Pave (Popsugar) to Lead

                                                    i.     Industry champions who will also participate include:  Mark Griffiths (Kaiser), Russell Rosete (Chevron), Dave McCandless (Navis), Tim Ahern (Workday), Brett Pitts (Wells Fargo)

b.      Community Champion Team to plan screening, training of skill sets and submission of candidates for internships – Olivia White Lopez (Hack the Hood) to Lead.

                                                    i.     Community champions who will also participate are:  Richard Grotegut (Deputy Sector Navigator), Samantha Millier (Alameda County WDB), Karen Lincoln (Stride), Mark Butler (Oakland Chamber), Sandy Wallenstein (CCCOE), Michael Katz (WDB), Matt Hulse (East Bay College Fund), Despina Prapavessi (DVC), Mike Miller (Foothill)

4.      We are poised to provide feedback to both Foothill College and DVC on DevOps curriculum.  (Specific requests to follow soon.)

5.      We experienced our first “Spotlight on Community” presentation from Caleb Jonas at SamaSchool.  Great job, Caleb.

6.      Tobin Broadhurst with Alameda County ITD shared ebook on the 5 Principles of IT Customer Service (Attached.)  Thanks, Tobin.

7.      Our next quarterly meeting will be on Thursday, October 19th at Wells Fargo in San Francisco.


Diversity and Inclusion:  The East Bay ICT Partnership Perspective

Diversity and Inclusion: The East Bay ICT Partnership Perspective

While interviewing candidates for our first group of industry champions, diversity and inclusion was a common theme.  As a result, I anticipated it would be among the first initiatives launched by the group.  Yet, during the process of identifying regional challenges and needs, workplace diversity did not emerge as a consensus initiative.  In March this year, as the co-chairs and I were planning the agenda for the April meeting, they brought up the topic of workplace diversity.  They wondered if we somehow overlooked this important industry need.  Ultimately, they recommended we include time on the agenda to ask the question directly and facilitate an employer conversation on the topic.

At the April 11th meeting, we began the dialog with a simple question:  How many of your companies have an explicit or implicit workplace diversity and inclusion mandate?  100% of the employers in the room raised their hands!  When asked why this was important to them, there was a diversity of responses, but it came down to the belief that by employing a more diverse talent pool, they would benefit in a myriad of ways that would make their businesses stronger --  Increased creativity; new ideas; diverse perspectives; more alignment with the community and more.

With strong alignment, the only question remaining was, what can this group do that will help your business with its diversity and inclusion goals and strategies?  A number of ideas were pitched.  One employer champion recommended we launch a D&I interest group to collect best practices to be shared.  Another suggested we launch a committee to identify collective strategies others could implement to improve D&I.  Then, the employer champion from Pandora suggested an idea that gained unanimous agreement.  She suggested that instead of launching a separate initiative, we should apply a diversity and inclusion lens to everything we do.  The group has already established action groups to work on public awareness and the creation of a workplace experience program.  They agreed that we should ask those action teams to include diversity as a lens through which to develop these programs.  Brilliant!

Now we are clear that for the East Bay ICT employers, diversity and inclusion is a lens to be applied to everything we do together.  It should be included in every strategy, and everything we do should advance this important issue that effects not only employers but the region as a whole.

Personally, I am encouraged by this conversation and especially by the group’s conclusion.  I believe it strongly reflects what we hear from the region in general, which strengthens my belief in the value of sector partnerships and deepens my commitment to help this group achieve its goals.  

If this resonates with you, you can join us.  Contact Barrie Hathaway at barrie@stridecenter to learn more about our work and add your voice and energy to benefit the region.

EBICT Employers Have Spoken:  Essential Skills are Key!

EBICT Employers Have Spoken: Essential Skills are Key!

Our ICT Business Champions are in agreement and they have been crystal clear:  “We need job candidates who have relevant work experience.  And, we are willing to help create opportunities for newly educated and trained people to gain that experience through internships and job shadowing.  The challenge is that we need candidates for these internships who demonstrate certain skills, attributes and behaviors that we know help ensure that the internship opportunity bears fruit.”  EastBayICT Business Champions, September 2016.

During the first two quarterly EastBayICT Partnership meetings, business champions articulated three priority initiatives, all aimed at improving their ability to recruit and hire high-quality talent for their ICT jobs.   In September, the business champions launched an action team with a mandate to develop a model for internships that would produce the best job-ready talent possible; one that could be replicated across the East Bay if successful. 

As a first step, the Workplace Experience action team has identified the top three “essential” skills they require in job and internship candidates.  These skills were ratified by the full group in April and are now in the process of being fully defined.  Once defined, the action team plans to develop a rubric, a screening tool and a curriculum to teach the skills.  The top three essential skills are:

1.      Critical Thinking: Problem Solving and Curiosity

2.      Communication Skills: Oral and Written

3.      Teamwork and Collaboration

Now, that the essential skills have been identified, the action teams are working to fully define each of the skills so that the work of developing the tools can begin.  All industry and community partners are invited to join the action team and work side-by-side to develop the most effective, comprehensive tools of our time for our region.

Join us!

Contact Barrie Hathaway at barrie@stridecenter to be added to the action team.

A New Brand of Engagement

A New Brand of Engagement

The employer-led initiatives launched by the East Bay ICT Partnership all revolve around improving the development of native talent in the East Bay and improving access for East Bay employers to local job-ready talent.  On Tuesday, the East Bay ICT Partnership supported and attended an event in Oakland that was designed to address both of these focus areas.  The “Passport to Tech Career Pathways: An Employer-Guided Coaching Tour” was a different kind of event that placed employers squarely in the lead position while inviting “job ready tech talent” to listen, learn and grow.

The event was held at the Kapor Center for Social Impact and organized through a collaboration between the Tech Talent Pathways Partnership and Kapor.  This exciting event showcased a new way of engaging industry while introducing them to the talent, diversity, skill and spirit that exemplifies Oakland and the larger East Bay. 

I was heartened to see that East Bay ICT industry and community partners were well represented.  As I spoke with partners and local talent throughout the evening, I heard only praise for the event.  Dave McCandless, EBICT co-chair and VP of IT at Navis volunteered to sit down with attendees and worked with them to review and suggest improvements on their resumes.  Dave told me he wished he had open jobs because he met people he would absolutely have hired.  “We need to get more of our EBICT industry partners to events like this.  They will be glad they came.” Dave said.

I spoke with a number of participants as well.  When I asked if the event was worth their valuable time, every one of them said YES!  They told me they gained valuable insights from the employer-led table discussions; they met people who would enhance their professional networks, and some were invited to connect with companies for future opportunities.  Everyone I spoke with was glad they came.

As I've watched this new model of employer leadership and engagement, I have become a believer.  I’m watching industry champions like Dave McCandless become more and more committed to the ways this level of engagement will benefit their companies.  I see how, the more we know about what industry needs, the better we can prepare talented people in our region to gain access to jobs, income and benefits that will make our region better for everyone. 

As Dave said, now we just need to get more employers, community partners and residents to see the power and the potential of these partnerships and this type of engagement. 

East Bay ICT Partnership Gaining Momentum

East Bay ICT Partnership Gaining Momentum

The East Bay ICT Partnership is gaining recognition and credibility in the East Bay.  In the last 4 weeks, a number of organizations and collaboratives have reached out seeking our insights on a number of topics.  For instance, Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group invited us to speak to their large group of business leaders on Friday, March 10th to share our work and our model, and to provide their businesses with the opportunity to join us.  The Oakland Chamber of Commerce has asked us to speak at an upcoming Workforce and Education briefing, providing insights into concrete ways industry can engage in the community.  The Kapor Center for Social Impact has requested the assistance of the Public Awareness Action Team to assist in the design a digital platform to help connect regional employers with regional talent for job and internship opportunities.  And finally, the Tech Talent Pathways Partnership (T2P2) collaborative has requested the assistance of the Public Awareness Action team in crafting and attending a Tech Equity Event on April 26th. 

A key element of our partnership vision is to establish the EBICT partnership as a credible voice for industry in the East Bay, reducing the proliferation of regional industry tables.  These early invitations to present, share insights and offer our model to the region are a clear indication that we are on the right track and gaining momentum.

A special thanks to Tim Ahern and Dave McCandless, our fearless co-chairs, for their strong commitment to the partnership and willingness to act as spokespeople on all of our behalf.

Sector Partnerships - A National Movement

Sector Partnerships - A National Movement

As part of an East Bay delegation, several of us were fortunate to attend the first National Next Generation Sector Partnership Academy in warm, sunny, dry Phoenix AZ in February.  The national interest was astounding with nearly 300 people from across the country in attendance.  Well over half of the attendees were there to learn more about the model and hear from some of the early adopters (like us) to learn about successes, challenges and to start their own sector partnerships.  The East Bay was very well represented with eight East Bay leaders in attendance. Stephen Baiter, Oakland Workforce Development Board Executive Director, was a featured speaker and an advisor throughout the event.  Since the East Bay is one of the nation’s early adopters, Stephen was invited shared an overview of our multi-sector efforts and offer insights and highlights throughout the event.

During the conference, a new video was unveiled describing the Sector Partnership Model.  If you are wondering exactly what this model is about, watch the video below.  Then, join us!

January Quarterly Meeting  - A Bias For Action

January Quarterly Meeting - A Bias For Action

The third meeting of the East Bay ICT Partnership saw membership grow to 18 employer partners and 28 community partners.  This quarterly convening represented a pivot from defining a set of employer focused needs to focusing on collaborative action.  With the recent deployment of two action teams and the launch of the new name and digital platform, the partners received status updates on efforts since September and then were given the opportunity to provide feedback, sign up for action teams and offer needed resources and connections.

In previous conversations, the business champions established the need to define a new set of skills for the ICT workplace (The What), shift to an experiential learning model (The How), and build awareness to attract more people to ICT careers (The Who).

Deploying Cross Sector Action Teams

There are two primary strategies driving the East Bay ICT Partnership:  1) Creating a comprehensive ICT focused industry table to identify high-impact regional mandates for workforce development and 2) Forming a comprehensive community table to develop and implement (in collaboration with industry) regional, connected solutions.  In November, the EBICT business leaders prioritized two initiatives and launched its first industry led collaborative action teams to begin taking action. 

These two action teams are strategically important because they represent the first effort at driving toward regional solutions through cross sector collaboration.  Both teams have begun the process of clarifying the scope of their work, establishing timelines and identifying resources.

The first action team is focused on building opportunities for experiential learning.  Led by Bjorn Pave, Sr. Director of IT at Popsugar, this team is working to create a model for experiential learning with clear standards for candidate incoming skills, expectations for workplace learning impact and the launch a pilot program with an eye toward scale and replication.  The team anticipates launching its first two pilot programs in April, following the next quarterly all-partner convening. 

Following the status report, the partners expressed strong agreement and support for the high level plan proposed by this action team.  More specifically:

1.     Three additional partners joined the action team.

2.     The Alameda County WDB offered candidates, resources and funding to cover the cost of cohort training.

3.     United Way Bay Area offered support for monitoring and measuring results.

4.     Opportunity Junction offered to provide their current “Internship Success Instrument.”

5.     Peralta Colleges offered access to their work based and linked learning resources.

6.     The team received strong additional suggestions and recommendations for project content and development.

The second action team is focused on building community awareness of ICT careers and enabling connections between job seekers and employers.  Led by DeeDee Towery, CEO of Proactive Business Solutions, this team will focus on two primary strategies: 1) Identifying event-based strategies to bring together job seekers and employers; 2) Identifying digital platforms that connect job seekers to regional opportunities for internships and job shadowing. 

Following the status report, the partners again expressed strong agreement and support for the high level plan proposed by this action team.  Specifically:

1.     Four additional partners joined the action team.

2.     James Nixon with EBBC offered to provide the www.techpathways.org website as a resource for the action team.

3.     Alameda County WDB offered to connect the team with the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership which has had great success with a similar initiative.

4.     Urban Strategies Council offered to provide landscape analysis opportunities.

5.     All members provided additional suggestions and recommendations for project content and development.

Next Steps

The East Bay ICT Partnership will continue to meet quarterly to review and assess forward movement and to continue to employer led conversations about emerging industry needs.  The next meeting date has not been set but is anticipated to occur in early/mid April.

Launching Action Groups

Launching Action Groups

The East Bay ICT Partnership has an explicit bias toward action.  The issues facing us are urgent both for business and for our community.  In response, the business leaders have prioritized two initiatives and is launching collaborative action teams to begin working on clarifying the need and developing regional solutions.

1) Shifting to an Experiential Learning Model

To produce the new skill set required by ICT-intensive companies, there needs to be a major shift in how students learn.  The best way to gain the non-technical skills is to provide students with much more workplace experience as well as curriculum and teaching that emphasizes problem-solving, collaboration, creativity, and other attributes.  This model will require a deeper and continuous collaboration between ICT-intensive businesses and education and training institutions and programs.


2) Building New Awareness of and Attracting More People to ICT Careers

We need to change the image, rebrand, and promote ICT beyond just the household names, using creative approaches and spokespeople, reaching both youth and adult career changers.  At the same time, we need to simplify and systematize “talent fulfillment” processes, policies, and infrastructure, connecting companies and with education, training, and other sources of talent referral in the community.

These teams are forming now and will provide updates at the next quarterly meeting on January 18th.  If you are interested in joining either or both action teams, contact Barrie Hathaway at barrie@stridecenter.org.  And, stay tuned for updates!

East Bay ICT Partner Expansion

East Bay ICT Partner Expansion

The East Bay ICT Partnership (EBICT) initiative now boast seventeen business champions representing five business sectors and twenty-six community partners spanning a wide range of education and training providers, industry associations and others.  We are currently in conversation with an additional four business partners and have extended invitations to another fourteen business champions as we round out our sector map and build a regional industry table.  The following tables represent the current state of both the business and community tables.

Our co-chairs, Dave McCandless (Navis, LLC) and Tim Ahern (Workday) have proven to be dedicated business champions and model civic entrepreneurs, providing tactical and strategic direction, modeling the role of the business champion in every way possible.

Thus far, the founding business and community partners have undergone targeted recruitment, vetting and a careful selection process to form the critical mass of dedicated leaders necessary to build the movement.  We are now ready to expand partnership using a streamlined process.  Business leaders who are responsible for hiring ICT (Information and Communications Technology) workers, and community partners who are providing education, training and supportive services in the East Bay are encouraged to join this growing regional collaboration.

If you are interested in joining this important movement, click the "Join Us" button on the home page. 

Announcing our New Brand

Announcing our New Brand

As with the SlingShot sector initiatives that have come before us, the ICT initiative has rebranded itself.  Our new name is The East Bay ICT Partnership.  We have launched a new website, unveiling our new name and our new logo.  With this new digital platform, we will provide regular updates in the News section, announce upcoming events, share our growing partner portfolio, seek feedback from the community on key initiatives, enlist new members, and more.

We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the outstanding technical support provided by Mark Orcutt with the East Bay Leadership Council and our two co-chairs who worked closely together in the creation of this new brand.

What ICT Employers Say

What ICT Employers Say

Over the course of the East Bay ICT Partnership’s first two quarterly meetings, industry partners have engaged in dialog aimed at identifying the most important opportunities or drivers of growth of ICT in the region