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.