Major regional job-creating organizations have come together to focus efforts on competing for one of the nation's fastest-growing job segments: information technology.
This collaboration includes the Cincinnati CIO Roundtable, a forum of IT leaders who are focused on improving the region’s overall IT ecosystem, along with the Cincinnati USA Partnership
and the Partners for a Competitive Workforce
The CIO Roundtable is led by co-chairs Piyush Singh, SVP & CIO of Great American Insurance
, and Geoff Smith, former IT leader at P&G
"Business leaders in the region are coming together with the common goal of talking about the importance of IT, and its role in the growth of their companies," says Tammy Riddle, IT economic development director for Cincinnati USA Partnership.
Just last week, the organizations came together for a half-day, invitation-only event —“Grow the IT economy in Cincinnati USA.” The event featured presentations from a variety of stakeholders, including the organizers, JobsOhio
The group is working to meet a wide range of challenges, including creating high-paying jobs through public and private partnerships, creating a strategic plan to grow IT jobs in the region, attracting and training talent, and determining the role of startups.
"One of the key things we're going to focus on are trends that companies are seeing across the board, and how we can match those with Cincinnati strengths and build the street cred of the IT sector in Cincinnati," Riddle says.
Regional universities also play a role in talent creation. Northern Kentucky University's College of Informatics
is a leader, as is the University of Cincinnati with its top-rated analytics graduate program, and the University of Miami's innovative digital media program.
Cincinnati has an emerging IT industry. There are about 30,000 Cincinnati residents who are employed in the IT sector, which has an estimated $2.5 billion impact on the country’s GDP. According to the 2020 jobs outlook, it’s also one of the four fastest-growing and best-paying employment sectors in Cincinnati, with an anticipated 10-year growth rate of 26.5 percent.
"We want to take a more proactive approach to growing jobs in this sector," Riddle says. "We want to make sure that our region has what we need to fill that demand, to be able to accomplish growth."
Next, participants will start working on what it takes to grow the IT sector, including conducting a comprehensive assessment of the current IT economy and developing strategies for talent attraction, greater awareness investment and startup activity.
By Feoshia H. Davis
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This story was originally published in Soapbox, hiVelocity's sister publication in Cincinnati.