Regional IT consortium being organized

Regional IT consortium being organized

Contact

College Director of Communications
417.447.2655 publicinfo@otc.edu
Steve Koehler
Coordinator of Publications (417) 447-2666 koehlers@otc.edu

By Steve Koehler

Local information technology professionals met Thursday to discuss developing a regional IT consortium.

Sponsored by Ozarks Technical Community College’s Center for Workforce Development and the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, the organizational meeting was designed to weigh the interest in starting an organization made up of IT professionals.

Dawn Busick, executive director of OTC’s workforce center, said the consortium could help ensure that southwest Missouri attracts, retains and develops the innovative IT talent pipeline needed to support the region's emerging high-tech jobs.

Busick said she was pleased with the turnout of 30 local IT leaders and experts. The group will meet again in January, signaling the group is likely to be formed.

“We want to identify the skills IT employees needs. This isn’t one problem. It’s not just education. Companies are looking for specific credentials and skills,” Busick said.

Some in the audience said there are IT jobs available in the region but a catalog of those jobs needs to be developed that applicants could see in on centralized place.

Austin Story, an IT graduate who works for Forex 5000 in Springfield, said there are lots of issues the group could address, especially in the area of education.

“I thought it was a good meeting. We need to get the community to address the disconnect between IT education and businesses. There has to be more opportunities developed. That would be great,” Story said.

Busick said the group will help the southwest region maintain a competitive edge in today's global marketplace a number of ways, including:

• Gaining a better understanding of the area's IT-talent needs to assist in making critical business decisions that affect global competitiveness.

• Sharing in private, federal and state funding resources available to regional-based collaborations such as the proposed IT consortium.

 • Sustaining a skilled regional IT talent pipeline.

For more information about the next meeting contact Busick at busickd@otc.edu or Sherry Coker at cokers@otc.edu.

Steve Koehler is coordinator of publications at Ozarks Technical Community College. Contact him at koehlers@otc.edu