Software Development

gb.tc Talent Show aims to grow Baltimore’s tech workforce

In the same vein as Thursday evening's Talent Show, gb.tc will hold a series of events in the fall to directly connect talented people and the companies that need them.

gb.tc's Andrew Hazlett
This is a guest post from Andrew Hazlett, who works for gb.tc, formerly known as the Greater Baltimore Tech Council.

Of all Baltimore’s untapped possibilities and fixable problems, we at gb.tc feel that connecting people and work is the most critical. That’s why we’re convening tech community leaders, fast-growing companies, educators, students, policy makers and grant makers at the University of Baltimore this Thursday, April 25.
At this kick-off discussion of our Talent Show initiative, we invite you to join the conversation and influence the follow-up actions.

Panelists at the Talent Show on Thursday.

Panelists at the Talent Show on Thursday.


Buy your $10 ticket to the Talent Show here.
After more than a year embedded in the offices and coffeeshops used by Baltimore’s innovators and entrepreneurs, my gb.tc colleagues and I have absorbed a lot about what’s on the minds of our community.
Around marble boardroom tables and amid pizza-fueled meetups, one refrain we’ve heard again and again is that “we really need [blank] developers” (fill in your choice of Ruby on Rails, Java, Python, iOS, Android, or any number of hot skills).
It turns out that some of the most dynamic businesses in Baltimore are being held back by persistent droughts in their talent pool. The problem is much more severe in the tech epicenters of northern California and New York, but there are things we can do now to grow and acquire the talents needed here. (Editor’s Note: Other nascent technology communities talk about this too.)
Some assets
In Maryland, there’s a massive infrastructure of public, private and nonprofit workforce development efforts. There is also state leadership that’s keyed into the needs of major tech employers.
Perhaps Baltimore’s greatest strength is that we are blessed with some of the nation’s finest universities and colleges. These schools are training-up a wealth of tech, design, and creative talent. Many of the universities are working to align their offerings with the needs of the new economy.
We have also seen the emergence of serious tech educational offerings from Betamore.
In addition there is a strong and growing peer-to-peer education and on-the-job training movement that has grown out of communities such as Bmore on Rails.
Some tech companies have created private pipelines of talent via personal connections with faculty at area universities. Others spend huge sums of cash on recruitment.
Are there better ways to marshall these resources?
Solutions
Can we siphon more talent from the higher ed pipelines running through Baltimore? Can we extract smart developers from big sequester-shaken contracting companies? Can we give every tech company access to the faculty and administrators who scout for talent and shape curricula?
In the same vein as Thursday evening’s Talent Show, gb.tc will hold a series of events in the fall to directly connect talented people and the companies that need them. Thursday evening is your opportunity to help shape those events and benefit from an unusual gathering of all the different parties who have elements of a solution. Perhaps together we can craft programming that will help job-seekers, accelerate growing companies, and help align the forces working to build Baltimore’s next economy.

Companies: gb.tc / University of Baltimore
People: gb.tc / University of Baltimore / Andrew Hazlett
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