2020, while no doubt a challenging and unprecedented year for everyone in our community, highlighted the collective resiliency and importance of a vibrant tech sector. At no other time in history has the ability of technology to keep us connected and moving forward in the face of adversity been more evident. At AIM, we are proud of the way our team and community partners continued to work together, pivot and innovate so we could still offer life-changing programming and career development events and opportunities to students and tech professionals in the Silicon Prairie.
Here are some recent examples of our community outreach efforts that highlight a few of the many reasons we are grateful for your support and proud of what it makes possible:
In the Dec. 18 issue of the Midlands Business Journal, Monika Philp, our Director of Tech Leadership Development, reflects on how the pandemic spurred AIM to deliver its programming in a virtual format and reached more tech professionals by offering its three flagship events (Heartland Developers Conference, Infotec and the AIM Tech Awards) on the online Hopin platform. In total, AIM reached 55,000 tech professionals through our 2020 training events. Read more here.
The tech industry is expected to grow by 24 percent in the next five years, but in order to meet the increasing employment needs of the tech sector, the existing skills gap must be addressed. Locally, AIM has identified a shortage of 1,200 tech workers, with an estimated negative economic impact of more than $102 million annually. During an appearance on MetroTV, Maria Brady, Membership Development and Retention Coordinator, recently highlighted the importance of creating access to careers in technology to individuals who have historically lacked it. Two out of every three participants in AIM’s in-school, after-school and coding education programs are low-income, first-generation students. To learn more about the “Million Dollar Decision” that can change the trajectory of an individual’s life and improve diversity and inclusion in the tech sector locally, tune in here.
As a trusted mentor, committed volunteer and champion of the Latino community, we knew when Itzel Lopez joined our team nearly seven years ago her impact would extend far beyond our locus of influence. Earlier this year, Lopez was honored by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development with the Community Impact and Involvement Award as part of the organization’s inaugural Young Nebraskans Awards. Itzel’s community impact will broaden in 2021 with her appointment to the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce’s Young Professionals Council, which advocates for change, inspires visionary collaboration and ensures new-to-market professionals are introduced to the metro’s many opportunities for young workers, ages 20 to 40. More information on the Young Professionals Council is available here.