AIM Institute pivots programs during pandemic to meet need for tech workers

July 24, 2020

Media Contact: Brian Ayers
402-895-2552 ext. 308

OMAHA, Neb. (July 21, 2020) – AIM Institute, an innovative nonprofit that grows, connects and inspires Omaha’s tech community, has adapted its programming to keep career pursuits in technology on course while the pandemic accelerates an already rapidly changing employment landscape. As companies move toward automation and digital technology to cut costs and increase efficiency, communities face a drastic shortage of tech workers. Recently, community leaders involved with the Nebraska Tech Collaborative identified the need to add 10,000 tech workers in Nebraska by 2025.   

Tony Veland, Director of Community Engagement for AIM, said organizational investment in worker training programs and individuals investing in themselves is more critical now than ever. Careers in technology provide opportunities for workers to acquire skills to transition from shrinking industries into higher-paying growth careers. AIM, which had previously provided its nonprofit programming and services for youth and professional development in person, responded to the pandemic by quickly pivoting to deliver courses and training for youth, career-changers and established tech professionals in a virtual setting. 

“We needed to respond quickly because the pandemic has brought such attention to the importance of technology. We needed to still be able to deliver this important curriculum,” Veland said. “We went virtual with all of our offerings. We actually increased our curriculum and the ability to access it, which fills a need for those who lost jobs due to the pandemic and those who could benefit from developing valuable new skills.”   

In February 2020, the unemployment rate in Omaha was 2.9%, which skyrocketed to 10.2% by the end of April before closing out May at 6.5%. Uncertainty is the norm for most industries right now, Veland said, but the need to address the skills gap among American workers still makes careers in technology a reliable source of employment. 

“Tech is a great place to be because of the opportunities,” Veland said. “The tech sector is where you will find what are called ‘H3 jobs’ —high-wage, high-demand, high-skill jobs. Getting into these types of positions can change the trajectory of an individual’s life.”

Whether individuals are seeking exposure to technology through youth development programs, entry into a tech career or are established tech professionals in need of career development and leadership opportunities, AIM’s virtual programming provides the pathways:

Tech Navigator Service – A free service for students and adults to learn more about the opportunities in tech available in our community. The Tech Navigator Service assigns participants a Tech Career Coach to provide mentoring and support to create a custom career or education plan, as well as introductory tech education, workshops and resumé writing assistance. 

AIM Code School – Initiated in response to growing business needs for skilled developers, AIM Code School provides accelerated programs that train people with no prior coding experience to become junior-level developers in as little as 14 weeks. It also provides upskilling opportunities for current tech professionals with specialized courses in Java, .NET and more. Newsweek recently named AIM Code School one of the top online code schools of 2020. A variety of course offerings are currently available.

Heartland Developers Conference – Scheduled for September 24, the region’s longest-running software design and development event is available in a virtual format. National, regional and local leaders will share the latest knowledge, new techniques and provide workshops for entry-level and experienced tech professionals. 

Infotec Conference – The Infotec Conference is the Silicon Prairie’s premier annual gathering for business tech professionals. This year’s virtual event is on November 13, and is designed to draw ideas, insights and inspiration from attendees. Paul Jarrett, co-founder and CEO of Bulu, will be a featured keynote speaker.    

Advanced Tech Leaders Academy – The annual tech management course for tech professionals consists of one full-day of learning each month (October 2020 – May 2021) with a focus on common on-the-job issues faced by tech managers. It provides leadership and management training that addresses the challenges of global competition and a changing workforce. Participation is limited and an application is required for entry into the program.

Emerging Tech Leaders Academy – This academy helps emerging tech leaders discern their career path and provides participants with a better understanding on the issues, challenges and skills needed in IT leadership roles. The six-week program curriculum includes presentations from experienced IT leaders in the community, peer discussions and key areas of leadership development. The program is limited to 30 participants whose registration must be approved by their employers to attend.

Custom Corporate Training – AIM also provides customized corporate training services to area businesses to upskill the tech talent of existing employees. For more information about the program, email Tony Veland.

Veland said the pandemic presents a natural time for individuals to pause and evaluate their career options and opportunities for development.  

“It’s never a bad decision to invest in yourself,” Veland said. “If you look at the climate of employment, the opportunity is in tech and it continues to grow. AIM’s programs and relationships create access, remove barriers and develop potential.” 

For more information about these programs or to register, please visit  


AIM Institute is an innovative nonprofit that grows, connects and inspires the tech talent community through career development and educational programs. Through these efforts, we improve thousands of lives across the Silicon Prairie. More information about AIM is available at