The AIM Institute—the Omaha-based not-for-profit that grows, connects and inspires the tech talent community through education and career development—announced recently that it has sold Careerlink, its iconic jobs platform. Dr. Kandace Miller, President and CEO of the AIM Institute, said the sale provides further strategic investment AIM’s core not-for-profit, mission-related services to address the growing shortage of tech professionals and skills gap across the region’s tech sector.
The newly formed Careerlink, LLC was purchased by Microsoft and Yahoo! Alumni and will continue to support local job seekers and employers in innovative new ways. Miller said after meetings with several prospective Careerlink buyers, ranging from national investment groups to staffing agencies and entrepreneurs, AIM moved forward with the Careerlink, LLC offer because of its aligned vision, leadership and commitment to the Omaha community.
“We are proud of founding Careerlink and growing it into a successful job platform. It was important to AIM that Careerlink continues to benefit the community,” Miller said.
Careerlink will continue to operate in the Omaha area and retain existing employees. Jim Davis, Director of the new Careerlink LLC, said the platform will continue to support local job seekers and employers. New ways to connect them are in the works, he said.
“The entire team is extremely excited to be a part of the new company and to be executing on the new product roadmap,” Davis said. “We plan on introducing a host of new features and services to our users in the coming months that really will showcase the future of Careerlink for job seekers and employers alike.”
Beginning in 1995, Careerlink was one of the first online resources created to search and apply for jobs in the country. Careerlink began as the grant-funded “Career Opportunities On Line” or COOL system, which used the web to match IT college students with paid internships. The COOL system was rebranded as Careerlink and in the years since, nearly 14,000 employers have posted 3.7 million jobs that generated 4.5 million applications.
However, Careerlink did not align as closely with AIM’s nonprofit mission of offering tech-oriented programs, such as the Brain Exchange or AIM Code School. Miller said AIM can now build upon its efforts in working to fill the tech talent pipeline by adding alternative pathways for tech positions such as helping educate youth about tech skills, supporting programs that promote STEM and building more inclusive programs for diverse, underrepresented and at-risk students. In 2019, AIM engaged more than 6,100 youth in tech career and awareness.
“Our programs provide life-changing experiences, and we are committed to delivering more mentoring, coaching, resources and training for tech careers,” Miller said.
Careerlink’s community impact can be observed in experiences such as that of Brandi Holys. After a contractual assignment as a management consultant ended this past December, Holys found herself in a closeout meeting at corporate headquarters in midtown Manhattan, wondering what to do next.
She wanted to move back to Omaha, but that would require finding a suitable job that could match her skills and experience. She reached out to Careerlink for help. In January, she began her new position as Development Director of the Omaha Symphony. Holys recommends Careerlink to other professionals, especially during the pandemic, when so many are looking for work.
“If you are finding yourself in a professional world of uncertainty amidst the many health and economic changes our world is going through right now, I recommend you lean into support from your family and friends, check out Careerlink and know that we are all in this together,” said Holys.
Miller said AIM’s strategic shift is in line with national trends and is based on input the organization initiated with 50 IT leaders throughout the region, which highlighted a need to rapidly train and upskill workers tech skills, build a more robust talent pipeline and inspire youth to pursue tech careers. Community leaders involved with the Nebraska Tech Collaborative identified the need to add 10,000 tech workers in Nebraska by 2025.
“The tech talent shortage is a top concern for executives across virtually every industry since our economy is becoming increasingly reliant on tech labor for its health,” Miller said. “The sale of Careerlink increases AIM’s capacity to strengthen the local workforce, retain employers and elevate the entire community.”
Originally posted on Silicon Prairie News.