Delaware focuses on creating a diverse tech talent pipeline

|Aug 13|magazine13 min read

WILMINGTON, Del., Aug. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Delaware Prosperity Partnership has completed the first step in developing an intentional strategy to support a more diverse tech talent pipeline across an array of industry sectors for IT jobs at all levels in Delaware.

Delaware Prosperity Partnership was awarded a workforce readiness grant in October 2019 by JPMorgan Chase Foundation to help improve the state's tech talent pipeline by offering recommendations to support a more diverse pool of highly qualified tech candidates. Although launched pre-COVID-19, the findings of the analysis are particularly relevant as Delaware businesses are facing an unprecedented demand for well-prepared IT talent throughout the pandemic and beyond.

Here is what the tech talent profile revealed about Delaware's tech talent pipeline:

  • IT needs remain a key concern for Delaware employers, with IT jobs needed at all levels (entry to highly specialized) across IT domains (software, networks, cyber security, data management and tech support).
  • Bottlenecks in IT hiring are exacerbated by changing skills and the accelerated digitization of our economy in the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Addressing IT talent needs will require significantly more focus on upskilling those already in the workforce, as well as continuing to expand educational pathways.

In 2019, Delaware employed 17,429 IT workers. About 10% of those positions are filled by workers commuting to Delaware. Two-thirds of IT jobs are found outside the traditional "tech" sector in areas of finance, healthcare, manufacturing, education and more. 

Delaware Prosperity Partnership commissioned the Austin-based firm TIP Strategies to conduct the tech talent profile — assessing the current and anticipated tech job market in Delaware, the state's supply of qualified applicants and the current educational and non-profit capacity to meet the demand. The analysis included roundtables, interviews and work sessions, with more than 50 participants from Delaware businesses, nonprofits, education and workforce development in all three counties.

From December 2019 to February 2020 alone, approximately 5,300 IT job openings were posted by Delaware companies. Since then, in addition to sustaining tech needs in Delaware's robust business and financial sectors, the pandemic has accelerated the deployment of IT strategies in sectors like healthcare and education and even redefined digital needs in industries such as manufacturing and agriculture.

"The demand for tech talent in Delaware has never been stronger," said Kurt Foreman, President and CEO of Delaware Prosperity Partnership, the public-private partnership that leads the state of Delaware's economic development efforts to attract, grow and retain businesses.

"With this program, Delaware distinguishes itself as one of the first states in the nation to bring stakeholders together to strategically envision how a diverse tech talent pipeline will advance our economy," said Foreman, who noted that Delaware stakeholders are grateful for JPMorgan Chase's leadership in investing in Delaware's workforce and excited by the potential the analysis reveals.

DPP and TIP are working collaboratively with stakeholders statewide and aim to present a plan in early fall. The plan will provide the foundation for a diverse IT talent strategy that enhances the competitiveness of Delaware industries while creating career opportunities for people of all backgrounds. The plan also is expected to build upon several successful, innovative community-based working models already helping to feed Delaware's tech talent pipeline, including those at Delaware Technical and Community College, TechHire Delaware,  Zip Code Wilmington, Code Differently and Year Up Wilmington, as well as the Delaware Pathways IT career programs currently offered through Delaware public schools and the new FinTech Center at the University of Delaware.

"Delaware is distinguished by the depth and breadth of its businesses, and we're ideally positioned to be thought leaders in developing an intentional strategy to bring more diversity into the tech talent pipeline," says Tom Horne, Delaware Market Director at JPMorgan Chase. "JPMorgan Chase is proud to partner with Delaware Prosperity Partnership to advance career pathways in tech and promote inclusive economic growth."

About Delaware Prosperity Partnership
Delaware Prosperity Partnership leads Delaware's economic development efforts to attract, grow and retain businesses; to build a stronger entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem; and to support private employers in identifying, recruiting and developing talent. The DPP team works with site selectors, executives and developers focused on where to locate or grow a business and helps with reviewing potential sites, cost-of-living analyses and funding opportunities, including available tax credits and incentives. DPP advances a culture of innovation in Delaware, working with innovators and startups to spotlight and celebrate successes and connect them with the resources they need to succeed. DPP and its partnerships throughout Delaware support and advance the missions of companies of all sizes and sectors. For more information, visit choosedelaware.com.

About JPMorgan Chase & Co
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $3.2 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of customers in the United States and many of the world's most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at jpmorganchase.com.

 

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SOURCE Delaware Prosperity Partnership