Our mission at CTS is to deliver superior solutions to our customers, careers for our employees, and growth in our communities. Most companies strive to achieve the first part. Some focus on the second part too, while fewer focus on all three parts together. We feel differently at CTS. Growing partnerships within our communities is an integral part of who we are as a company. As part of our business model, it is part of our daily lives. Within each individual office we work with local schools, universities, and other nonprofit agencies as a way of “giving back” to the communities where we work and live.
As we are in the IT business, naturally one of the ways we give back is by sharing our IT knowledge. Through workshops and presentations, we educate students in our local communities, organizations, and schools. By sharing our knowledge, we help prepare young people for the IT industry, which is now one of the top 20 fastest growing industries in the US*. Unfortunately though, there is also a shortage of qualified IT talent. According to the Wall Street Journal, this shortage, “challenges CIOs trying to respond to the tech demands of business.”
“The skills shortage comes as changes in technology continue to outpace technology education. Hardest to find are professionals with experience in analytics, change management, and app development — key skills for transforming companies to better compete in digital business,” said Bob Miano, president and CEO of the professional recruiting firm, Harvey Nash USA .
According to one prediction the shortage will result in over 1,000,000 unfilled programming jobs by 2020.
At CTS, we are committed to the growth of the economy in our communities, and to our own growth and retention, so we seek to decrease the number of unfilled jobs by increasing the skill level of future graduates. We strive to achieve this growth with a long-term plan of working with students throughout their educational paths, from introducing them to coding in elementary school, to helping them with career preparation in high school and college.
As an example, over the past year, our Birmingham office has participated in a strong initiative to become more involved in many of the local schools, helping students with everything from cultivating professional skills to understanding the opportunities that lie ahead of them. Through numerous relationships and partnerships, CTS has had the opportunity to go into several Birmingham schools and work with students from both a technical and nontechnical perspective.
From the technical perspective, our goals are:
- Get the students excited about technology
- Teach beginners to code
- Help those who have started to code advance their programming skills
Our employees have even created the materials used to teach coding classes!
From the non-technical perspective, CTS employees have been involved in helping build resumes, host mock interviews, and facilitate classes around public speaking. All of these are key skills needed in the professional world, and skills that will help students grow and prosper in their careers and communities.
CTS believes so strongly in the importance of giving back to the local community, that they give each employee 40 hours a year to do community service, which makes partnerships like these possible.
* Employment Projections program, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics