The University of Nebraska-Lincoln joined a nationwide initiative to help fill talent gaps in the Midwest’s tech workforce while also providing existing employees professional development opportunities and credentials.
The Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry last year formed a statewide initiative, called TechNebraska, in an effort to position the state as a tech innovation leader. This new program created through the national upskilling program SkillStorm aims to accelerate workforce expansion to position the state as the “Silicon Prairie,” according to the release.
“Our partnership is an opportunity for UNL to make a direct and positive impact on a sector of the Nebraska economy that is poised for growth,” Kevin Shriner, the university’s assistant vice chancellor for digital and online learning, said in a press release. “It is a unique approach and one that will benefit both our students in their career paths and current workers who are seeking new skills.”
Nearly 50,000 Nebraskans are employed in roles related to information technology, cybersecurity and agricultural systems technology and they earn 60% more than the average worker in the state, according to the university’s Bureau of Business Research.
Through the SkillStorm training platform, the university will offer courses that lead to credentials in high-demand areas such as Amazon Web Services, Salesforce and the low-code platform Appian. In turn, the program aims to benefit state and regional employers with access to new talent pools, the release said.
“Too often, fast-growing businesses in search of talent are forced to look outside their region because the local workforce infrastructure isn’t prepared to support accelerating skill demand in fields like tech,” said Joe Mitchell, chief operating officer at SkillStorm. “UNL is taking steps to change that narrative in Nebraska–by building new tech talent pipelines in ways that will support economic growth across the region.”