Push to close IT skills gap with local talent grows

By VAR_Staffing
In Channel
June 7, 2013
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VAR_Staffing / VAR Staffing

The IT skills gap and the steps that need to be taken to close it have been hotly contested topics in the IT channel for the better part of a decade. The most recent idea to fix the problem, which companies like Google and Microsoft are supporting, revolves around passing a bill that would create more H-1B visas to bring overseas tech talent to the U.S.

While that could work, some experts are instead pushing for a different tactic that would focus on a more locally grown solution. A recent Associated Press report featured interviews with several of these individuals about why using local talent is the best route to take.

Ken Behrendt, the chief executive of South Dakota-based Eagle Creek Software Services, has partnered with the University of South Dakota to help create customized certificates to train the latest generation of IT talent. He added that with local professionals, there are no language, culture or time-zone issues that are often present when support is outsourced.

Doreyne Douglas, the vice president of the IT consulting firm PlanetMagpie, suggested a work grant program that would allow younger professionals to work for one year, get hands-on experience and not cost companies any money.

"At least they get that all-important first job and training, and then they can kind of get on their way," Douglas said. "I know that a lot of U.S. companies would totally get behind that if [that] meant that the U.S. was behind rebuilding its IT workforce."

If a reshoring plan takes off, many VARs and MSPs will find themselves in high demand. Those solution providers that are partnered with VAR Staffing will rise to the top.

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