Tech companies are working round the clock to hire qualified applicants to keep up with demand. They need qualified applicants who can learn things quickly and work in a fast paced environment. To do this, some companies are using unusual methods of hiring staff and bringing in fresh talent. The development firm Jarvus is getting their talent directly from the Philadelphia public school system by training and then hiring recent grads to become the next tech savvy generation.
This was a great opportunity for high school grad, Nafis Bey who is now an IT apprentice to a software engineer at the firm. Bey didn’t want to college and Jarvus offered him a unique opportunity to learn a very valuable set of skills that will pay a great competitive wage and would give him on the job training rather than four years in a classroom. In his apprenticeship, Bey learned how to fix computers and to code. As he was training he worked at the Science Leadership Academy as a tech specialist. After he finished his apprenticeship, Bey was offered a full time position as an engineer at a web development firm. The apprentice program is known as the Urban Technology Project and is integrated into the public schools through Jarvus Innovations, as part of the development shop. This partnership has allowed Jarvus to fill their need for employees by connecting with public schools, utilizing a local apprenticeship program to train students, and eventually hired some of the best performing students in the program, even though they were not college graduates.
Through this program the schools are also being improved. For example, Bey created the position of technology manager at his school because he saw the need and he had the skills. He thought it was important to give back to his school community. Those are the kinds of inspiring stories that come out of the Urban Technology Project and it also shows great promise for how tech companies can increase and strengthen their work force.