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A Local Solution to Closing MSP’s Tech Talent Gap

Minneapolis-Saint Paul (MSP) has more job vacancies than people to fill them, and economists expect the tight labor market to continue. Looking specifically at the technology sector, the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) predicts there will be roughly 75,000 tech job openings in the next decade. A quick search on Make.IT.MSP’s job postings site returns more than 60,000 active positions across MSP as of June 2019.

Demand for software developers, one of the fastest growing occupations in the state, is expected to be strong, growing 23.8% between now and 2026. GREATER MSP, the region’s economic development partnership, reports that 8.5% of all jobs in Minnesota are in Science and Technology. There simply are not enough tech workers to meet the demand. Over the next decade, DEED expects the number of available workers to grow by just 5,000 a year; Code.org reports that Minnesota graduated only 1,236 computer science majors in 2017.

Migration into the state and output from the education system will not resolve the shortfall. Make It. MSP., GREATER MSP’s imitative dedicated to the work of attracting and retaining people to the region, developed a MSP Tech Insights Report that further examined the region’s tech community, how we compare to our peers across the country, and what we can do to better support tech professionals here.

“Long-term, closing the workforce gap will take strong collaboration between corporate America and our education system,” says Angelia Brekke, Genesis10’s Managing Director. “In the short term, creative approaches and investments are required to increase workforce capacity. We need to look at talent pools through a different lens—that of aptitude.”

“With Dev10, we identify local, high-aptitude, STEM-degreed U.S. citizens and put them through an immersive three-month Java training program, creating the tech workforce our area so desperately needs.”

The Dev10 program closes the tech talent gap by recruiting locally, training locally, and deploying locally. Since Genesis10 launched Dev10, 66 people have successfully completed the Software Developer training and are working as Genesis10 consultants for clients in banking and financial services, manufacturing, healthcare, and retail. Of these consultants, 60% are gender and ethnically diverse. In 2019, the Dev10 program expanded into Charlotte and Dallas.

How it Works

Genesis10 engages local professionals with four-year STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) degrees who possess the aptitude and desire to become software developers. Each candidate is vetted through a rigorous selection process. Of those who apply, just 5% make the cut. Those selected become Dev10 Associates and begin 3 months of immersive technology training, and student stipends are paid by Genesis10 to cover the costs.

Upon successfully completing their training, Dev10 Associates are placed with Genesis10 clients locally—relocation is not required. The objective is to develop new tech talent from current residents—people who have already chosen MSP as their home. Once on the job, Genesis10 provides ongoing mentoring and performance management.

Nearly one year into their assignments, Dev10 Associates share that they are happy in their new careers. Their projects are challenging, and they relish the opportunity to gain new skills and experiences to further their tech careers. Genesis10 clients have said that they are impressed not only with the high caliber and high potential of Dev10 Associates, but also with their level of productivity and contribution. One client shared that, with just two months on the job, the Dev10 Associate was completing work comparable to senior developers.  

How to get involved

Continuing to strengthen MSP’s technical workforce will require collaboration across the region as well as creative interventions like Dev10. Companies and organizations looking to take part have a direct way to get involved: consider tapping into the Dev10 program for entry-level developer roles. They’re well-trained, high performing, and best of all already right here in MSP.

To learn more about Dev10 and speak with a member of the Genesis10 team, contact Angelia Brekke at abrekke@genesis10.com.

Genesis10, a professional technology services firm with 19 locations in the U.S., is celebrating two anniversaries. One commemorates the founding of our company by CEO Harley Lippman in 1999. The other marks the first year since we introduced our Dev10 Software Developer Training Program in Saint Paul.

Angelia Brekke is the Managing Director of Genesis10’s MSP operation.  She is responsible for client satisfaction and strategic growth. Nationally, Angelia provides leadership and direction for Genesis10’s Workforce Development Program. Angelia has strong ties within the MSP business community with senior leadership experience at Analysts International, Fingerhut, and Ernst & Young. Angelia also served as a board member of the Minnesota High Tech Association and was selected in 2018 and 2019 as a Minnesota 500 Executive by Minnesota Monthly magazine, and received recognition by the Department of Defense for her executive support of the company’s Veterans program.