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Rollenhagen: TAI to focus on recruitment, networking, inclusion


Technology Association of Iowa board Chairwoman Erin Rollenhagen writes that TAI’s goals this year include reaching out to more potential technologists, networking and pushing for inclusion. Here are excerpts of her thoughts:

— Attracting more students to technology: “Throughout my years with TAI, the complaint that comes up more than any other is workforce shortage. It’s time to change the way we approach recruiting students into technology. Continuing to provide more and deeper programming for the same narrow band of students won’t provide the thought diversity we need to excel at solving today’s human problems. We need to reach new students, and reach them in authentic ways so that every student in Iowa sees technology as the accessible, rewarding and impactful career that it is.”

— Connecting Iowa technologists: “Although the flavor of technology may vary, the problems we are working to solve are universal. Our state has a wealth of experts who have been through the fire. By connecting on an individual level to share our challenges and successes, we accelerate the pace of advancement for all. This needs to be something that occurs not just in pockets in our urban areas, but statewide. Technology truly has made the world flat, and we must take advantage of our opportunities to learn from each other. Our inaugural Iowa Technology Summit in 2017 was a great step toward this, and we will be building on that success in the months to come.”

— Emphasizing inclusion: “Diversity of opinion leads to stronger, faster, better innovations. A larger and more varied workforce benefits us all. We know this, and yet at times our methods unintentionally contradict our goals. We are all learning how to create the world we want to live and work in. Being honest about the need to evolve as we learn paves the way for much-needed growth. This year we will focus on aligning our actions and our vision: a technology community that is vibrant, growing and inclusive to all.”


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