University of South Florida


USF News

Federal Grant to Help USF Muma College of Business Train Tech Workers

TAMPA, Fla. (July 18, 2016) - As part of a White House initiative to close a skills gap in the tech workforce, the University of South Florida’s Muma College of Business will partner with CareerSource Tampa Bay on a $3.8 million Department of Labor grant to train young adults in Tampa Bay to fill technology roles.

The TechHire Partnership Grant that Tampa Bay received in June was one of just 39 federal grants awarded nationwide to support community based public-private workforce partnerships. The goal of the grant program is to harness new training models to help prepare at-risk and non-traditional young adults, including recently transitioned veterans, to fill job openings in Information Technology fields in the healthcare, finance, information systems and advanced manufacturing sectors.

To fill a workforce need in Tampa Bay with jobs that typically pay 50 percent more than the average private-sector entry-level job according to the U.S. Department of Labor, the USF Muma College of Business will support the CareerSource Tampa Bay’s effort through creating and conducting several month-long IT boot camps each summer over the four-year period of the grant. Each IT boot camp will train post-high school young adults in an innovative, accelerated program to code business enterprise applications.

“We are proud to be a part of this initiative to help train workers who have encountered barriers to their job training or employment,” said Moez Limayem, dean of the USF Muma College of Business. “When our local community wins through having a larger pool of skilled IT workers, we all win. USF Muma business students and graduates are already making a name for Tampa Bay as a place with a talented tech hiring pool and we hope that this TechHire initiative will foster that reputation at all levels of hiring.”

The TechHire IT boot camp training program will be led by Shivendu Shivendu, an assistant professor in the Information Systems & Decision Sciences Department and supported by the ISDS faculty including Matthew Mullarkey, a former executive in Fortune 500 and startup companies. The boot camps will cater to unemployed and underemployed 17-29 year olds who want to learn to code and fill jobs needed by Tampa Bay employers.

The student selection process will begin in the fall, and the boot camps are expected to begin next summer. In each boot camp, students will build actual enterprise applications with .net coding – including Java and Android software. At the end of the program, students will present their work in the course to their classmates and to local partner employers.

Over the four-year period, the college aims to train 160 participants in this non-degree technology program. The target audience for training is young people with barriers to education, training, and advancement who are unemployed or underemployed and are looking to obtain employment or advance to middle to high wage tech-skilled jobs in Tampa Bay.

“Our approach to providing these programming skills to young adults is innovative in many ways,” Shivendu said. “In particular, these IT boot camps will follow a self-paced programming approach that allows each student to enter at a different capability level and build coding capabilities at their individual pace rather than a one-size-fits-all method.”

The TechHire Grant award to Tampa Bay was the result of a partnership between USF, CareerSource Tampa Bay, University Area Community Development Corporation, Hillsborough County, Tampa Bay Technology Forum and the Tampa Innovation Alliance. Outside of the USF Small Business Development Center, this is the first Department of Labor grant that the Muma College of Business has received.

“The Tampa Bay TechHire program will expand local technology related job training programs by focusing on accelerated training for youth and young adults with barriers to accessing employment,” said Ed Peachey, President and CEO of CareerSourceTampa Bay. “The program will also train incumbent workers for advancement in critical high-growth IT and Healthcare occupations. The partnership with Tampa Innovation Alliance, IBM, BayCare, and other local companies provides the foundation for long-term sustainable employment.”

“Our hard-fought federal investment in jobs aims to recruit more than 1,000 young adults and low-wage workers in Tampa and the surrounding area, with a goal of preparing them for well-paying jobs in information technology and health care,” said U.S. Representative Kathy Castor, who championed Tampa’s grant application. “The Tampa Bay area would not have been competitive without so many of our partners like the University of South Florida and a number of local employers and employer coalitions such as the Tampa Bay Technology Forum, Cognizant, and Celestar Holdings Corporation.”