Gainesville Dev Academy Unites Regional Partners Around Tech Industry GrowthJune 8th, 2015 by gainesvillechamber
Businesses, economic development, workforce and education team up to increase local business access to workforce-ready tech talent
Last week, area technology industry leaders joined the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce, the Council for Economic Outreach, and leaders from CareerSource North Central Florida, the University of Florida and Santa Fe College to officially launch the Gainesville Dev Academy. The Academy aims to address the region’s need to train tech talent and retain graduating students in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields by providing industry-specific training requested by local employers. The announcement was made during the quarterly Gainesville Tech Council meeting today at the historic Thomas Center from 5:30-7 p.m., where Dev Academy founders talked in-depth about the organization’s holistic, Gainesville-specific approach to a common industry challenge: technically trained talent without the real-world, business-relevant experience to contribute to the daily needs of a tech company.
Gainesville Dev Academy founders Josh Greenberg and Duncan Kabinu emphasized the bridge between a developer’s technical training and practical workplace knowledge as key to the success of the employee, the company and ultimately, the region.
“It’s our mission to empower the region’s technical workforce with the skills necessary to compete on a global scale,” said Greenberg. “We’re excited to provide the level of immersive developer education needed to Gainesville residents who are pursuing careers as web or mobile developers on the global stage, but want to remain in the region.”
Kabinu added, “To sustain the growth that will attract and retain talent, our region has to demonstrate on the global tech stage that it has a pipeline of talent equipped with technical web and mobile development knowledge, that also is rich in the practical skills needed to provide immediate value to an employer. That is the goal of the Dev Academy.”
Gainesville Chamber Vice President of Economic Development Susan Davenport highlighted regional assets that heighten its potential for Tech growth.
“Greater Gainesville has the educational assets to become a tech industry powerhouse in Florida and on the global stage,” said Davenport. “The need for finding workforce-ready tech talent may be a common one around the country. Gainesville is fortunate to have the caliber of educational resources available in our area-the state’s preeminent university and most educated workforce in Florida, the Nation’s No. 1 community college and a visionary superintendent focused on partnerships to create greater opportunity for industry-relevant learning from K-12. These, when coupled with the new Dev Academy, take us to a whole new level of tech expertise.”
University of Florida College of Engineering Dean, Cammy Abernathy, and Santa Fe College Center for Innovation and Economic Development Associate Vice President, Dug Jones, outlined the institutions’ respective roles in the Academy.
“The Gainesville Dev Academy is a strong example of how a top-tier research university can nimbly cross into the boundaries of continuing education and economic development and bolster its overall contributions to the region’s growth,” said Dr. Abernathy. “By supporting innovative partners like the Dev academy, we help to retain high-value tech talent that is so critical to the growth of the regional economy.”
“At Santa Fe College, we are very excited about partnering with the Chamber, the Gainesville Dev Academy, and other engaged partners to build an even stronger infrastructure to train the broad array of IT professionals needed to meet workforce and industry needs in our community,” said Jones.
CareerSource North Central Florida, which has undertaken multiple tech talent development efforts in recent years, welcomes the arrival of an additional training resource that employers and potential workers can access.
“We have globally competitive employers looking for globally competitive talent,” said CareerSource North Central Florida Chairman and President Tommy McIntosh, who also owns Berkshire Hathaway Trend Realty and Trend Management Solutions. “Gainesville Dev Academy is another resource to connect employers and career-seekers right here in our region. CareerSource North Central Florida welcomes the Academy to a community-focused effort to strengthen our local talent pool.”
Gainesville Dev Academy is currently enrolling students. For more information, visit gainesvilledevacademy.com.