HERA program recognized for efforts to develop tech talent pool

A regional educational initiative involving UWM has been recognized for its efforts to help develop the talent pool to fill high-tech jobs.

STEM Forward honored the Higher Education Regional Alliance (HERA) and the MKE Tech Hub Coalition with a 2021 Excellence in STEM Award for its partnership related to the coalition’s pre-internship program on ethics and the impact of data and artificial intelligence.

HERA conferred its Foundations of Data and Artificial Intelligence “badge” to 64 students from area high schools, colleges and universities who completed the program. A badge is a certification that students can use to signify their newly learned skills on their resumes.

UWM is a founding member of HERA, which is a collaboration of 18 public and private institutions in southeastern Wisconsin, along with partner organizations. Eleven students were among the first class of badge recipients this summer.

The Milwaukee region is forecast to have about 31,000 unfilled tech jobs by 2024, according to MKE Tech Hub Coalition, a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the tech talent pool in the region. The shortage mirrors a national trend.

“Students can use this badge to showcase their new skillset and differentiate themselves as they apply to internships and careers post-graduation,” HERA said.

STEM Forward recognized winners at its annual sySTEMnow Conference on Wednesday in Milwaukee. STEM Forward describes itself as southeastern Wisconsin’s leading nonprofit, technical organization providing and promoting educational outreach programs in science, technology, engineering and math.

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