Adapting to a new way of training
Tech Talent South (TTS) is a women-owned tech recruitment, training, and staffing company. They are well-known for educating individuals on the technical skills they need to succeed in a technology role and matching them with employers in a rapid timeframe to reduce the cost and time to onboard new hires. However, COVID-19 impacted the organization on a multidimensional level and affected their ability to successfully run its renowned training programs.
In 48 hours, Tech Talent South pivoted from their in-person training environment to virtual training by investing in video platforms and expanding functionality to ensure a seamless experience for all participants and hiring partners. The organization also had to delay several training programs because of uncertainty around hiring needs. Another hurdle Tech Talent faced came when many candidates’ situations changed and due to financial reasons, candidates could no longer participate.
“Participants have been impacted by this pandemic in a variety of ways, with many having lost their jobs, having their hours cut, or needing to make a career change to support their families due to the impact of the pandemic on their financial situation,” Betsy Hauser, Founder and CEO, said. “Many found themselves in less financially stable environments and therefore less able to pay to attend our programs.”
Tech Talent South looked for ways to keep its programs accessible to participants, even during a time of economic hardships.
One solution Tech Talent South found: Applying to the Workforce Partner Support Grant. The funding supported the enrollment of nearly 200 participants into foundational and advanced training programs with 85% identifying as a minority or an identity underrepresented in tech. Tech Talent South also used the grant to employ instructors and program managers.
“We’re extremely grateful for the opportunity to utilize the Workforce Partner Support Grant to support so many individuals in the Charlotte community,” Hauser said. “We’ve routinely heard from various participants that this training opportunity has given them the chance to build a skill set that they can grow with and that can open the doors to new opportunities for them now and down the road.”
After successfully pivoting programs during the pandemic, Tech Talent South plans to continue making its programs more accessible.
As companies found new ways of doing business despite the ongoing pandemic, Tech Talent South saw both the need and opportunity to prepare their trainees with the sought-after skillsets in the increasingly digital workforce.
“Learning a new skill of any type is challenging, and for many embarking on a training in skills for the digital workforce is a particularly daunting experience,” Hauser said. “We’ve been amazed by the energy and enthusiasm of all our participants, and applicants, throughout the process.” Through this experience, Tech Talent South learned the importance of ensuring participants had all the resources needed to be successful.
Tech Talent South intends to find new ways to support the unique experiences and needs of participants, especially while they navigate the complexities brought by the pandemic. In a time of much uncertainty, the organization has been impressed by the community’s resilience to find new opportunities and advance their skill set.
Tech Talent South received a Workforce Partner Support Grant from Charlotte Open For Business. Through the grant program, the City of Charlotte has awarded $3.5 million to workforce partners to provide programs for our community.