We want to meet and make more geeks!
As of early 2024, there are approximately 4,000 people in Western North Carolina with a job in technology. That represents less than 1% of our workforce. Like me, you should remark, "WTH!" Recognizing that isn't nearly enough technologists, MTG set a new mission to create programs that will help make more geeks in our community. We're involved at every level: K-12, post-secondary, and continuing education.
As you learn about our programs, please don't think this is the only way to become a geek. We can help you customize your path to technology.
WNC IT Pathway
Meet the Geeks, partnering with the MAWDB, created the state recognized pathway for technology careers within WNC. This process started before the pandemic and culminated in a ceremony in April 2024 in Raleigh where the efforts were acknowledged at a state-wide NC Works committee meeting.
The pathway provides a means for anyone to read and recognize the skills and attributes needed to quality and satisfy local jobs in technology. The pathway also shows where any skills gaps align with local educational opportunities. We can help anyone get from where they are now to a healthy and vibrant career in technology.
In short order, we'll have a separate page highlighting all aspects of the pathway. We also use a software platform, Guided Compass to track people, skills, educational options, jobs, employers, and more. If you are looking for work, education, or employees, we highly recommend you sign-up on Guided Compass.
With the guidance of our local businesses, Meet the Geeks has curated an online curriculum to help anyone launch a career in technology. The bootcamp is comprised of the following elements:
- Online coursework (3-7 classes depending on your needs)
- A+ Core 1 and 2
- Windows Server Administration
- Microsoft 365 Mastery and Administration
- Excellence in Customer Service
- Live labs on Fridays with volunteer mentors from MTG
- Mentors work in local business and can help relate classwork with real-word experiences
- Mentors are linked with decision-makers in HR and have first access to hiring students
- During the tenure in the bootcamp, students will be assigned device refurbishment projects that align with programs for Digital Equity and Re-Entry. Opportunities like this support skill development for students and support economic development in our community.
Project Kobayashi (PK)
PK is about pooling educational and workforce opportunities to better coordinate and facilitate apprenticeships and internships. Using Meet the Geeks as an intermediary, we communicate with local businesses and school systems to get the right person into the right opportunity - PAID!
It doesn't make sense for 20 small businesses to navigate 200 pages of red-tape to hire an intern. MTG will navigate the variables (we technologists love to master variables) and help our overall workforce development.
Special thanks to A-B Tech for launching this pilot with us. We're in the process of linking in Buncombe County Schools, UNCA, Blue Ridge Community College, and more. If you are interested in participating, let us know.
Digital Equity & Re-Entry
MTG works very closely with The Land of Sky and their various programs (MAWDB is part of The Land of Sky) to foster projects leveraging our experiences and capabilities. We've got two projects in development for helping with local device refurbishment and justice-involved populations seeks to make a difference in their lives.
MTG and IT Bootcamp members will refurbish donated devices to provide computers to under-served and under-privileged communities.
BOOST: MTG volunteers will help re-entry members with devices and promote education and training opportunities for those interested in a career in technology. More on BOOST as it gets launched early 2024.
Glitch 2.0 (Asheville High School Club)
This is a club at a local high school that builds robots to compete in national competitions. They are always looking for mentors in robotics, programming, and sales and marketing. They can also use some financial supporters. We love it when they bring their latest robot to our networking events and show-off their skills. Support these students however you can!