Workforce identified as the backbone of building smart cities – MeriTalk

Connected cities are not only looking for ways to transform their technological infrastructure, but also seek to build a 21sta workforce of the century in sectors critical to meeting the challenges of innovative transformation.

During the ACT-IAC Emerging Technologies and Innovation Today event, IT leaders from across the country spoke about how the labor shortage is the real capital needed to advance businesses. technologies in their fields.

“There is more capital than ever before in human history afloat right now in our world. So this means that capital is not really scarcity. Talent is where there is a shortage, ”said Florida International University vice president of engagement Saif Ishoof. “And so, that basically means we’re all in a war for talent.”

Port San Antonio President and CEO Jim Perschbach agreed that there is nothing more important to the IT field today than recruiting and building the workforce. .

“One challenge we have, not only in San Antonio, but across the country, probably around the world, is for people to believe that these new and emerging technologies are not for them,” said Perschbach. “I can’t tell you how many places we go where people look at tech geniuses and think there’s some kind of special class of people – that there’s no way to do that.” .

The panelists agreed that investing in people, not only in the tech industry, but also in their communities, is essential for building smart and connected cities. Mike Sarasti, CIO and Director of Innovation Technology for the City of Miami, said digital transformation and smart cities are long games and working to invest in people is how those investments are paying off.

News and information on today’s critical IT challenges, from the MeriTV studio. Watch

To make these investments in the workforce and their communities, these local officials have launched programs to help empower these people. The city of Miami created the Miami Innovation Academy to help train employees in emerging technologies. Port San Antonio is building a $ 63 million museum and events center that, in part, will connect them more closely to the community and show them opportunities in space.

In addition, Florida International University created a regional portal to find talent, began to develop adult learning programs, and partnered with a campus tech group to help create experiences. early.

“These are three examples of how we blur the lines, especially how we increase America’s competitive advantage, not only in the national context, but in the global context of this geopolitical war for talent. , and there is no greater joy than helping young people achieve their dreams, ”Ishoof said.

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Perry Perrie

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