February 15, 2019
Written by John Dunn, VP – Digital Supply Chain, GE Healthcare and Technology United Council Co-chair
It’s official: IT United, the United Way donor network of technology professionals making a difference in our community through giving, volunteerism, and advocacy, will now be known as Technology United.
Moving from “IT” to “Technology” reflects the increasing role of technology in the workforce. What was traditionally considered the work of IT teams is now branching out into different functions, across a multitude of departments, organizations, and professions.
These days, so many professionals use technology in their work, yet would not associate their role with IT. These are people who perform complex analytics, security, operational technology, marketing, reporting, and many other functions critical to the success of a business, and we want them on our team.
Another benefit of this change in name and focus is the potential for increased community impact. The core mission of IT United has always been creating opportunities for students to explore careers in technology, providing unique exposure opportunities that they may not have had otherwise. A broader range of technology professionals doing this work allows us to more clearly explain the breadth of technology careers. As we reach out to students in the community to show the benefits and potential of a technology career, it helps to have that wider net.
In our brand-new Technology United video, I love the line “alone we can do a lot, united we can change the world.” This is why I’m involved with United Way, and why so many other people turn to this organization when they want to make an impact. With United Way involved, Technology United can make a sustainable impact. This is not just a relationship with one school or one group of students, but a coordinated effort between United Way, Milwaukee Public Schools, and more than 300 area professionals to bring opportunity, inspiration, and access to students across our community.
I’d like to tell you about a young lady, Shantavia. She just graduated from MPS last year. As a sophomore at Washington High School of IT, she joined their IT Academy. What prompted her to join that track was the Technology United job shadow she participated in at GE Healthcare.
She stuck with her studies and, as a junior, she was encouraged to apply for the Northwestern Mutual three-week summer boot camp, and was accepted. She excelled, and was invited to stay for the full summer internship.
After graduating from high school, she became aware of i.c. stars while at a job fair. She applied, went through the assessment, and was accepted. Now she is getting ready to graduate from i.c. stars.
These programs have given this young woman the opportunity to flourish. She has talent, and she has the perseverance – she just needed the platform.
Ask yourself, as a member of the business community, as a technology professional, as a caring individual, what can I do? Where do I fit in?
There are lots of ways to plug in through Technology United’s volunteer initiatives: participate in our annual Technology Career Fair, host a job shadow at your company, or offer your skills to a local nonprofit to help advance their mission.
Because alone we can do a lot. United, we can change the world.
Learn more about Technology United.