Leaders in Action: How the Miami Tech Talent Coalition’s Workgroups are Shaping the Future of Tech in Miami

Workgroup at Miami Tech Talent Coalition Meeting

On June 8, the Miami Tech Talent Coalition held its third in-person meeting at Miami Dade College’s West Campus. This event continued the coalition’s mission to bridge the gap between employers and tech talent, fostering a sustainable tech workforce in Miami​.

To date, the Miami Tech Talent Coalition has 208 member organizations, 137 of them are employers and are the driving force in the direction of the coalition’s efforts. 

The meeting opened with an address from Terri-Ann Brown, the Director of Miami Tech Works. She highlighted the crucial role of talent providers (for example universities, colleges, coding bootcamps) in the tech industry and urged employers to seek partnerships with these entities to meet their talent needs. Brown noted that a significant challenge for the coalition remains establishing effective cooperation between academic institutions and the tech industry. She further asked attendees to consider who was absent from the meeting but should have been present, an important question to ensure the coalition’s inclusivity and reach.

In regards to why more people should join the coalition, Johanna Mikkola, VP and GM of BrainStation, said “By actively collaborating with the Miami ecosystem through the Tech Talent Coalition, we are driving the advancement of our region through workforce transformation, particularly in the technology sector. Our efforts aim to create pathways for South Floridians to embark on careers in technology and we are thrilled to share that, in the year 2023 alone, we have received nearly 1,000 applicants for our technology training programs.”

Attendees mingle during the networking portion of meeting

After an interactive networking session, attendees divided into four workgroups, each focusing on specific challenges and opportunities in Miami’s tech talent landscape.

The Tech Skills Talent workgroup, moderated by Terri-Ann Brown, centered their discussion on reskilling and upskilling challenges for incumbent workers, particularly in the cybersecurity field. Norbert Monfort, Assurant’s Vice President of IT Transformation, shared valuable insights on cybersecurity career pathways within his organization. The group recognized the growing demand for tech competencies such as data literacy and cloud computing. The workgroup plans to further explore credentials and training programs that align with employers’ needs in cybersecurity and other in-demand tech positions​.

Caryn Lavernia of Lab22c led the Inclusive Tech Talent Workgroup, focusing on building innovative relationships to find sustainable solutions using existing tools. The group discussed the concept of a company’s “hidden curriculum”, which refers to the values and “soft” skills expected from new hires. The group proposed using tools like prior learning assessments and competency-based learning to ensure that new hires fit into the company culture, promoting inclusivity in the workplace.

Charles Irizarry of Brim & Company moderated the Emerging Tech Workgroup. This group reviewed their past discussions and began developing actionable ideas and solutions to assist in talent identification and refining employer needs. The group plans to focus on developing a value proposition for employers, ensuring that local businesses see the benefits of participating in Miami Tech Works.

Lastly, the Small Business Capacity Workgroup, moderated by Reginald Andre of ARK Solvers, focused on the tech needs of small businesses. The group highlighted the importance of educating small business owners on the potential of technology to address their business challenges and improve their competitiveness.

The Miami Tech Talent Coalition’s latest meeting showcased the ongoing efforts to create a vibrant tech talent ecosystem in Miami. These efforts not only aim to connect employers with tech talent but also ensure the development of a local, sustainable tech talent pipeline, reinforcing Miami’s position as an innovation hub.

Antonio Delgado, VP of Innovation and Technology Partnerships at Miami Dade College, commented “We are excited to see an increase of internships in tech in Miami to support our local talent. There have been 100 MDC students placed during 2023 so far in tech internships that didn’t exist before.”

How to Get Involved in the Miami Tech Talent Coalition

Your involvement can make a significant difference in shaping the future of Miami’s tech industry, creating a vibrant and sustainable tech talent ecosystem. Together, participants can continue to build Miami as an innovative hub and a desirable destination for businesses and tech talent.

  • Attend the next in-person meeting, scheduled for August 24 at Kaseya’s Headquarters. 
  • If you are an employer, join a workgroup here. Additionally, submit your feedback in this survey prior to June 20, 2023.
  • If you are a training provider, submit your feedback in this survey prior to June 20, 2023.

Stay connected with the coalition’s progress and updates by signing up for their newsletter here, and following Miami Tech Works on LinkedIn and Instagram.

Nicole Vasquez