This guest blog post was written by Jacqueline Hughes.
Lately there has been a lot of buzz in Austin around recruiting talent to our city. The Austin Technology Council recently took to the road with 30 CEOs in hopes of bringing some top technology talent our way from California. I get at least an email a week from friends and companies unable to find developers to join their startup. Occasionally, I know someone who is looking (yay!). More often than not though, I refer them to the numerous monthly meetups and events where people go to share and improve their skill set. The abundance of well-trained, talented developers who I’ve met via these monthly meetups bear much of the responsibility for the success we’ve had in our startup community.
But even with all the great talent within our walls, there are still challenges filling positions within our startups. It’s important that we continue to nurture new waves of talent to continue to bolster our growth. Enter MadeInAustin. The program will connect tech students/recent grads from area universities with the fast growing local tech startups and companies, and is designed to keep the talent most needed in Austin and to grow the tech industry.
“In the past few months, we have heard stories of Tech CEOs stealing local talent from each other or doubling their relocation efforts. We believe a better solution is to engage the recent graduates and current students in the local tech community, so less leave Austin for jobs when they graduate,” says Jay Whitchurch, CEO of campus2careers, an Austin-based company leading the program’s coordination. An estimated 80% of area Engineering, CS, and other key students needed to grow the tech industry leave Austin when they graduate. “If we are successful with this program, we think we can drastically change those numbers and build a more sustainable talent pool for the city of Austin.”
The program includes a website (www.madeinaustin.org), which will inventory local startups and fast growing tech companies looking to recruit tech talent, and two career fairs annually. The first MadeInAustin Fair will be held tomorrow night from 6:00 – 8:00 PM at the AT&T Conference Center. It will connect the 100+ fastest growing tech companies with an estimated 300-400 Engineering, CS, MIS, and MBA students, as well as recent grads from school such as UT, A&M, Texas State, Baylor, Rice, and St. Edwards. Companies looking to hire students for internships or recent grads for full-time positions can register for the fair at www.madeinaustin.org.
In addition to campus2careers, the program is being coordinated by myself, Capital Factory and a dozen other tech or startup organizations in Austin. MadeInAustin is sponsored in part by American Express, Constant Contact, Dell, Twilio, BuildaSign, 97 Degrees West, Circular Energy, Rackspace vConstruct and Study Breaks. These businesses will be offering exclusive services to the tech startups and students attending the upcoming fair.