Cincinnati IT Community Develops Novel Approach for Attracting Young Talent into IT Careers
Leading Local Companies Spearhead Pilot Program That May Expand to Other Cities
Atos Origin, a leading information technology (IT) services company, is heading up the charge along with Procter & Gamble and University of Cincinnati to test a unique pilot program designed to encourage IT as a career choice in America’s heartland. Initially being piloted in Cincinnati, the initiative is designed to attract the best and brightest students to careers in IT and to stem the tide of high school students leaving cities that have experienced a decline in the manufacturing economy.
The organization, INTERalliance of Greater Cincinnati, designed and implemented an initial pilot program this summer that immersed 40 of Cincinnati’s top high school students in IT.
Organizations working with Atos Origin on the INTERalliance IT Careers Camp included Chiquita Brands International, CincyTechUSA, Cintas Corporation, Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Fifth Third Bank, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, Toyota, the University of Cincinnati - College of Business, University Hospital and WCPO-TV.
Cincinnati was selected for the pilot following reports that an exodus of young adults from the Greater Cincinnati Region may be among the highest in the United States. Census data show that Hamilton County lost more Gen Xers than any urban county in the Midwest in the 1990s. Meanwhile, the undergraduate enrollment in computer science and IT programs at schools such as the University of Cincinnati is down nearly 65 percent from just a few years ago.
“Like a number of other American cities, too many of Cincinnati’s best and brightest are leaving for college and not returning,” said Paul Stewart, chief executive officer of Atos Origin North America. “We’re proud of the role we played in designing a collaborative vehicle for local businesses and educators to capture the imaginations of some of the area’s most talented youngsters by providing a unique behind-the-scenes view of future career opportunities in their hometown.”
Atos Origin has a significant presence in Cincinnati.
The IT Careers Camp, which may be replicated in other cities in coming years, offered once-in-a-lifetime hands-on experiences. Students attended one of two one-week sessions during which they acquired tangible technology experience at local businesses and organizations and networked with local senior IT executives. To make sure the camps accurately simulated an IT career, the students participated in a team competition to win the “contract” to design a Web site for the CIO Roundtable of Cincinnati that represents 35 of the largest companies in the greater Cincinnati area.
“The IT Careers Camp was an incredible taste of the real world,” said Rebecca Kim, 10th grader from Indian Hill High School in Cincinnati who attended the first session. “What most surprised me was the way information technology infiltrates all fields. Even the most successful businesses in the world couldn't exist without information technology. The camp helped me look ahead to my future and step out with more confidence. It is one of the most incredible experiences ever.”
According the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, IT is the fastest growing sector in the economy with a 68 percent increase in output growth rate projected between 2002 and 2012. The Bureau expects employment opportunities to be good in the IT industry as demand for computer-related occupations increases due to rapid advances in computer technology, continuing development of new computer applications and the growing significance of information security.
About Atos Origin
Atos Origin is an international information technology services company. Its business is turning client vision into results through the application of consulting, systems integration and managed operations. The company's annual revenues are $6.5 billion and it employs over 47,000 people in 40 countries. Atos Origin is the Worldwide Information Technology Partner for the Olympic Games and has a client base of international blue-chip companies across all sectors. Atos Origin is quoted on the Paris Eurolist Market and trades as Atos Origin, Atos Euronext Market Solutions, Atos Worldline and Atos Consulting.
Global Public Relations Office