October 18, 2023

Nebraska flagship joins national initiative to strengthen tech industry talent

Partnership with SkillStorm to help close skills gap in state’s rapidly growing innovation ecosystem

Genealogy over Lunch

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln has launched a partnership designed to fill talent gaps in the tech sector across the Midwest. The initiative, developed in partnership with Skillstorm, a tech talent accelerator, will provide state and regional employers with access to untapped talent pools. It will also offer the existing workforce access to training programs that lead to industry-recognized credentials.

“Our partnership is an opportunity for UNL to make a direct and positive impact on a sector of the Nebraska economy that is poised for growth,” said Kevin Shriner, UNL’s assistant vice chancellor for digital and online learning. “It is a unique approach and one that will benefit both our students in their career paths and current workers who are seeking new skills.”

According to the university’s Bureau of Business Research, nearly 50,000 Nebraskans (roughly 5% of the state’s workforce) are employed in tech roles for information technology, cybersecurity, and agricultural systems technology. These professionals earn 60% more than the average Nebraska worker, establishing tech as a desirable career path poised for future growth.

Recognizing that potential, education and business leaders across the state have made a pointed effort to accelerate tech industry and workforce expansion. In 2022, the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry formed TechNebraska, a statewide initiative designed to position the state as a tech innovation leader; nurture and diversify the state’s tech workforce; and seize Nebraska’s spot in the “Silicon Prairie.”

Through SkillStorm’s training platform, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln will offer a range of courses that lead to tech skills credentials in today’s most in-demand areas, including AWS, CompTIA, Salesforce, Appian, and Pega.

“Too often, fast-growing businesses in search of talent are forced to look outside their region because the local workforce infrastructure isn’t prepared to support accelerating skill demand in fields like tech,” said Joe Mitchell, COO at SkillStorm. “UNL is taking steps to change that narrative in Nebraska — by building new tech talent pipelines in ways that will support economic growth across the entire region.”

SkillStorm is bringing together Fortune 500 employers, universities, and government agencies to build tomorrow’s highly skilled tech workforce. Through partnerships with platforms like Pega, Salesforce, and ServiceNow, we help working learners and aspiring tech experts build in-demand skills and earn industry-recognized certifications to compete in an increasingly dynamic economy. Our work is rooted in the belief that closing skill gaps and boosting economic mobility are two sides of the same coin, and that new approaches to training can help to both expand the pool of skilled tech talent and create new pathways to opportunity.