In March, the Brookings Institution and Mark Muro listed 36 cities whose tech employment exploded “in 2020 compared to the pre-pandemic years,” in part because of trends like remote work.
Who is on that list? Cincinnati.
Ohio Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted visited the University of Cincinnati’s 1819 Innovation Hub, the nerve center of the Cincinnati Innovation District® (CID), on Monday morning to kick off “In-Demand Jobs Week,” — a multi-stop tour to promote the importance of skilling and the need for tech talent in the state.
The visit makes him the second senior official in two days to make the Cincinnati Innovation District a focal point to announce a transformational vision and initiative. Vice President Kamala Harris held a roundtable at the CID last Friday to discuss the White House jobs and innovation initiatives. Full Gallery
At left, David J. Adams, UC chief innovation officer, and UC President Neville G. Pinto, on right, tour the 1819 Innovation Hub with Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, in front center, with other university leadership and industry partners who are helping to put Cincinnati at the forefront of innovation in Ohio. Photo/Andrew Higley/UC Creative + Brand
Beginning his tour in the 1819 Innovation Hub was the perfect way to start the campaign, Husted said, as it is the physical connection where students can work alongside industry and business and glean an inside look at what the job market needs — getting college credit while building their skill sets.
“This is why I’m here today, what’s happening here is the future,” says Husted. “It’s been a year since Governor DeWine and I were here and a lot has happened, a lot has grown in UC’s innovation hub.
“What 1819 is doing to bring that experience to students using creative partnerships between education and business is leading to great jobs and helping to retain this talent. It is essential that we continue aligning education and industry together in a way that is efficient for the students so they know what kind of education they will need to lead in their chosen field — at graduation they can walk right into that work experience.”
At left, Candice Matthews Brackeen, founder and CEO of Hillman Accelerator, chats with Husted, second from left, UC’s President Neville G. Pinto, second from right, and Chief Innovation Officer David Adams, on right, about how her company serves underrepresented tech-driven startups through mentorship, specialized curriculum, partnerships and capital investments — providing them with the resources and guidance they need to scale. Photo/Andrew Higley/UC Creative + Brand
During the visit, the group had the opportunity to see the outcome of one of UC’s most successful tech acceleration initiatives, UC’s Early IT Program. Early IT enables high school students to begin their coursework in information technology prior to graduation and removes any hurdles for entry to college with early admission and early graduation with a degree.
As part of the kick-off, UC Chief Innovation Officer David J. Adams shed light on the positive outcomes by introducing the Lieutenant Governor to some of the corporate and startup partners that are co-located in the Cincinnati Innovation District. Many spoke to their express need for talent that is coming from the university because of their partnership and presence. Their goal: increasing real-world work experiences while gaining reciprocated value with fresh innovative perspective and future hires.
“It’s all about talent. In today’s world, we are moving at the pace of change,” says Adams. “We must adapt to meet the digital transformation of all industries — by not only developing talent, but retaining talent for the future growth of the organizations that call Cincinnati home and those we want to attract to grow our city.
“Thousands of jobs go unfilled each year because talent hasn’t seen the cool innovative opportunities happening here — we are changing that perspective. Talent is drawn to locations that are highly innovative, and companies are drawn to cities with that talent.”
UC’s Hazem Said, director of UC’s School of IT and director of Early IT Program, describes how while in the IT program, high school students earn college credit and automatic admission into UC upon graduation. Photo/Andrew Higley/UC Creative + Brand
Hazem Said, director of UC’s School of Information Technology in the College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services and director of UC’s Early IT Program, was on hand with former Hughes STEM High School Early IT student Grant Chapel. Full Gallery
Grant Chapel, second-year UC IT student discusses how his experience in the Early IT Program while at Hughes STEM High School helped him earn college credit, get admitted into UC and is paving a path to his career in video game or software development. Photo/Andrew Higley/UC Creative + Brand
“While I was in high school, the Early IT Program allowed me to get into college early as long as I completed all the required Early IT Program course work throughout high school. I was also able to get automatic admission into UC and to complete my first semester for free,” says Chapel, now a second-year UC IT student.
“Honestly, it’s the perfect way to bridge the gap between high school and college and to understand the possibilities for a future with this kind of education, and it gives a way to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Husted and Adams both view programs in the Cincinnati Innovation District and UC’s Early IT ecosystem as building the talent pipeline required to make Cincinnati the next superstar in the Midwest.
Adams envisions Cincinnati as the beacon of innovation for other heartland cities because the CID and UC’s 1819 Innovation Hub are purpose-built — building in just years what took decades for the so-called ‘superstar cities’ to accomplish.
“There are so many options available here, and in my opinion, the Cincinnati Innovation District, powered by the University of Cincinnati, is leading the way in the state by aligning business, innovation, talent and education in a way that we’ve never seen before,” adds Husted.
Featured image at top: Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted fist bumps with UC President Neville G. Pinto inside UC’s 1819 Innovation Hub during the first stop of Husted’s In-Demand Jobs Week Ohio tour. Photo/Andrew Higley/UC Creative + Brand