Guest Contribution by Russell Medina
The business climate in North Texas is rapidly changing. Recent research from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the number of qualified tech workers is quickly shrinking.
In simple terms, there is only one qualified tech worker for every two tech jobs in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. And to make matters worse, more than 26,000 new jobs have been relocated to the Dallas-Fort Worth area in the past 18 months – and more are coming.
It’s not any better across the country.
By 2022, there could be as many as 1.8 million unfilled IT jobs, according to the 2017 Global Information Security Workforce Study. And by 2030, the global talent shortage could reach 85.2 million people, according to the Korn Ferry Institute. As a result, companies will miss out on trillions of dollars in lost economic opportunity.
Hiring veterans is a sound business decision for many businesses facing labor shortages in tech.
Aside from receiving valuable input from hard-working veterans with real-life experiences, business owners can also save money – and get qualified for major tax breaks – by hiring veterans.
It’s not just larger firms that can benefit from these tax breaks – smaller companies and even startups can, too.
For example, if a business hires five veterans with service-related disabilities, who’ve been unemployed for at least six months, their tax credit would be $9,600 x 5 = $48,000, according to the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC).
Companies can take advantage of these programs since there are no limits on how many veterans you can hire and receive credit for. In other words, the amount your company can save comes without boundaries.
Hiring veterans is also a smart business decision because of their unique qualities and skill-sets from having served in the military for so many years.
The experience gained from the military culture and its practice develop problem-solvers and team players that offer diverse perspectives in the workplace. In addition, most veterans have experience completing difficult tasks without direction – something that requires grit, tenacity, strong work ethic, confidence and on-the-spot thinking skills.
So How Can Businesses Find Qualified Veterans to Fill Their Tech Needs?
NPower is a national nonprofit that helps businesses fill these labor gaps with an untapped pool of talent: veterans, military spouses, and young adults.
Right here in North Texas, NPower is training veterans and their spouses for free with tech fundamentals, cybersecurity and coding skills. To date, NPower has served a total of 1,500 veterans nationwide, with half – 754 – coming from the Dallas-Fort Worth region specifically.
NPower’s five-year goal is to place 15,000 young adults, veterans and their spouses across the country in tech careers, helping businesses alike. To date, around 80 percent of NPower students graduate and obtain IT certifications, producing a qualified, well-prepared workforce for entry-level tech positions in Dallas and beyond.
Businesses interested in learning more about NPower’s veteran tech talent, can click here for more information on how to get access to these untapped – and often overlooked – a pool of workers.
Russell Medina is a West Point graduate who retired from the US Army after serving 22 years as an Infantry Commander and Airborne Ranger. Today, Russ serves as the Executive Director of NPower for the Texas region and as an advocate for other nonprofits, including the American Legion, 22Kill, USO, Women Veterans in Technology, Allies in Service, CitySquare, and the United Way. He is focused on helping veterans and their spouses successfully transition into new civilian careers.
The national nonprofit, NPower, offers technology skills training programs to military veterans and active members, women, minorities and young adults from underserved communities. NPower envisions a future where our domestic technology workforce is diverse, and clear pathways exist for all people regardless of ethnicity, gender or socioeconomic background to succeed in our digital economy. NPower is a registered training provider with the Department of Labor to give students on-the-job training and IT apprenticeships.