USC partners with IT-ology to “Create IT Discovery” for local youth

Aritcle by Ryal Curtis, reposted with permission

2012 Create IT Discovery Day at IT-oLogyMore than 50 local high school and middle school students attended  “Create IT Discovery Day” on March 17 at IT-oLogy located in downtown Columbia, SC. The event was organized by the Integrated Information Technology Program at USC (iIT) in partnership with IT-oLogy and was aimed at helping students explore the different career options available in today’s IT industry. Students participated in several hands-on learning workshops led by students and faculty from USC and also toured the University of South Carolina campus. Door prizes included iPads, iPods and other technology items.

Dr. Gerdes from HRSM's iIT Program runs through a "gumball drum machine" software demonstration with participants at Create IT Discovery Day

Dr. Gerdes from HRSM's iIT Program runs through a "gumball drum machine" software demonstration with participants at Create IT Discovery Day

“We were very pleased with the turnout of students from the Midlands area and beyond,” said USC Integrated Information Technology professor Dr. Robert Brookshire. “We are also very grateful to our corporate sponsors: IT-oLogy, who provided the facilities; TM Floyd & Company, who funded the snacks and t-shirts, and Best Buy, who donated iPads, iPods and flash drives to be used as door prizes.”

“This event is all about giving students the opportunity to get informed, ask questions, and dig into this thing we call information technology,” said Lonnie Emard, executive director at IT-oLogy. “We want these young individuals to understand that IT is changing the world we live in and how we live in it. But more importantly, the role they can have in shaping the future of this exciting industry.”

The IT industry in South Carolina now employs more than 47,300 professionals and Information Technology was recently named by the University of South Carolina as one of its Top 5 Most Popular Majors. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that jobs in the IT sector will increase by as much as 30% by 2018.

A news clip from Create IT Discovery Day is available online here.  Event photos are available for download at the HRSM Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/UofSCHRSM/photos.

To learn more about the Integrated Information Technology Program at USC, visit www.hrsm.sc.edu/iiT and for information about IT-oLogy, please visit it-ology.org/.

TM Floyd & Company to sponsor Kemopalooza 2012

KEMOPALOOZA 2012 will be held on Thursday, April 19 from 6 -10 p.m. at Saluda River Club’s Chickawa Outdoor Center (644 Corley Mill Road).

This is a night of fun, food and musical entertainment featuring Don Russo and Blue Dogs to benefit CAMP KEMO Programs of Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital. Tickets are $60/person or $100/couple. Limited availability.

TM Floyd & Company is proud to be a sponsor of this wonderful event again this year.

IT-oLogy @ Innovista – a new look comes to the Tower at 1301 Gervais Street

Posted by Powers Strickland in IT-oLogy Defined | World of IT

IT-oLogy @ Innovista

It’s a sign of progress. Friday, the Tower at 1301 Gervais — a landmark in the Columbia skyline — becomes IT-oLogy @ Innovista.

SignThe installation of the IT-oLogy @ Innovista signage exemplifies the already successful partnership between IT-oLogy and Innovista to foster the development, growth and relocation of information technology (IT) companies, small and large.

“This marks the fruition of one of our original visions: a district with the strategic clustering of IT companies in one locality,” said Don Herriott, Director of Innovista Partnerships. “More companies are seeing the advantages of co-location, and IT-oLogy @ Innovista now houses 9 IT companies and counting.”

IT-oLogy’s mission is to promote, teach and grow the IT talent pipeline and profession. With Innovista’s mission of creating, attracting and growing knowledge-based companies in the Midlands of South Carolina, the two constitute a perfect partnership for recruiting to the new IT-oLogy @ Innovista building.  Clustering IT companies in a single location, such as the Tower at 1301 Gervais Street, can open the door for new opportunities for partnership and business development, stimulate new ideas and industry innovation and help in the recruitment of new companies to the region.

“Our goal is to bring the IT community together in a collaborative environment to develop the IT pipeline through programs at all levels,” said Lonnie Emard, Executive Director of IT-oLogy. “The partnership with Innovista is a perfect example of this collaborative effort because we are bringing together people and companies that are dedicated to both of our missions.”

The establishment of an IT district is not about a sign at the top of the Tower at 1301 Gervais Street. While that is a visible representation of the partnership, the real story is about what happens both in and out of the building. The uniqueness of IT-oLogy is that it is not a single company or entity; instead, it is a non-profit collaboration of companies, academic institutions and organizations uniting to address the nationwide shortage of skilled IT professionals. To address this challenge, IT-oLogy offers K-12 programs where students explore numerous IT career options, the internships for undergraduate students and the continuing education opportunities that keep professionals constantly learning and up-to-date. When all this happens, the result is a vibrant economic picture, which is the goal of Innovista.

The confluence of opportunities in IT-oLogy @ Innovista will provide a home in the community for local talent as well. “At the University of South Carolina, our responsibility to students and alumni extends beyond education. It includes a commitment to helping them find jobs, good jobs, when they graduate,” said Dr. Harris Pastides, President of the University of South Carolina. “The pairing of IT-oLogy and Innovista is perfect because of their complementary missions, each focused on growing our innovation economy in this region and across South Carolina.”

“From the outset, the vision of IT-oLogy has been to have business and academic partners collaborate to advance IT talent,” Emard said. “The lack of IT talent is a national epidemic that is solved in a local manner. The establishment of IT-oLogy @ Innovista is a visible representation of bringing companies together to collaborate and partner, fostering new ideas and technologies.”

Recently, IT-oLogy announced the establishment of the branch IT-oLogy @ University Center of Greenville, located in Greenville, South Carolina. This is yet another way IT-oLogy is working locally to address a national issue. In the future, IT-oLogy will continue to open branches across the nation as a way to advance IT talent in a grassroots manner.

Innovista is a strategic economic development effort that is connecting the University of South Carolina and university-spawned innovations with entrepreneurs, businesses and stakeholders. Its purpose is to help attract and create technology-intensive, knowledge-based companies, which result in higher-paying jobs and raise the standard of living in South Carolina.

For more information about Innovista, visit www.innovista.sc.edu or contact Lauren Edwards at 803.777.8786 or Laurene@mailbox.sc.edu.

IT-oLogy is a non-profit collaboration of businesses, academic institutions and other organizations dedicated to growing the IT talent pipeline and advancing the IT profession. IT-oLogy does this through three major initiatives: Promote IT (K-12 schools), Teach IT (Higher Education) and Grow IT (Professionals and Businesses).

For more information about IT-oLogy, visit www.it-ology.org or contact Powers Strickland at 803.354.5735 or powers.strickland@it-ology.org.

South Carolina Boasts High Insurance Technology Employment

The industry has more than 1,000 career opportunities and a direct economic impact of $6.7 billion per year in South Carolina alone, according to report.

Insurance Networking News, March 8, 2012

Juliette Fairley

The insurance technology and services industry in Columbia, S.C., has generated an increase in total insurance employment nationwide, reaching 15,000 with an average salary of $62,000.

“The insurance tech industry has been growing consistently in South Carolina since the early 1970s because we have a deep talent pool of experienced insurance technology professionals that include business analysts, programmers and project managers,” said Eddie Jones, senior manager of Accenture Software for P&C Insurance, told INN.

Many insurers and insurance and technology providers, including BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, Colonial Life, Advanced Automation Consulting, Aflac, TM Floyd  & Company, DP Professionals, StoneRiver, Seibels, EagleEye Analytics, Duck Creek Technologies, Dovetail Insurance and Trumbell Services, have a presence in South Carolina.

The industry has more than 1,000 career opportunities and a direct economic impact of $6.7 billion per year in South Carolina alone and more than $4.9 billion in annual sales, according to Accenture’s “Business in Motion” report about insurance and technology services in South Carolina.

Founded in 2008, Insurance Technology and Services South Carolina (iTs|SC) is a New Carolina cluster dedicated to promoting the Greater Columbia area’s wealth of opportunities within the insurance technology and services industry.

“The industry in Columbia has grown through existing companies opening up additional offices and start-up companies locating here. In insurance and insurance technology, there are several important clusters around the country and it is certainly likely that additional clusters will develop,” said Jones who is also chair of iTs|SC.

According to iTs|SC other specific economic clusters of insurance and insurance technology services include:

• Boston

• Columbus, Ohio

• Des Moines, Iowa

• Hartford, Conn.

A majority of firms reported they either anticipate sales growth over the next year or hiring to fill an estimated 1,200 open positions in Columbia insurance technology and services firms.

“The industry has an impact on any place that an insurance company is located. If modern technology helps an insurance company be successful, it stands to reason that they will grow and increase hiring nationwide,” said Jones.

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