Six of every 10 state information technology (IT) workers jumped to the private sector during the late 1990s economic boom leaving state agencies hungry for high-tech workers. That hunger shows no signs of subsiding.
As part of my e-Texas effort to help state government meet the challenges of the Internet Age, my office has joined with 73 state agencies and high-tech companies to create the Texas IT Academy. The program recruits and trains Texans for careers in IT and places them in IT positions with state agencies.
Recruits for the Texas IT Academy will come from both people wanting to change careers, as well as recent college graduates--particularly those with degrees in liberal arts, general business and other degrees that do not typically lead to the type of high-salary jobs information technology offers. The first class is set for Summer 2000 with recruiting already underway.
The Texas Workforce Commission estimates that 34,000 IT positions are unfilled nationally, more than 3,400 of those are in Texas. Within Texas state government alone, as many as 800 IT positions remain unfilled. The academy is just another way that my office is working to develop a better-educated workforce to meet the high-tech demands of tomorrow's economy.
The Texas IT Academy is going to be the state's "farm system" for supplying highly trained, high-tech workers. Texas IT Academy participants would be hired by a state agency and commit to work for that agency for two years. In exchange for their commitment, participants would be paid while they received an initial 10-12 week intensive training and orientation to the IT field.
For more information on how you can apply to the academy as a student or how your company can participate in the program, visit our Web site at <www.texasitacademy.org>. You can also e-mail us at <email@example.com> or call 1-800-252-1390.
CAROLE KEETON RYLANDER
Comptroller of Public Accounts