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Technology alliance sets 2011 strategic plans

The Mid-America Technology Alliance has an ambitious strategic plan prepared for 2011.

Sherry Coker, business manager for OTC’s Center for Workforce Development and MATA administrator, said the Alliance will spend the new year concentrating on three areas: talent development, talent attraction and awareness and communications.

A new Web site will be developed with links for businesses, IT professionals and entrepreneurs to use as a resource. Coker said the site would also be designed to attract elementary and secondary students who might be considering a career in technology.

“As students consider IT-based professions, we want to highlight technology jobs these young adults may not know exist. IT has changed so much over the last 10 years, and today’s technology jobs are far more varied and reach beyond computer programming and desktop repair and maintenance,” Coker said.

“Today’s technology job choices include systems engineers, IT project managers, software developers, technical writers, computer/network security consultants, GIS specialists, web designers, and more.”

There are more than 40 members of the alliance, including those from technology companies as well as government entities.

The group would like to develop ways to show students that IT professions are financially viable and rewarding career choices.

The alliance plans to perform a talent pool assessment and develop ways to strengthen the pool. It also wants to encourage members to offer internships and mentoring programs.

Assessments will also be made to determine what skills local businesses need in technology areas, what technology professionals desire in a community and ways to attract top talent to the region.

Member teams have been formed to help meet community needs in areas including education, talent pool and business development.

The education teams will work on increasing the number of students choosing careers in high-technology fields and collaborating with post-secondary colleges and universities in ways to make such promotions a reality.

The talent pool team will work to both develop and attract high-tech talent while the business team will identify ways for businesses to share technology resources and information.

“We have a lot of exciting plans and a lot of hard work ahead of us in 2011,” Coker said.


College Director of Communications

Phone: 417.447.2655


Steve Koehler

Coordinator of Publications

Phone: (417) 447-2666


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