Governor's Office and Maryland Legislature Release Taskforce Report: In the Center of the Storm: Addressing the Challenges of MD's Tightening IT Labor Market

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Under the direction of the Governor's Office and the Maryland Legislature, a special taskforce was established to address the challenges of ensuring a diverse, highly skilled workforce in information technology (IT) and related areas. This specially-appointed taskforce has released a report "In the Center of the Storm: Addressing the Challenges of Maryland's Tightening IT Labor Market." This taskforce has created a comprehensive plan to address the IT workforce shortage in Maryland. Key report findings, strategies and goals will be announced at Maryland's 1st Technology Forum: Global Trends in Technology Forum on Thursday, October 26, 2006 at the Columbia Sheraton in Columbia, Maryland from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Under the direction of the Governor's Office and the Maryland Legislature, a special taskforce was established to address the challenges of ensuring a diverse, highly skilled workforce in information technology (IT) and related areas. This specially-appointed taskforce has released a report "In the Center of the Storm: Addressing the Challenges of Maryland's Tightening IT Labor Market." This taskforce has created a comprehensive plan to address the IT workforce shortage in Maryland. Key report findings, strategies and goals will be announced at Maryland's 1st Technology Forum: Global Trends in Technology Forum on Thursday, October 26, 2006 at the Columbia Sheraton in Columbia, Maryland from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

"This report was made possible through the great collaboration efforts of public and private sectors. We are looking forward to the legislature endorsing and funding some of our initiatives," said Beth Perlman, Taskforce Chairperson and Chief Information Officer of Constellation Energy.

The U.S. National Academics of Science and Engineering and the Institute of Medicine recently released a report entitled "Rising above the Gathering Storm" with a strong and clear message – take action now to address the challenges of a growing global competitiveness or be prepared for the consequences to which a shrinking science and technology talent pool will lead. Maryland stands alone with a plan of action to address the declining participation of women in IT. Maryland currently faces unemployment rates at 4.5%(1), an aging technology workforce(2), and the relocation of 100,000 jobs to the region(3), most of which will be in engineering and IT. The declining pool of graduates in IT and related technology fields are indicative of the false impression that there are no jobs in these fields.

"I am confident this taskforce report will do what the Pappas Commission did for the biotechnology industry in helping to bring together the resources and industries to galvanize actions now rather than later," said DBED Deputy Secretary Chris Foster, "Maryland has the tools to become a world technology leader, and we must take advantage of our vast resources in order to achieve technology dominance."

"We are proud to be part of this proactive initiative. The report has received the endorsement of education and IT industry leaders such as The Community College of Baltimore County, Constellation Energy, Hands on Science, a national science and technology education program; Hewlett Packard, Howard County Economic Development Authority, Lockheed Martin, National Center for Women and Technology, Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems, Regional Manufacturing Institute, SM Consulting, and the University of Maryland College Park, Educational Technology Policy, Research and Outreach, College of Education among others," said Claudia Morrell, Taskforce Vice-Chairperson and Executive Director for Center for Women and Information Technology.

Taskforce committee members include such organizations as Lockheed Martin, Constellation Energy, Towson University, Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems, Montgomery County Public Schools, Prince Georges County Public Schools, Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, Maryland Higher Education Commission, Maryland State Department of Education, Early Morning Software, College of Southern Maryland, the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation and the Honorable(s) Victoria Goldsborough, Jeannie Haddaway, and Gloria Lawlah.

About the Center for Women and Information Technology:

The Center for Women and Information Technology (CWIT), established at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) in July 1998, is dedicated to providing global leadership in achieving women's full participation in all aspects of information technology (IT). Women's participation in IT will strengthen the workforce, raise the standard of living for many women, and help to assure that information technology addresses women's needs and expands the possibilities for their lives. The Center has three objectives; to encourage more women and girls to prepare for careers and become leaders in information technology; to communicate information related to the richness and breadth of women's lives, concerns, and possibilities using technology; and to foster research concerning gender and information technology. For more information, visit http://www.umbc.edu/cwit

1-Maryland Department of Labor. (August 24, 2006). Maryland Career and Workforce Information. Retrieved September 3, 2006 from http://www.dllr.state.md.us/lmi/laus/maryland2006.htm.

2-National Science Board. (May 2004). Science and Engineering Labor Force Highlights. Retrieved September 3, 2006 from http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/seind04/c3/c3h.htm.

3-Fenton, Justin. (May 19, 2006). Base-linked Jobs Begin to Arrive in Maryland. Baltimore Sun.

CRA Taulbee reports. http://www.cra.org/statistics. Accessed. October 13, 2006

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Claudia Morrell
Center for Women and Information Technology @ UMBC
410-455-2822
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