NVTC Leaders Participate in BHEF Roundtable on Regional Talent Development

On June 23, NVTC partnered with the Business-Higher Education Forum (BHEF) to host a “Developing Regional Talent Ecosystems in a Global Economy” CEO Roundtable at BHEF’s Summer 2016 Member Meeting at The Ritz Carlton, Tysons Corner. NVTC Board members Michael Corkery of Deltek, Deepak Hathiramani of Vistronix, Bobbie Kilberg of NVTC, Paul Leslie of Dovel Technologies, Michael Maiorana of Verizon Enterprise Solutions, Richard Montoni of MAXIMUS, Brian Roach of SAP and John Wood of Telos, along with Pamela Hansen Hargan of Board member company SAIC, Angela Messer of Board member company Booz Allen Hamilton, Marion Blakey of member company Rolls-Royce and Shailesh Prakash of member company The Washington Post Company served on the panel, which was moderated by NVTC Board member Teresa Sullivan of UVA.

Following an introduction from UVA President Sullivan, Kilberg addressed the areas of talent development that are a priority for NVTC members, including high demand skillsets in cybersecurity, data science and software development. She also noted that these skills are common across many industries and not just limited to technology providers.

The panelists discussed how the digital revolution has altered the demand for qualified candidates and provided insight on the ways in which their organizations are aligning talent needs in cybersecurity and data science. They also highlighted investments and partnerships with educational providers that fill educational and skills gaps for their companies. For many panelists, recruitment and talent development was identified as a regional activity, rather than being a centralized headquarters function, with hiring decisions made at the local office. Numerous panelists expressed the importance of internships, and of starting early – during the student’s freshman year rather than waiting until their junior or senior year. Internships generate workforce interest in the organization, enabling exposure that in turn drives a desire to remain engaged with the organization. Internships also can aid companies hiring to fill positions on government contracts by providing a longer lead time to get through the clearance process.

Discussion also addressed talent needs in areas like communications, writing, critical thinking and analytic skills, diversifying the workplace, retention, apprenticeships and leveraging alternate workforces. One method mentioned by several panelists to improve the growing challenge of employee retention is encouraging and empowering employees to serve as adjunct professors, enabling them to apply their real-world skills and experience in the classroom. Apprenticeships were also highlighted as a way to meet talent demand by making it possible for someone to get an education, experience and a paycheck at the same time.