Scott Stiner, President and CEO of UM Technologies, (UM Tech) recently participated in a public hearing held by Senator John Blake to solicit feedback from the local business community about challenges they face in the areas of career readiness and workforce development.
Stiner discussed the skills gap his technology company has experienced in hiring qualified employees in the Scranton/Wilkes Barre region to meet the rapid growth of the business. He explained, “At UM Tech, we have expanded our hiring footprint and successfully grew our overall staff by 100% over the last 24 months, but only one-quarter of that growth was able to happen locally.”
UM Tech is headquartered in Moosic, Pennsylvania, with satellite offices in Pittsburgh, New York City and Moncton, Canada. UM Tech began as an IT startup company with about a half dozen employees and one large customer. Since its inception in 2015, UM Tech has grown significantly through the acquisitions of software companies Hydro4ge in Pittsburgh and Software Engineering Associates, in Archbald, ultimately forming a well-rounded team of employees with multiple disciplines. Through these mergers, UM Tech has been able to provide innovative software solutions to clients in various markets, including healthcare, manufacturing, fashion, entertainment, mobile app development, and energy procurement and management.
As UM Tech experienced rapid growth, it required new hires in UX design, system architecture, product management, marketing and various other tech-related skills. But filling these positions locally proved more difficult than anticipated. According to Stiner, “The greatest challenge has been finding enough available resumes with the progressive skillsets to fill our open positions.” UM Tech must compete with other local IT companies to hire from a relatively small pool of candidates and most resumes come from outside the local area. As a result of this skills gap, UM Tech resorted to opening offices in Moncton, Canada and New York City.
In an effort to close this skills gap. UM Tech has been working with local colleges and industry leaders to develop the talent pool for these high paying jobs. This will allow graduates to build a future in the technology industry right here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. UM Tech hopes to engage younger people with interest and talent in technology, design, and coding. To spark interest from college students and recent graduates, UM Tech will be releasing contests and offering apprenticeships to grow and work with development teams to build innovative web and mobile solutions.
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