Google Fiber Blog Announces “Google Fiber is almost here”

July 18, 2012 in FiberKC

The Google Fiber Blog made a big announcement today: on July 26th, something will happen. Will Fiber be ready? Will we have an official launch date? We’ll have to wait until next week to find out what Google has in store for Kansas City. In the meantime, Google has released this video as a “thank you”:

July 2, 2012 in FiberKC

In the year 2012

(A parody of Zager and Evans’ 1969 #1 hit song “In the Year 2525”)

In the year 2012
Google turns down Rosedale’s Wi-Fi idea
If KCK can survive
They may find…………………

In the year 2013
If Google’s a-comin’, Sergey ought to be here by then
Maybe he’ll look around himself and ordain
Truly this is the “Paris of the Plains

In the year 2014
Ain’t gonna need a cable modem, just a von Neumann machine
Everything you think, do, or say
Is on that Google + page you posted today

In the year 2015
Turn off your HDTV, enough of Charlie Sheen
Won’t find a thing to do
Google’s goggles will do it for you

In the year 2016
Gonna use my Google Wallet, runs on Jelly Bean
Use ‘n Android phone, its just tap ‘n go
From Kansas City to Tokyo

In the year 2017
Mayors are gonna shake their heads
They’ll either say their pleased where Google has been
Or tear it down and start again – woh oh

Now it’s been just five years
Those ISPs were greedy profiteers
For what Kansas City never knew
Now the Digital Divide is through

It’s all about neighborhood connectivity
No more economic instability
Once GigE seemed so far away
And now its here to stay…………………

Silicon Prairie, a Reality?

May 21, 2012 in Business

Google’s recent announcement and choice of Kansas City as its first deployment of ultra-high speed broadband has created quite a stir in the tech world. In many parts of the country, Google’s choice of Kansas City came as a surprise; many cities having aggressively courted Google for this opportunity. According to Google, its choice of Kansas City was made after careful review and a desire to invest in a city where it could “build efficiently, make an impact on the community and develop relationships with local government and community organizations.”

In my recent discussions with many of local business leaders, the Kansas City Area Development Council (KCADC), the Software and Information Technology Association of Kansas (KCnext), and Senator Roberts Advisory Committee on Science, Technology, and the Future, it is my belief that what we are seeing are the early steps in creating the Midwest’s version of Silicon Valley, or, “Silicon Prairie.”

Many of you have probably heard this phrase used before, however, I believe it has the potential to become more than a phrase – a reality.

Known as a leading hub for the American high-tech sector, Silicon Valley has become synonymous with innovation; a complex blend of industry, academia, and capital investment – a “business ecosystem”, something which in my opinion could become a reality here in the Midwest – resulting in our becoming a draw for not only people in the United States, but around the world.

With all of the investment being made in this region; Google, Bio/Health, and IT, the Midwest certainly appears to be fertile soil for these “seeds of investment.”

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Centriq’s TechSmart KC Program Offering Referral Scholarships

May 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

Posted on Behalf of Centriq Training:

Do you know a friend or relative that is interested in starting a career in technology? If so, Centriq’s four-month TechSmart KC program may be the right opportunity for them. Every year, Centriq trains and helps place approximately 200 individuals in entry-level IT jobs here in Kansas City. Over 400 different companies have hired Centriq grads in the last four years. Last week, Centriq had over 25 companies (all with entry-level IT job openings) at their TechSmart KC job fair.

If you know anyone that is interested in technology or just looking for an alternative to college, refer them to Centriq’s TechSmart KC program and Centriq will give them a $1,000 scholarship towards their tuition – just because you referred them! Just go to www.centriq.com/scholarship and provide their contact information (or have them do it) and Centriq will do the rest.

Someone gave you an opportunity for a career in technology; take this opportunity to Pass IT On to someone else!

Unprepared and Unaware: Could Tech Internships Reshape Perceptions Before Graduation?

May 16, 2012 in Business, Education

Caps tossed and diplomas in hand, thousands of new graduates are entering the workforce this month. Although the job market is steadily improving, many college graduates are joining an inundated workforce. It’s an employer’s market out there, and according to a recently released college graduate study conducted by the Rutgers University Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, grads are already feeling the pinch.

Nearly half of these recent grads reported feeling insecure about how their collegiate experience prepared them for the workforce. Despite an average of four years spent for their degree, 37 percent felt unprepared for getting a job, mostly because they did not feel they had acquired the skills employers were seeking.

During FiberKC’s technology workforce development discussion on May 8th, participants stressed the importance of internships in building a strong technology workforce. Internships serve as real-world experience for high school and college students—they prepare would-be members of the workforce for the daily tasks, requirements and work environment in ways that classroom education cannot. And, as the Rutgers study demonstrates, internships can play a key role in preparing students for their professional lives.

According to the study, 69 percent of recent graduates who completed internships said college prepared them to be successful in their jobs. 10 percent fewer graduates who did not complete internships felt that college prepared them for the workforce. The numbers are similar with regards to securing employment post-graduation: 40 percent of those with internships said college did well in helping them find a job, while only 31 percent without internships agreed. Additionally, internships appear to bolster soft skills in recent grads—thus satisfying another area of interest from last week’s FiberKC discussion. Of respondents taking internships, they were 10 percentage points more likely than peers not taking internships to say they have extremely well-developed skills in the areas of leadership, communication and quantitative (math and technology) skills.

It’s clear from the study that internships are beneficial for students in all fields, but the results of the survey touch on the technology workforce problems we are experiencing closer to home. Nearly two out of three recent graduates would major in something different if they had the chance to go back. 37 percent of these regretful grads wish they had been more careful in choosing majors, and only 39 percent admitted thinking about the job opportunities in the field when deciding their majors in the first place. While many of these grads are likely looking for options because of the tight job market, most of them still seem unaware that the technology workforce is growing at twice the rate of the overall workforce—just 29 percent say they should have gone into a STEM major.

As the study states, “it is apparent that very little future-oriented thinking goes into the selection of college majors among college students.” The good news for businesses relying on the creation of robust technology workforce is that some grads are cluing in to the importance of technology in the workplace: the majority of recent graduates (56 percent) say they wish they had taken more computer and technology classes.

Technology-based internships could certainly provide hands-on experience to students interested in pursuing careers in technology, and as per the respondents of the Rutgers survey, these internships would help those students feel prepared to enter the workforce immediately following graduation. This could be a big bonus for businesses who feel as though their employment prospects are not adequately prepared for the realities of technology positions, but there’s another benefit here, too—as more students sample technology through internships, there is a good chance that they will have a better understanding of what technology work is actually like. In networking with mentors in the field, students can also begin to see that technology career paths are not just lucrative, but waiting with open arms to hire them post-graduation.

To read the full Rutgers University study, click here: http://www.heldrich.rutgers.edu/sites/default/files/content/Chasing_American_Dream_Report.pdf