Dr. Jay Cohen, Founder and CEO, Signature Consultants
As we begin the New Year, looking to the future and setting our personal and professional goals, it is beneficial to reflect on our past. As I begin serving as the President of TechServe, I do so having had the opportunity to experience this industry in good times and in not so good times, both as a start-up company and as a more established company.
Throughout the years, I’ve learned that surrounding myself with great people and their good ideas makes the difference. With that in mind, there is no better time to assess our goals for our industry and to take advantage of the resources TechServe has to offer. I am certain that each of our businesses can be more successful, and our experience of operating these businesses more fulfilling. TechServe provides each of us the opportunity to share the knowledge we gain through our normal, daily lens and to also gain perspective through the wide spectrum lens of the $38 billion IT and engineering staffing industry that we represent.
We all know how hard it is to build and run a business. It has never been easy to run a staffing firm, and it’s no easier right now, in a time when everything is disrupted by advancing technology and evolving industry practices. As you begin the year, and you think of the challenges ahead, consider how society and the industry have changed in 20 years.
− Our clients have become amazingly sophisticated, yet, two decades later, there is still a lack of understanding of how difficult it is to find the right person for the right job in IT and engineering.
− The critical IT talent shortage is not abating, and the challenge of addressing the non-citizen workforce is certainly not making it easier.
TechServe Alliance is the only industry group focusing exclusively on the IT and engineering staffing services. TechServe represents us. Not just in terms of offerings like research and education, TechServe Alliance is also actively engaged with our policymakers, representing us throughout the year to foster our interests with Congress. You can assist here by participating in Lobby Day. On that day, we literally walk the halls, meet with senators, representatives and their staffs, and remind them of the importance of putting people first. Some examples of our power and strength by working together include:
− TechServe Alliance activity helped ensure we were treated fairly in new tax legislation.
− We were also advocates for increased funding for STEM. With a talent shortage that’s been exacerbated by the treatment of H1B’s, it is absolutely critical to push for financial investment in the training and development of people.
When I got involved with TechServe Alliance, met the board and got to know many of the members, I realized the true value of TechServe. I was not looking to be president of anything. My hands were full. I couldn’t say no because I saw that the TechServe board is a group of extremely wonderful, bright, unselfish, caring, dedicated and highly successful people. You too will be impressed when you engage with TechServe. Change comes fast, and it’s tempting to think, I’ll just go it alone, it’s faster. But as leaders, and to really go further in this business, let’s go together. Together makes us better.