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Tony Veland on how AIM Grows the Midwest Tech Pipeline

Tony Veland, AIM Institute’s Director of Business Development, sat down with Brittnay Therese of News Channel Nebraska last Sunday to discuss AIM, the Interface Web School, the Brain Exchange, and how AIM helps build Nebraska’s burgeoning tech pipeline. Watch the video or read the transcript below.

NEWS CHANNEL NEBRASKA: What is AIM in general?

TONY VELAND: AIM is an innovative not-for-profit that connects and inspires the tech talent community through through career development and educational programs. I know that’s kind of a mouthful, but in essence, what we do is connect people to tech. If you think about what’s been kind of going on in the city, there’s a little bit of a tech shortage. So that’s why AIM was formulated, so we could try to find people from outside, get people to change careers, or grow the workforce organically in the city.

One of the things we do to help people who are trying to change careers is the Interface Web School. The Interface Web School is a way for people, who may have been in some other industries, to get into programming. We offer classes to allow them to do that.

The great thing about the school is it allows students to get into an industry entry-level position, but it cuts a lot of time off classes. You don’t have to go back to school for four years to learn to program. They can do Interface Web School for ten to twelve weeks and actually go into the workforce right away.

NEWS CHANNEL NEBRASKA: So it’s a great way to kind of fast track people, to get them there.

TONY VELAND: Exactly.

NEWS CHANNEL NEBRASKA: You mention those who want to change careers. Are these people who know they want to change careers? Or are they sometimes guided to what opportunities are out there?

TONY VELAND: Some of the time they know, sometimes they don’t. We have a part of our website called Careerlink, and on Careerlink is an area called Set Your Aim. For people who want to go into technology but don’t have an idea of what they want to do, this is the link they need to go to.

Set Your Aim talks about the different tech clusters that are out there, the different classes that you need to take, the different characteristics that you need to have to be successful. So we direct them there, and then they call us so we can give them some more guidance. And then, if programming is where they want to go, we end up sending them to Interface Web School.

NEWS CHANNEL NEBRASKA: How closely are you working with the tech industry, or businesses that need tech solutions out there?

TONY VELAND: We’re working very closely with them. We have relationships with over 3,100 companies in the Midwest. Any company out there that’s working with the tech industry, they’ve done some work with us in the past.

We also have a program called the Brain Exchange, where we go inside some of the schools in the city and provide free programming for kids that want to get involved. This is a way for them to have some fun, to learn about what’s going on with tech.

In essence, what we’re doing is growing the tech pipeline organically. Because these kids basically stay within that pipeline until they graduate high school. Once they graduate, we connect them with a job through Careerlink. So it’s a great way to provide opportunities to kids that don’t have them, while at the same time take care of the tech shortage that’s happening in the city.

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For more information on the Interface Web School, visit interfaceschool.com.

To explore whether a career in technology might be right for you, check out Set Your Aim.

See what the Brain Exchange is all about at careerlink.com/brainexchange.

Stay up-to-date with our many programs, events, and initiatives at aiminstitute.org. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.