Journal of the Midwest Association for Information Systems (JMWAIS)


As companies increasingly face challenges finding sufficient numbers of skilled IT workers, regions around the country have attempted different strategies to address the gap. In Northeast Wisconsin, the primary strategy has been the formation of a formal organization, the NEW Digital Alliance, charged with attracting, developing, and retaining IT workers in Northeast Wisconsin, funded by local companies and universities. In this paper, we will explore collaborative networks and the innovative effect they have on solving the IT talent pipeline challenge in a specific geographic region. Specifically, we explore the role of collaboration maturity and present a new comprehensive framework that may help understand and direct new regional collaborative efforts. The findings suggest that an alliance of business, education, and economic development partners can move a region forward in ways that are difficult for single players to achieve. We find that the Northeast Wisconsin region has been able to achieve coordination between K-12, higher education, and employers to improve on awareness of the problems that each part of the talent pipeline is facing. With an increase in collaboration maturity, the organization was able to relatively easily transition to virtual activities as well as assemble new constellations of collaborative efforts in short order when faced with the COVID-19 crisis.




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