Meet the Geeks (MtG) is an all-volunteer not-for-profit that was formed in 2005 as a tech-centric meet-up interest group. The group has grown to 1900+ members spanning Western North Carolina (WNC). The group’s focus is on supporting the tech community in WNC by creating comfortable networking opportunities, developing partnerships in education and government, furthering professional development, and ensuring gainful employment. MtG’s board set goals to build a network of IT professionals spanning the various local business sectors to promote cross-pollination of ideas supporting personal, professional, community, and economic growth. Currently MtG hosts monthly meetings that provide educational, networking, and job-referrals. For the next meet-up go to: https://meetthegeeks.net/.
Steve Newman, a member of the Mountain Area Workforce Development Board and Vice President of MtGs, engaged technology professionals within and outside of MtGs to champion the development of the workforce board’s IT Career Pathway. From 2020-2023, the board’s workforce staff and the IT Pathway Planning Team met and constructed the framework for career paths in infrastructure, software development, and customer service. A cohesive team of MtGs members, Blue Ridge Community College staff, A-B Tech staff, the Carolina Cyber Center, and Guided Compass, provided input and feedback. On May 10, 2023, the NC Works Commission recognized the IT Career Pathway as the workforce board’s fourth career pathway, which serves as an advising tool for NCWorks staff, career counselors, and educators.
To support the goals of the workforce board, Meet the Geeks promotes the business services of the board including the On-the-Job Training and Incumbent Worker Grant Programs along with services provided by the NCWorks Centers. Their members participate in the bi-annual WNC Career Expo, smaller job fairs, and coach individuals who are looking for technology jobs. Currently, several MTG members are helping plan the AI Conference that will be held on May 30, 2024, at Blue Ridge Community College’s Conference Hall.
The Mountain Area Workforce Development Board is pleased to present the ‘Workforce Partnership for the IT Career Pathway’ certificate of recognition to Meet-the-Geeks representatives including Steve Newman, Chris Brunton, Marc Czarnecki, and Dan Bridgeman.