In sales, there is a saying: “You’re never as good as the numbers, but you’re never as bad as they say either.” Why? Measurements and rankings lag the real work. The same applies to national rankings. Whether at the top or the bottom, it is important to understand the "why."

Recently, CBRE came out with rankings of tech hubs. Milwaukee rose four places in the rankings (one of the top 4 movers). We were ranked 46 of the 75 cities analyzed. Do we all want to be No. 1? Of course! But should we also celebrate progress? Absolutely! 


More instructive is to get under the numbers. Where did we score our highest? The factors might surprise many in the region: Tech market growth (No. 25 with 13% growth over five years) and Brain Gain (No. 20). And, in what areas do we need to focus to climb higher in the rankings? We need to focus on the tech talent labor pool, especially of those graduating from premier IT schools, Tech Company concentration, etc. Based on our experiences to date, we have much to learn but also much to share. On behalf of our members, we will continue to keep an eye on our rankings but will balance that with metrics that demonstrate the health of the #mketech ecosystem as a whole. 


Rankings and labor market data are one piece of the puzzle, but qualitative information is also important. To that end, we are leaning into partnerships with national organizations who have been working on this longer than we have. For example:  

  • The Coalition is member of TECNA, which includes 61 peer tech councils across North America. I have recently joined the Board of Directors of TECNA for a three year term.  
  • Our Chief Talent Development Officer, Laura Schmidt, has been accepted into the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Talent Pipeline Management practitioner network and will be applying national best practice to our collective efforts. 
  • The Coalition has been selected to participate in the National aiEDU Leadership Network to advance the democratization of AI education.   

Based on our experiences to date, we have much to learn but also much to share. On behalf of our members, we will continue to keep an eye on our rankings but will balance that with metrics that demonstrate the health of the #mketech ecosystem as a whole. 

MKE Tech News

Issue 46 - Aug. 19, 2022

A monthly skim of the latest #mketech news, events and resources

Staff Updates

Our Chief Talent Development Officer, Laura Schmidt, was honored with TECNA’s “Major Impact on Tech Community” 2022 Innovation Award. The award ceremony was held during the TECNA summer conference in Pittsburgh in July. For more info, click hereCongratulations, Laura! 

A Diverse Tech Talent Pipeline

Talent Pipeline Management Co-Lab pilot launched 

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Talent Pipeline Management process is created “for employers by employers” and leverages supply chain methodologies to resolve issues with the tech talent supply chain to produce a return on investment. Opportunity populations are an integral part of action planning. 

A small group of member employers are piloting this process this year. The result of this pilot and any future expansion of this effort will be used to better communicate employer needs to educators and inform the continuous improvement of the Coalition’s Preferred Reskilling Provider Network. Contact

Laura Schmidt for information on TPM for the tech sector. 

Registered Tech Apprenticeship – Fall cohorts and deadlines announced 

  • Software Analyst/Developer: Employers wishing to re/upskill existing employees or sponsor a new employee have until Sept. 15 to sign contracts to qualify for 2022 employer incentive grants. Related instruction for apprentices starts on Oct. 14. Apprentices will transition to employer teams after the holidays. 
  • Cyber Analyst:  We are finalizing the fall cohort. Employers wishing to upskill existing employees or sponsor a new employee need to sign contracts asap. Related instruction for apprentices will begin this fall. Apprentices will transition to employer teams before holidays. Participating employers will be recognized in conjunction with President Biden’s Cyber Sprint which culminates during National Apprenticeship Week in November. 
  • New Horizons WI:  NEW Intro to Software in eSports credential, NEW MPS eSports summer camp  
  • Dev10: Now developing net new talent in Software Development AND Data Engineering. 
  • i.c.stars – MKE: Celebrates the graduation of Cycle 10 interns.  We can’t wait to see where they start the next step in their tech career.   

FUSE Collegiate Summer Bootcamp – Celebration

FUSE students completed an intensive 8-week summer program, focusing on the ethics & impact of data and artificial intelligence on Monday, Aug. 8 at Fiserv Forum. A big congratulations on their hard work and dedication! Learn more about FUSE here. Check out the video from the event here. Photo by Jaclyn Tyler. 

AI Academy – Corporate Upskilling Program

There are currently 39 participants from our member companies who have been accepted into the AI Academy program and started their coursework and on the job learning in July. Initial feedback has been very positive. Existing employers should encourage those staff members who would like to be considered for January cohort to apply, take the Python assessment, and complete the Foundations course if they have not already. New employers who would like to be involved should contact

Laura Schmidt for information.   

K-12 Education: Hour of Tech 

Registration will be open on Tuesday, Sept. 6 for Greater MKE Hour of Tech. Our regional challenge is to collectively provide 36,000 hours of volunteer support to students across southeastern WI. This will provide students with exposure and access to tech while helping them understand the impact of technology in the world around them. Mark your calendars for Hour of Tech week Dec. 5-11.  

ICYMI: Accelerating Startup Growth & Innovation 

FOR-M Fall Cohort registration remains open!

The next cohort of FOR-M will start this fall. Take the advantage of this no-cost, early stage incubator to help advance your tech solution concept. Apply by Aug. 31

Connecting Community

MKE Tech Week

Get ready, MKE Tech Week is back with expanded programming for all tech professionals! Originally Startup MKE Week, Tech Week is a weeklong celebration of tech, designed to connect, educate, and celebrate innovation in Southeast Wisconsin. Mark your calendars for Oct. 3-7. Schedule will be posted soon. 


Refining our Newsletter 

Based on input from our readers, the monthly MKE Tech Newsletter content will be coming to you in four installments each month: Coalition in Action, Members in Action, Community in Action, and Member-only Digest. This is an experiential effort with the goal of expanding our monthly touchpoints with our subscribers. Thank you for you patiences as we refine our communications! 

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