Tackling Chicago's need for tech talent, one step at a time

It’s a problem most of us in the technology industry are familiar with: There simply isn’t enough local tech talent to fill the needs of all companies. To help fix this problem, a number of incredible organizations have popped up and are doing amazing work to expand the pool. One organization in particular has a unique model and has been around for nearly 17 years.

Sandee Kastrul is the president and co-founder of i.c.stars. Started in 2000, i.c.stars is one of the original organizations looking to address Chicago's need for tech talent. It offers a technology and systems thinking training program for under served young adults and assists them in finding employment at companies in Chicago. Sandee graciously sat down with us to shed some light on how best to discover, train, attract and support excellent talent. Spoiler alert: It doesn’t involve exclusively recruiting from schools like MIT or Stanford.

  • As a company, there are ways to attract more talent, aside from just writing a check. Attend events, reach out to organizations like i.c.stars, be open to training programs or hiring interns.

  • Don’t shy away from diversity in every form. Diversity is a powerful driver that fosters innovation.

  • We all need to show support for our industry. Think about the legacy we want to leave behind and what can we do to make that a reality.

Sandee mentioned a handful of other amazing organizations helping to train the under served and underrepresented in Chicago. We really encourage you to check them out as they’re doing some awesome work.

Year up Chicago Lumity Genesys Works Black Tech Mecca Project Infinite Green

And, if we piqued your interest in Chicago Tech Rocks, get all the details and your tickets here. You don’t want to miss it!

Connect with Sandee LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sandeekastrul Twitter: @sandeekastrul


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