The Super Bowl is 6 days away and if you have been in Downtown Minneapolis you are fully aware of the impact. Last week with the snow storm and Super Bowl preparations parking became a pain and traffic patterns interrupted. Not a big deal as long as one plans ahead.
Areas near US Bank Stadium and Nicollet Mall were seeing final touches on venues Friday and I took a walk down the Nicollet Mall to get some photos.
Good news is last weeks snow storm dropped a blanket of fresh snow. More good news it was warmer than average so workers doing prep work enjoyed warmer than average temperatures . The forecast for Super Bowl weekend will leave a number of people shivering. If you are from out of town and looking forward to winter… we have it.
CoCo Pitch Night
5 Minnesota startups pitched to a panel of judges and the audience, around 200, for a chance to be picked to present at the 5th annual Google Demo Day. The judges were:
- Anna Mason, Partner, Rise of the Rest Seed Fund
- Rob Weber, Managing Partner & Co-Founder of Great North Labs
- Mynul Khan, founder and CEO of Field Nation
I liked that most of the groups are finding solutions to problems like using robots to survey nitrogen in farm fields, using machine learning to wake Vets suffering from PTSD before their nightmares being and helping those with upper extremities gain greater independence.
You can watch all the pitches on Tech.mn by clicking [VIDEO] Five Startups At COCO Pitch Night 2018.
A few more photos including one with Mayor Jacob Frey:
And the winners were:
Prime Digital Academy Graduates
Back in November I filled in to deliver the weekly job search and career content at Prime Digital Academy, an immersion bootcamp for Full Stack Developers and UX Designers. For years I have been doing these kinds of sessions at MinneBar, tech meetups, CoCo, The Iron Yard and other places but this is the first time weekly in a classroom setting. Doing weekly sessions allows me to go deeper into topics and most important (and gratifying) is getting to know the students at a much deeper level.
A frequently asked question of me is… how talented are the students coming out of a bootcamp. It depends on their previous work experiences. Some come from a tech support and coding background, some from non tech roles within tech companies and startups and some are fresh to the tech scene.
Would I hire them as Junior Developers and Junior UX’ers… absolutely. Two reasons for this answer:
- They just dropped everything in their life to learn something new. They proved they can learn fast, work solo and on a team. That’s what most employers are looking for.
- The tech industry says there is a “war for talent” and skills shortage. Most companies want a 3-5 year developer yet never hired someone at 3-5 months. Well, if these grads don’t find jobs then 3-5 years from now the industry will be in the same place. We need to help build people and provide them experiences that allow them to grow.
Check out Prime Digital Academy and if you want to meet the students I have a few ways:
- You are a Coder or UX (Product) pro and want to share your career experiences.
- You’re not hiring but you want to help… example, you want to give resume and (mock) interview feedback.
- You are hiring and want to participate in Career Day.
If yes to any of the above… contact me firstname.lastname@example.org
Super Bowl “Help Wanted”
There are a lot of events going on in Minneapolis, St Paul and the suburbs and to be very direct… the out of town organizers of many events failed to understand the low unemployment rate in the area and what an attractive hourly rate is.
$9 an hour is NOT going to attract a lot of workers. Maybe you can get away with that in other locations but not here.
My friend Jerome Gerber, VP at Award StaffingAward Staffing, nails it in this article Super Bowl party workers in short supply with low unemployment in Minneapolis:
“It’s absolutely crazy,” said Jerome Gerber, vice president of Award Staffing, which has turned down hundreds of staffing requests. “The companies that were coming in to manage the Super Bowl and manage all these events didn’t have a proper understanding of the pay rates they were going to need to operate within the Twin Cities marketplace.”
And again on KARE 11 (NBC) “Help still needed for Super Bowl events”
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