Chad White knows a thing or two about change.
Not only did he become a parent to his daughter, Noelle, in the last couple years, the Ensocare Junior Web Developer also recently transitioned into a new career in the IT field. After spending more than a decade in graphic design and corporate sign production, Chad took a step back to determine the field he wanted to work in for the future.
Research & Development
Chad’s personal research and development journey started when he took stock of the skills he had gained as a graphic artist and project manager and did some thinking about how his strengths might transfer to the growing field of information technology. “When my daughter was born, I looked ahead to my future,” Chad said. “I wanted to be in a field that was growing and cutting edge.”
The next step in Chad’s career transformation involved education. He discovered Interface: The Web School, an Omaha program that bills itself as “building people who build the web.” Founded by Shonna Dorsey and Beth Engel in 2014, Interface provides practical training that meets the needs of individuals like Chad and employers ranging from start-ups to large corporations who are in need of technology talent.
Although Chad made the decision to pursue an IT career on his own, he came into contact with a unique federal program called CONNECT shortly after he graduated from Interface. Coordinated through the Nebraska Department of Labor, the CONNECT program brings together workers, educational partners and employers to help fill Nebraska’s growing demand for IT professionals.
According to Lynn Owen, Ensocare Human Resources Business Partner, the CONNECT program supports Nebraska employers like Ensocare and serves as an additional source to find IT talent in an already competitive environment. According to the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, at any time there are about 600 open tech positions in the greater Omaha area. And the Nebraska 2010-2020 Long-Term Occupational & Industry Projections report indicates that software and system development jobs are expected to increase by 29.8 percent by 2020.
The CONNECT program is committed to providing support to nearly 500 individuals – Chad being one of them – who are seeking employment in the IT field. “It’s really a win all around,” Lynn said. “The CONNECT grant helps Interface graduates secure employment and the employer (Ensocare) receives reimbursement on wages and continuing education.” Ensocare, for example, received reimbursement for 50 percent of Chad’s wages during his first six months of employment.
But Chad’s position on the team has been worth far more than just reimbursed wages. Chad remains instrumental in ensuring that Ensocare’s embedded Cerner solution is the best it can be. “Right now, I’m really focused on the front-end design and development for the application,” he emphasized.
As for ongoing education, Chad is currently taking an online UX/UI (user experience and user interface) course through the University of California-San Diego and says he may consider additional courses through the University of Nebraska Omaha.
Chad, for one, is glad he made the change in careers, and so are we. He advises others considering a similar shift in vocation reflect on reality while always making room to follow their dreams.
“Do some research,” he says, before you make the change. “Figure out what your strengths are and how the skills you have right now are transferable to another field.”
Chad is a perfect example of what happens when you set your mind to something, and we’re thrilled to have him here at Ensocare.