CALGARY, AB, Sept. 9, 2020 /CNW/ – The Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund (OCIF) will provide SAIT up to $8.2 million over five years for programming to address the significant shortage of tech talent in Calgary at the new SAIT Digital Transformation (DX) Talent Hub.
The DX Talent Hub will be located in downtown Calgary and is a continuing education initiative to address the digital skills gap and help workers and companies transition to the digital economy. The DX Talent Hub will significantly enhance Calgary’s tech talent development infrastructure when it accepts its students in January 2021.
“This is exactly the type of forward-thinking investment that our city needs. The DX Hub is going to train the type of talent that companies need to succeed in the new economy,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi, who is a member of the OCIF Board of Directors. “If we are looking to solve the world’s biggest problems, having the ecosystem of talent and opportunity is the best way to prepare for that task.”
Funding from OCIF will support foundational digital transformation programming at the DX Talent Hub that is part of SAIT’s new School for Advanced Digital Technology (SADT). Calgarian David Bissett donated $30 million to SADT in December 2019.
“Our goal is to ensure students — whether they are career starters, or career changers — have the digital literacy, personal agility and entrepreneurial spirit to succeed in a future powered by technology,” said Dr. David Ross, SAIT President and CEO. “SAIT is committed to being part of rebuilding our economy and through the School for Advanced Digital Technology and the DX Talent Hub, we are creating a tech-savvy talent pipeline – positioning SAIT graduates as the ones to hire and Calgary as a city that can meet the talent needs of any business.”
The SADT and DX Talent Hub will be located in the historic Odd Fellows building and occupy 34,000 sq. ft. of office space in downtown Calgary.
The DX Talent Hub will offer highly integrated training programs in digital transformation for individuals and corporate workforces. The training is a customized combination of cultural, behavioral, and technical training.
Within five years, the DX Talent Hub is expected to graduate more than 1,500 individuals from its Digital Adoption training program, including graduating at least three dozen corporate workforce cohorts. It will also help youth explore and build careers in technology, engaging hundreds of K-12 students each year. Sixteen full-time permanent high skills positions will be created for the initiative.
“The foundation of any thriving technology and innovation ecosystem is a robust pipeline of talent and SAIT, with the launch of the DX Talent Hub, will be a critical building block in achieving this in Calgary,” said Mark Blackwell, Chair of the OCIF Board of Directors. “OCIF’s support of the DX Talent Hub will also play a key role in accelerating digital transformation in Calgary by providing highly trained workers that companies in all sectors need in order to compete in the fast-paced digital economy and on the global stage.”
The SAIT Digital Transformation Hub is the first initiative of its kind in Canada and in addition to the focus on displaced workers it will also provide a pathway to a better future for marginalized groups locally – youth, indigenous communities, not-for profit organizations.
“The DX Talent Hub is in direct alignment with the support for Talent Accelerators in the economic strategy, Calgary in the New Economy, and will help us continue to embrace advanced technology to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges,” says Mary Moran, President and Chief Executive Officer of Calgary Economic Development and Chief Executive Officer of OCIF. “The downtown campus for the DX Talent Hub strengthens the ties between post-secondaries and the business community and helps us make progress in our goal to create a more vibrant city centre.”
The Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund is an initiative by The City of Calgary to make strategic investments that spur growth, support ecosystem development and create jobs in sectors identified in the economic strategy Calgary in the New Economy.
About Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund:
Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund was created as a wholly owned subsidiary of The City of Calgary in 2018 to support catalytic investments within the city to help diversify and transform the economy. The Fund is administered by Calgary Economic Development and has a volunteer Board of Directors. For more information, visit our website.
Established in 1916, SAIT was the first publicly funded technical school of its kind in North America. Today, SAIT is a global leader in applied education, serving 50,000 students annually through more than 100 career programs and 1,300 part-time courses. Action-based learning, solution-focused research and enterprising collaborations with industry partners ensure SAIT students are career-ready when they graduate. SAIT is honoured to be selected by Mediacorp Canada Inc. as one of Alberta’s Top Employers for 2020. sait.ca
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SOURCE Calgary Economic Development Ltd.
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