When a company's mission is to advance artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to create human-centric solutions for the US government, you can bet that continuous training and development is in the offing. the heart of the IT letter.
For MetroStar, a digital services and solutions company for the public sector, it is this focus on building communities of creative and innovative technologists, coupled with a commitment to employee development, that has helped more than 400 people from the company to earn the top spot for small businesses in Computerworld's 2023 Best Places to Work in IT rankings.
fast and fearless
"The company's big bold and hairy goal is to advance artificial intelligence and machine learning for the nation," said Vy Truong, MetroStar's chief innovation officer. "The team that he leads is fast and brave... because it's a race against other countries in this particular space."
To keep employees—and the company—ready for this high-stakes competition, MetroStar spends an average of €2,000 per person on technical and business training, enabling employees to earn certificates, take courses, and accelerate their career development. In addition, MetroStar University's in-house training platform offers an extensive curriculum for all employees.
Truong also oversees a formal development program for the IT group. The 18-24 week program is specifically aimed at young professionals, introducing them to not only key technologies like AI/ML, but also methodologies like DevSecOps and full-stack development, customized to reflect MetroStar's approach.
MetroStar expects 75% of its employees to continue working in a hybrid capacity.
With companies like Amazon, Google and Microsoft right next door, Truong says, "if you don't upskill people, give them the opportunity to engage in work they find interesting, and create a roadmap for them, losing them to a from those other big flashy companies. »
This level of commitment also applies to hybrid work. Debbie Peterson, MetroStar's senior vice president of People and Culture, stresses the importance of aligning flexible work strategies with individual teams based on an understanding of what each team needs to succeed, without overly prescribing policies that hinder flexibility and flexibility. autonomy.
Nurture talent, inside and out
Community and education are central to MetroStar's philosophy, and the company reinforces this commitment through partnerships with six colleges and universities, including three HBCUs (historically black colleges and universities). The programs are designed to give back to the community by helping train the next generation of professionals through mentorships and internships, sponsored STEM events, and exposure to what is possible in a career in public service.
“We're also focused on developing emerging talent and more experienced professionals, as well as [offering] an internal talent mobility program that helps realign and reassign existing employees in new ways,” Peterson says. "So we have a lot of hooks, but it's important that we also give back."
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) is another core tenet of MetroStar's culture, and the company has made great strides in this area, maintaining a 51% ethnically diverse workforce and a 29% female management team.
“DEI isn't done in strategy or press releases, it's done in micro actions,” says Peterson. For example, DEI's objectives are continually reinforced through senior management engagement as well as tactical moves, including deliberation around writing job descriptions, training managers, and seeking out diverse talent pools.
“Having diversity at the highest level makes it easier for us to take responsibility,” Peterson adds, “and it encourages people to come into the company because they can see themselves on the leadership team.”
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