Anne Marie from Reed Tech proudly displays her pictures with ITWorks students from all of the classes with which she volunteered.
Reed Tech has withstood the test of time, adapting to the latest technology and meeting the needs of its customers for nearly 50 years. While the technology trends have changed over time, one aspect of Reed Tech that has remained as an important value is the cultivation of volunteerism within their family of employees.
In fact, Reed Tech offers two paid days each year and countless opportunities to become involved through “The Cares” program. They have logged over 14,000 employee hours over the last two years in support of community non-profit partners; and Tech Impact, through our ITWorks technology workforce development program, is fortunate to be one of those partners. What makes Reed Tech a standout partner is the fact that individuals at every level of the company play an active role – from senior executives to on-the-ground technicians.
Reed Tech first became involved with Tech Impact before the ITWorks program even existed. In a recent interview with Tech Impact, the Chief Information Officer and VP of Content Operations, Dave Ballai, reflected on the foundation of the relationship: “It’s been an evolution. We have always been committed to [the community], but we saw a greater opportunity with this organization. When we provide support to Tech Impact, we are leveraging support to hundreds of nonprofits. And ITWorks is such a sweet spot for our team because it combines two of our passions – technology and community.” Ballai has become so invested that he joined the Board of Directors of Tech Impact in 2007.
It’s not only the executive leadership at Reed Tech that has become involved with Tech Impact and ITWorks. Greg Martin, the Network Infrastructure and Operations Manager, recollected tag-teaming Tech Days – sessions where staff from both organizations would provide technology information to nonprofit clients. In addition, Reed Tech currently reconditions and donates over 100 PCs every year for Tech Impact’s nonprofit clients. “That started before ITWorks was even born,” he said, “so when the idea of this workforce development program started floating around, we knew that we wanted to be involved.”
That involvement has flourished and grown since the ITWorks program first began to the point where Reed Tech has partnered in every possible way. They have provided financial support through sponsorship of the Annual Nonprofit Technology Awards Luncheon, had employees volunteer as mentors to students and come to the classroom for Lunch & Learns, hosted professional development Friday Sessions at their site in Horsham, and offered paid hands-on internships to ITWorks students. Anne Marie Kaplan, Reed Tech’s Systems Operations Manager and Tech Impact’s 2015 Volunteer of the Year, has taken an immensely active role in the partnership. One of her favorite days is when the ITWorks students go to Reed Tech for a session on Career Exploration. “We wanted to call dibs on this particular topic, because it provides a mutually impactful interaction for both the students and the presenters. We can give the class a snapshot of the opportunities available to them and have members from our team speak to each of those opportunities. Each session, it gets better and better!”
The internship is one of the most crucial components of the ITWorks program because it provides the students with hands-on technical experience in the field that will be essential to launching their careers in the field of information technology. Melinda Richardson, Network Technician at Reed Tech, has become the unspoken overseer for ITWorks interns. “It was a natural occurrence for me to take them under my wing,” Richardson mentioned when asked about her role in the internship. She listed off the names of previous interns and the positive memories of their time there. “I have children of my own who are in the same age range as the ITWorks students, and none of them want to follow in my footsteps in the technology field. So being able to provide guidance to young people who have a passion about IT is beyond satisfying.”
Each member of the Reed Tech team that contributed to the interview had inspiring stories about their previous experiences and interactions with ITWorks students. One overarching theme that became apparent is the fact that they all had someone(s) who helped to springboard their careers in the past. Greg Martin shared that, “The people in my life have helped me develop into the person that I am today, and being involved with ITWorks allows me to do the same.” This personal commitment and the transcendence of involvement throughout the ranks at Reed Tech demonstrates that the partnership between Reed Tech and Tech Impact is not going anywhere anytime soon. Dave Ballai reaffirmed this by saying, “We have come to respect the work of Tech Impact, and we know the positive and beneficial impact it has had on our technology team. We cannot wait to see what happens in the future of Tech Impact and ITWorks, and we hope to be part of that future.”
--Reed Tech, a LexisNexis company, is the provider of best-in-class information-based solutions and services to meet the broad needs of the government entities, global Intellectual Property market as well as key regulatory needs of the Life Sciences industry. Their corporate culture is driven by a commitment to excellence, innovation, and a strong dedication to its customers, employees and community.
--ITWorks is a free 16-week technology training program for young adults ages 18 to 26. Through 11 weeks of classroom study and hands-on workshops, students prepare for the industry-leading CompTIA A+ Certification. Through 5 weeks of internship, students build their resumes and real-world skills. Students complete over 100 hours of professional development training led by area IT and HR professionals. ITWorks holds classes in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Wilmington, Delaware; and Las Vegas, Nevada. ITWorks is a program of Tech Impact, a nonprofit whose mission is to empower communities and other nonprofits to use technology to better serve our world.
If you have a passion for technology as well as doing good in your community, get involved as a volunteer with ITWorks today: