Dozens of Vermont companies — many of which are looking for employees — will converge at the 5th Vermont Tech Jam, a two-day job fair and tech expo on Friday and Saturday in the newly vacant Borders building on Church Street in Burlington.
This year’s Tech Jam is the biggest yet, featuring dynamic and innovative companies from all over the state. The 80+ exhibitors include established tech and bioscience firms such as SymQuest Group and BioTek Instruments, as well as exciting new start-ups, including Agilion Apps, Pwnie Express and Reality Venture Capital LLC, the tech team behind the popular VT Response website that coordinated volunteers after Tropical Storm Irene.
Many of those exhibitors have jobs to fill: Dealer.com, the Jam’s presenting sponsor, has hired 200 people so far this year, and hopes to add 25 more in 2011. The company, which creates web-based solutions for car dealers, plans to add more than 100 jobs in 2012, as well. Other companies that are hiring include: MyWebGrocer, MicroStrain, PureWellness, Tag New Media, C2, Logic Supply, the State of Vermont, Dynapower, Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Global-Z International and Draker Labs.
“The growing companies at this year’s Vermont Tech Jam demonstrate an economic vitality that is refreshing,” says Tom Torti, president of the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce, who helped organize the event. “They’re all doing business here, and they’re thriving. That’s good news for Vermont’s economy.”
Jobs aren’t the only focus of the event — many exhibitors are also bringing examples of cutting-edge technology to share with attendees, including students. Hundreds of middle and high school students from as far away as Hyde Park, Northfield, St. Johnsbury and Poultney will attend the Jam on Friday morning, to find out how they can prepare for careers in the tech sector. And several Vermont colleges will be there, detailing their creative and high-tech degree and certification programs.
Jam attendees will also hear from inspiring speakers, including IBM fellow John Cohn and Craig Nevill-Manning, Google’s N.Y. Engineering Director. On Friday, a “Women in Technology” panel discussion features four women who will explain how they got started in tech-related careers and suggest ways to encourage and support women in the field. And HR representatives from leading local companies participate in two panel discussions entitled, “How to Stand Out in the Hiring Process.”
The University of Vermont’s Alternative Energy Racing Organization, Middlebury College’s award-winning Solar Decathlon team and the Champlain College MFA program in Emergent Media will all display their latest innovations.
Find a complete schedule and a list of exhibitors on the Tech Jam website, techjamvt.com. Find the program guide in this week’s issue of Seven Days. Or download the Tech Jam’s mobile app, at http://guidebookapp.com/getit.
The Tech Jam is organized by Seven Days, the Vermont Software Developers’ Alliance, the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Vermont Department of Labor. This year’s sponsors include Dealer.com, BioTek, C2, Champlain College, Logic Supply, Google, MyWebGrocer, MicroStrain, Northfield Savings Bank, TelJet, Vermont Technology Council and the Vermont Software Developers’ Alliance.