“It will all work out, it always does!”
Optimistic words from a friend watching me go through the agonizing task of job-hunting many, many years ago. It’s the worst. You have to exude confidence when you are mostly just terrified. You dress up, you play the part, you pray, you wait. The worst.
My first impression of Tampa Bay’s tech community was in 2008 when I first took a position at what was then the Tampa Bay Technology Forum. I had little to no knowledge of what a “tech council” was, never mind what a developer did. The job had been recommended to me because I was good with people and I suppose we all figured I could learn the rest. With incredible mentors and colleagues along the way, I did learn and I did find my place in this community.
Fast forward ten years and I am now one of the Executive Directors of Tampa Bay Tech. Turns out, it did work out for me and now is my privilege to, hopefully, return the favor.
Last Thursday afternoon, CareSync, a local healthcare technology firm, shut its doors, leaving more than 300 people in the Tampa Bay area out of work and without benefits. There was little to no warning for most of these employees, committed to their roles, and what was a “normal” day turned into a new normal of “what am I going to do now?” They had no more desk to go to, no more email to reach out from and worst of all, for company that touted its family-like culture, no team to be a part of.
Within 24 hours of the news, the leadership team at Tampa Bay Tech jumped in to help. Our member companies are committed to seeing the tech community flourish, and were eager to show their support for those employees who were displaced as a result of this news. We knew CareSync. Their former CEO was a speaker at our event last year. We went to the ribbon-cutting of their new offices. We grabbed coffees and shared emails. We celebrated their wins, and now it was time to help when help was needed most.
By Monday, numerous Tampa Bay Tech member companies were on social media communicating to the former team members of CareSync that they were hiring, and providing information on where to apply. RNG Tampa Bay, a group of more than 400 in-house corporate recruiters, had set up a resume portal for those wanting to post their resumes. And partners like New Horizons Computer Learning Center had set up a free event for those interested in accessing grant money for training and certifications.
I have been overwhelmed, but not surprised, by this incredible response.
What’s better, though, is what some former CareSync employees have shared:
“I can’t thank you enough for your support of me and all former CareSync employees.” – Pamela P.
“I feel like I can’t say it enough, thank you for jumping in and helping not only myself but the entire CareSync family without hesitation. In speaking with some of the team the last couple of days, we are simply overwhelmed and in shock with the outpouring of support from this community.” – Alison P.
“It is great to be part of a community coming together to support us.” – Alison R.
“I really appreciate all your help for me and my CareSync family.” – Courtney C.
“Wow. We cannot even begin to thank the Tampa Bay Tech community for all of your outreach and support as we go through this. We are a close family and we support each other and now having all of this additional support means the world to all of us. What a difference 24 hours makes! We were lost and full of anxiety and now we’re excited about all of these new opportunities. Thank you again! #tampabaystickstogethe
r”– Marilyn T.
In Tampa Bay’s tech community, we do stick together and we do stand for one another’s success. We celebrate our wins and we work together to rally after the losses. When people are rooting for you, it will all work out.
It always does.
If you would like to connect with Tampa Bay Tech for more information on how you can help, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.