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Cultivating next-gen rock stars

We need to make business exciting and relatable


As a business leader who is constantly searching for—and competing to attract–the best talent in the Denver area, I can honestly say I am committed and have a vested interest in grooming talent in our great city.

I am sure most of us in the Denver technology and business world share similar feelings on this topic but more is required of us to grow our local talent. I want to take this opportunity to challenge my fellow business owners to look beyond the current job pool and begin championing the Denver youth well before they are old enough to be of direct value as an organization’s next great hire.

In light of recent news hitting our area about lowering Denver’s fortified graduation standards to eliminate science and social studies, it is up to the people who live and work in Denver to put pressure–not only on city resources, but on one another—to cultivate the next generation of business leaders and innovative rock stars. 

This is precisely why Swiftpage started Swiftie.U (pronounced “Swiftie dot you”), which directly challenges high school-aged young adults to come into our offices to learn and understand business concepts on a deeper level. We loved the program and even extended the concept by teaming with the Denver Public School District and Colorado Technology Association to participate in Career Connections where we hosted a group of high school-aged students to show them our business and give them a look at possible careers in the technology industry.

We’ve found that one of the best ways to relate to these kids is to show them how our engineers came up with an idea and then built the product out to realize that vision. We relate the concepts we’re dealing with in a real world professional setting to things they can connect with, like video games or social media.

When young people see an idea come to life in an exciting and relatable way, you see the spark they get in their eyes. They begin to understand what their future may hold if they have the proper direction and motivation. 

Programs that get the next generation excited about their futures and show the impact local companies can have on the future talent pool here in our home town are invaluable. Mentoring may be a buzz word for many professionals and businesses, but I truly don’t see that with Denver.

We are all collectively committed to creating a challenging, innovative, and fun work environment that reflects our city. And if you agree, join me in creating programs that reach out to Denver’s future talent, today.

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John Oechsle

John Oechsle is president and CEO of Swiftpage.

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