- 2014 Premier 100 IT Leaders: A reinvention convention
- Class of 2014 Yearbook. A photo gallery, along with honorees' predictions, projects and more.
- Editorial: Career doors open wide everywhere for IT pros
- Honor Roll: View Premier 100 IT Leader alumni from 2000 to 2014
- Learn from the Elite. Join honorees at the Premier 100 IT Leaders Conference March 2-4, 2014
- Know an IT Leader? Nominate that person for next year's list.
- Editor's Picks: Revitalize your career with Computerworld's best stories on leadership.
- How we chose the honorees.
Premier 100 IT Leader: Chad Long
This collaborative IT leader gets creative when seeding the next crop of tech talent.
Computerworld - If you think it's challenging to recruit talented IT professionals, consider how hard it might be if you were located in a swamp, an hour from the nearest big city.
That's the situation Chad Long finds himself in as a commander and chief of the information systems division at the U.S. Coast Guard Aviation Logistics Center, which is located at the narrows of the Pasquotank River in Elizabeth City, N.C.
Staffing is a priority for Long, because the logistics center is in the midst of a transition. It's migrating from homegrown software to commercial applications and expanding its use of mobile systems. Moreover, along with the entire military, the Coast Guard is increasing its systems security. That means Long's IT staffing needs are changing -- from .Net experts to IT managers who can guide multiple projects.
And that's a challenge. "We do not have the luxury of access to all kinds of IT talent here, nor do we have a big draw," Long says.
He has partnered with local universities, offering internships and training programs for students. He even set up internships for high school students, focused mostly on lower-level tech skills.
"We bring them in and get them experience," Long says. The interns don't always end up taking jobs at the logistics center, but they do seed the labor market by word of mouth -- telling others about opportunities with the Coast Guard.
Carl Webster, deputy chief of the information systems division, says one of Long's greatest attributes is his participative management style. "He's not one who will sit there and dictate," Webster says. "He'll listen to your ideas. It's a collaborative environment."
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