“After graduating from college, I struggled to find a job because I lacked job experience,” said Liz Blankinship. While her experience is unique to her, Liz’s words speak for the countless number of people who, without proper education and training, find it difficult to find such opportunities.
It is no secret that technology talent is as scarce as ever. On top of that, companies are increasingly prioritizing their initiatives to maintain a diverse workforce. It is at the crossroads of these two problems that Pyramid Consulting steps in. Pyramid Consulting is a Microsoft Gold Partner and a $430M professional services firm serving more than 115 of the Fortune 500 companies. In 2019, Pyramid Consulting started GenSpark, which was created to address a specific need: the lack of qualified and diverse talent in the workforce. GenSpark is unique in its commitment to being intentionally inclusive in its selection and deployment of tech talent, thus creating a diverse and qualified candidate pool that is ready to fill professional positions in the world of technology.
Filling the Gap
Since its inception, Pyramid Consulting’s GenSpark has launched over 160 careers, with another 500 projected in 2022. We hold a 90% retention rate through our training and job placement stages, as well as a 96% client success rate. GenSpark hires individuals of all backgrounds and provides them with job-specific training, most notably in the full Microsoft .NET technology stack, to launch careers in technology. Our courses are delivered through Microsoft Teams,
giving our candidates a strong background in the ecosystem of Microsoft applications. And upon completion of their training, candidates become contributing members at the various companies that they work for. As a result, not only do we provide comprehensive training to upskill our candidates, but we also go further by providing job placement support so that people can take their training and solve real-world problems at the companies they end up working for.
To further support under-represented groups, GenSpark provides support to our candidates in two unique ways. First, we invest in the skills and training of individuals at no cost to the candidate. In fact, they are paid a weekly stipend to help support them through their training. Individuals that were blocked access to fee-based education join GenSpark to earn while they learn. At the end of their training, 90% of GenSparkers are placed into roles with an average starting salary of $50K per year, full health benefits, relocation packages, and unlimited support and retraining from GenSpark. Second, Pyramid Consulting gives candidates the option to join Belong:IN™ Employee Resource Groups. These resource groups give consultants and corporate employees the opportunity to connect with other like-minded individuals outside of their core areas of work while encouraging a sense of belonging. Pyramid Consulting is launching 7 ERG’s this year alone. Through these offerings, Pyramid Consulting demonstrates its commitment to employee success.
And our work has not gone unnoticed. Pyramid Consulting has received recognition for its partnerships with community groups such as Warrick Dunn Charities, OneTen and the United Way of Greater Atlanta, and by the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) as a 5-year Corporate Plus member.
Solving the Problem: A Major Global Airline
“This goes beyond doing the right thing. It is imperative to our success.”
These were the words of Nikki Glee, HR Director for IT. The airline was struggling with an aging workforce and had grown increasingly dependent on visa and contingent workers. Not only that, the air line also began an honest, open conversation about where they were as a company and where they wanted to be in terms of diversity in the workforce. In the wake of increasing awareness of racial inequality, the airline analyzed their company metrics and realized that there was a diversity gap between leadership and frontline workers. They began what they called “Close the Gap Strategy” which focused on increasing the number of women, Black, and ethnic minority groups in their workforce.
In an effort to narrow the gap, they partnered with GenSpark to bring in new talent into their workforce. Utilizing GenSpark’s intentionally inclusive approach to training and client placement, GenSpark was able to further the airlines initiatives in this area. Since 2019, GenSpark has placed more than 30 engineers at the airline. Among those placed, 75% were from underrepresented groups in technology.
Specifically, GenSpark’s talent at the airline is:
“GenSpark immediately sprang into action and gained requirements to understand what we needed at
the airline. It was a seamless exercise, and we brought in lots of great talent; we also received great
feedback from our leadership. We look forward to working with GenSpark to support our emerging
talent and diversity needs in the future.”
HR Director for IT
At Pyramid Consulting Inc., we are passionate about addressing the problem of the lack of qualified and diverse talent in the workforce. It’s not something we can solve on our own, but we’re making progress. With each client partnership and every person who receives training and job placement in a tech role, we take steps in the right direction in this area.
We started by talking about Liz Blankinship. She, like so many others, found it difficult to get her foot in the door in a tech field. But thanks to Pyramid Consulting and its tech training and job placement offerings through GenSpark, her story has a happy ending.
“Without GenSpark, I don’t think I would have gotten introduced into my field. I learned .NET using visual
studio and Microsoft SQL server, and thanks to GenSpark I was hired as a full-time employee.”
.NET Developer, Cognizant
The outcome of Liz’s story is what we strive for at Pyramid Consulting. So many people just like her have found a new lease on life because of the opportunities now afforded to them by the training and job placement they received.
But the work goes on. Pyramid Consulting has internally increased the total hiring of women (44%), of Hispanics (67%), and of African Americans (80%) since 2019. Furthermore, since 2019 we have provided an 80% overall increase in diverse resources for our clients. Our solution is scalable as we partner with more companies, and thus can offer more and more opportunities to our clients. And with each person that we help train and place in the workforce, we get closer to fulfilling our mission of creating a diverse workforce of qualified individuals, each of whom has a story like Liz. Each success story is a battle won in the ongoing struggle for equality and diversity in the workforce. But we are committed to seeing that vision become a reality, both for the companies we serve, and the individuals who seek a better life.