Market Overview

Meridian Development Programs Add to Tech Opportunities in Detroit

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DETROIT, Aug. 27, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Meridian has taken a unique approach to filling sought after IT roles by attracting and training candidates through local partnerships with Grand Circus, universities, and in-house development programs. Technology is the number one demanding market with a projected one million unfilled IT jobs by 2020, but recruiting in the growing field comes with challenges. Companies face skill shortages, geographic constraints, and a competitive market when hiring for technology roles.

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The Meridian Bootcamp Powered by Grand Circus was created to give opportunity to Detroit residents interested in a career in technology through a fully-funded, 12-week program with the chance to join Meridian's IT team upon graduation. Since 2016, nearly half of Meridian's junior software engineers have been Grand Circus graduates.

"In this hyper-competitive environment for talent, Meridian is raising the bar with its approach to onboarding junior-level tech talent," said Kyle Bazzy, chief operating officer, Grand Circus. "We have witnessed our graduates thrive at Meridian because of the company's mindset on developing people as a core strategy to their growth."

In an effort to attract new talent entering the workforce, Meridian attends events at 26 universities in Michigan and Illinois, such as career fairs, alumni networking, and career pathing events geared towards IT graduates.

"In order to drive optimal levels of success, we needed a group of engaged, high-performing employees, covering skillsets across multiple domains," said Rebecca Moore, talent acquisition team lead, Meridian. "Engaging with prospective employees regarding our strategy ensured them that they have the opportunity to develop professionally, and we attract the best talent by doing that."

Meridian's Junior Software Engineer Program was created to support business needs and provide the training and professional development to fill those needs. The curriculum consists of exposure to Progress, JavaScript, HTML, and CSS capabilities through onsite and web-based trainings. The program is expected to expand into other avenues of JavaScript, such as Angular and Ionic. Each junior software engineer is paired with a senior-level mentor to ensure knowledge-sharing of company and IT best practices.

"The demand for infrastructure talent is only increasing. Not a lot of organizations focus on development within this space," said Christopher Lauzon, system operations engineer team lead, Meridian. "We have taken new grads or ‘rookies' onto our team who are eager to take advantage of our state-of-the-art infrastructure and offer ideas or solutions that some experienced professionals wouldn't think of. As an organization, we pride ourselves on promoting from within. Our ‘rookies' are now certified professionals who have developed a master skill level with scripting and automation. "

Meridian designs, builds, configures, and operates in-house enterprise software systems. "At Meridian, we architect, build, and host our own data centers. This drive to build from scratch is a culture shared by Meridian and Detroit. Like Meridian, neighboring companies such as Rocket Mortgage, OnStar, and Ford SYNC drive the competitive market by developing their own applications," said Sean Cotton, president of Meridian Technologies.  

Since 2013, Meridian has hired and supported 47 business analysts and 50 junior software engineers through its development programs. Within the Infrastructure space, Meridian has invested in 19 junior-level employees, such as junior network engineers and junior systems operations engineers. The Big Data and Enterprise Information Management teams house 13 junior-level employees, including junior data analysts, junior data architects, and junior Hadoop engineers. Eight of Meridian's current delivery leads have transitioned from entry-level positions because of its development programs.

"Investing in the development of technology skills is paramount to Meridian's success and competitive advantage, and should begin at the elementary school level in Detroit and all of Southeast Michigan," said Cotton. "Corporations continuing to insource to Southeast Michigan's students will only drive the economy forward as IT needs are rapidly growing."

A new program focused on junior business analysts is launching at Meridian this fall. The ideal candidates for the Meridian Business Analyst Program are recent graduates, passionate about health care, and interested in IT. Meridian takes pride in investing in new talent, creating successful IT professionals with the right mentorship, training, and a bit of ingenuity.

 

To view open IT positions, visit: www.workatmeridian.com.

 

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About Meridian

Meridian is a family-owned, family-operated group of health plans with offices in Michigan and Illinois. Meridian's affiliates include MeridianHealth (Medicaid), MeridianCare (Medicare), MeridianComplete (Medicare-Medicaid), MeridianChoice (Health Insurance Marketplace), and MeridianRx, a Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM). Meridian serves more than 1 million health plan members in four states. MeridianRx serves more than 1.4 million members. For more information, visit www.mhplan.com.

 

About Grand Circus

Grand Circus believes everyone should have access to a tech career. With campuses in Detroit and Grand Rapids, Grand Circus has trained more than 1,000 software developers. Graduates of the company's coding bootcamps work at more than 170 companies throughout the state. Its innovative 12-week coding bootcamps provide students with the technical and soft skills employers need to effectively grow their businesses. For more information, visit http://www.grandcircus.co.

Chelsea Davis
Meridian
313-324-3700 x 21292
chelsea.davis@mhplan.com

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