Current Industry Partnerships

Conversations and partnerships with local IT industry provided the incentive to pursue the TAACCCT grant that has led to the Rural Information Technology Alliance.  From RITA’s genesis, industry partnerships have provided an important cornerstone for the colleges and consortium.  Along with benefiting from the source of well-prepared potential hires, industry partners have shared their insight and expertise, which has had a direct impact on curriculum creation and enhancement.

Current RITA industry partners include Microsoft, Cisco, MnSCU Information Technology Services, Nemadji Research Corporation, Ascensus, MicroNet, Inc., Consolidated Telephone Company, Morrison County, MN Department of Corrections IT Services, Syvantis Technologies, ECMECC, Agent IT Solutions, Lakewood Health System, Peterbuilt Motors Company, Rice Memorial Hospital, Cooke County Electric Coop, Global DataGuard, City of Lake Dallas, HCI Data Corp dba Businessware Solutions, Landis+Gyr, Inc., SISU Medical Information Solutions LLC, and Atomic Learning.

All 22 current industry partners have committed to ongoing involvement in identifying necessary skills and competencies, assisting in curriculum development, program design and refinement, and developing pathways for education and work based training, including internships.  One of the primary forums for ongoing industry involvement has been through local advisory board meetings at each of the four colleges.  Recognizing the crucial nature of ongoing alignment with industry, the RITA consortium is currently assembling a national advisory board.

Why Partner with RITA

Along with having a direct impact on the success of local community colleges, as well as the students and communities they serve, partnering with RITA provides local industry with the unique opportunity to influence the pipeline of qualified IT workers.  RITA graduates will become the new generation of the IT workforce in these four communities, and the organizations partnering with RITA are in a position to shape the future workforce.

While not every organization has a need for well-trained IT interns, those organizations partnering with RITA will be in a position to both enhance the career growth of IT students and graduates, as well as enjoy the benefits of having source of qualified IT interns.

Every partnership is unique.  If you have questions or an interest in partnering with RITA, we invite you to contact one of the local grant managers, or the Consortium Director below.

Central Lakes College
Grant Manager: John Hamerlinck
Email: Phone: 218.855.8268

North Central Texas College
Grant Manager: Susan Svane
Email:  Phone: 940.498.6438

Ridgewater College
Grant Manager: Larry Handlin
Email:  Phone: 320.222.7481

Pine Technical & Community College
Grant Manager: Sally Welsh
Email:  Phone: 320.629.5188

Consortium Director 
Michael Olesen
Email:  Phone: 651.275.9982