Robotics Tournaments Need Volunteers

Have fun as a volunteer at the GTA-hosted FIRST LEGO League (FLL) robotics tournaments in the Gorge in December! The tournaments for youth ages 9 to 14 are one-day events planned for Dec. 2 at Hood River Middle School, Dec. 9 and 10at The Dalles Middle School.

robotics

Volunteers with all backgrounds/ expertise are needed to serve, mostly as judges but also as referees and general volunteers. Online training will be provided to all volunteers prior to the events. Sign up to help on just one day or for as many as you can support. Contact Jessica to sign up or with questions.

Member News: Clark College Offers Mechatronics Program

GTA Member Clark College has spaces still available for the Winter cohort of its Rural Access Mechatronics Program (RAMP). Mechatronics combines mechanical, electrical, and control-system expertise. This two-quarter hybrid online (in-person and online) program provides a foundation in Mechatronics fundamentals. Students attend class online, coming for hands-on lab work on Saturday’s to Clark’s Columbia Tech Center facility in East Vancouver. Graduates leave ready to pursue entry-level technician positions or to continue in the Mechatronics program to earn an associate degree.View the flyer to learn more here.

It’s Time to Join the GTA as a Member!

All GTA memberships and many sponsorships are on an Oct 1 renewal cycle, which means it’s time to recommit yourself to the GTA, or finally make the leap and join! Just look over our website at our new Strategic Plan, Membership Benefits, all of our events and initiatives. If you want to stay involved and supportive of our work, renew or join today. View the full list of membership benefits here and sponsorship benefits here

GTA Announces New Membership Benefit in Partnership with BCI Group, a HUB International Company

The GTA is excited to announce a new benefit offering for our members through partnership with BCI Group, a HUB International Company (BCI/ HUB).  BCI/ HUB employs an experienced and dedicated consultant to help facilitate benefit pathways and coordinate all listed services for each of our members.

BCI/ HUB can help you find creative options to balance your company’s needs with your employees’ benefits priorities. BCI/ HUB supports both your company’s culture and its bottom line by structuring plans for the greatest return on cost.

GTA members will be offered each of the following carrier pricing and related networks/services through Providence, Regence, and UnitedHealthcare. And for those companies that enroll in a BCI/ HUB Plan Option, your company will receive wellness discounts, online benefits enrollment/onboarding software, COBRA administration, benchmarking surveys, and other HR resources -all of which can be coordinated through BCI/ HUB. 

Additionally, Hood River GTA members that are small and medium sized Technology, Engineering and Architecture sector companies can access the same purchasing power as large firms through OSBA (Oregon Small Business Alliance) Providence Health Plan.

To find out if the GTA benefit offering is right for your company, email Henoch Tezera at GTAbenefits@hubinternational.com  or call 503-496-1908.

Benefit Offerings and Discounts Include:

MEDICAL/DENTAL/VISION
OSBA / Providence
Regence 
United Healthcare

PROVIDENCE WELLNESS
Life Balance
Health Fair/Health Risk Assessments

RETIREMENT
401(k) Plan Review and/or Implementation
Smart Dollar

TECHNOLOGY
Payroll / HRIS Assessments
Benefits Administration and Onboarding
Benefit Guided Educational Videos

HR SERVICES
Employee Handbook
HR Help Desk
HR 360 Compliance Library
Benchmarking
Employee Benefit Surveys

THIRD PARTY ADMINISTRATION
Section 125 / Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
COBRA Administration
Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA)

GTA Completes Strategic Plan Update

The GTA is pleased to announce the completion of our Strategic Plan for the organization’s work through 2021. Over the last several months, the Board and staff, with the support of Scheinberg Consulting, conducted organizational research through interviews and surveys of our members, sponsors and key stakeholders to gather feedback on the work of the GTA and where we should focus our energy over the next few years. This information was distilled into four critical goals that represent the long-term aims we plan to achieve (in no particular order): 

  1. Strengthen STEM education.
  2. Increase success of member businesses.
  3. Increase visibility of the Gorge as a center for high tech innovation and commerce.
  4. Increase the GTA’s impact and influence by increasing organizational and programmatic capacity.

These goals are in support of the GTA’s mission to support, connect and develop the technology community of the Columbia River Gorge and our vision of a Columbia River Gorge region known as an innovative technology community where businesses thrive, entrepreneurs are nurtured, community members are engaged,  meaningful employment is abundant, and all children have access to innovative Science, Technology, Engineering and Math opportunities. View the full 2017 Strategic Plan here.

The Board is now leading the development of four committees to create and implement work plans around each of the goals and seeks the involvement of our members, sponsors and partners in the committees: STEM Education, Business Success, Communications and Growth. Contact the GTA if you would like to be involved or for more information. 

Many thanks to Scheinberg Consulting, Mid-Columbia Economic Development District and a grant from The Ford Family Foundation for helping the GTA complete this important process. 

 

 

Nominations Open for 2017 Awards

The Gorge Tech Alliance is seeking nominations for Gorge tech leader and tech organization of the year for our annual awards. These awards honor those who are making great strides in growing the tech industry and/ or STEM education (science, technology, engineering and math) in the five-county Gorge region. Nominees need not be GTA members. Our 2016 winners were Bill Vaglienti of Power4Flight for Tech Leader of the Year and Trillium Engineering for Tech Organization of the Year. Nominations will be accepted through November 9 and the winner announced at our Winter Party on December 12 at Springhouse Cellar Winery.
 
Download the applications here:

Gorge Women in STEM

The Gorge Tech Alliance is starting a new offering and initiative for women working in STEM fields (science, tech, engineering and math) in the Gorge. We’re exploring how we can support and connect our women professionals and encourage the next generation of female students into STEM degrees. An initial gathering event is in the works, possibly in late October, and we hope to announce details soon!