The story dates back to 2016, when Ebe Randeree, Associate Dean of FSU’s College of Communication & Information (CCI), and tech industry leader, Lester Hutt were looking for a way to attract and retain recent college graduates in the capital city. Tallahassee is home to more than 100 tech-based companies and the industry is responsible for creating 15,000+ local jobs – unbeknownst to many in the campus bubble. Ebe and Lester took matters into their own hands and with the help of the Chamber’s Access Tallahassee program, the Tally Job Hop was born – a half-day tour for students to visit top IT businesses looking for interns and employees from local universities. At each stop, students learn about a company’s corporate culture, what type of projects they are working on, and most importantly, what opportunities are available.
“There is a high demand in Tallahassee for tech talent”, says Ebe. “Utilizing the constant flow of incoming students to our community is key to filling the talent gap and expanding our business community in Tallahassee. Retaining these alumni here will not only help local businesses but also create an ecosystem for entrepreneurship that will launch new startups.”
Ebe has been a major advocate for the tech community and the Chamber, encouraging many of his students from the CCI program to apply for the Job Hop. “My goal is to develop a pipeline that supports our students and the Tallahassee tech community. Finding a job or internship is at the top of every student’s list when they earn their degree with us, and if we can meet that need while also meeting the needs of the community, then that is a win for everybody.”