Employers across the globe need access to tech talent as demand for skilled IT workers surges, said Neelima Parasker, noting her Overland Park-based firm writes critical coding for the solution.
“What we provide is unique in the sense that we are producing tech talent the fastest through microcredentials,” said Parasker, the founder and CEO of SnapIT Solutions. “In order to meet the industry demands, many countries are looking to quickly grow their talent; and they like how [our company] caters to a variety of people.”
Click here to check out SnapIT Solutions.
Founded in 2015, SnapIT Solutions focuses on minimum viable product build outs and workforce development for programmers and other specialized capabilities. SnapIT’s workforce development program provides education, resources and training for underrepresented populations, as well as helps them get connected with potential employers. SnapIT is accredited in 10 states in the U.S.
Global expansion has been on Parasker’s mind for the past few years, she shared, but her plans were rapidly accelerated when the U.S. Department of Commerce reached out to her in Fall 2022 to participate in an international trade mission.
“I was contacted by the Washington D.C. team, and they said they had looked at my profile and thought I’d be a great candidate for the trade mission,” Parasker recalled. “I was also told that it was the first ever Women in Tech Trade Mission and that we’d be traveling with the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, Marisa Lago. … So I applied and had 25 people interview me. I was thrilled to see that I was accepted.”
The Women in Tech Trade Mission — organized by the U.S. Commercial Service (the trade promotion arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration) — was a week-long mission in the beginning of November that took place in France, Netherlands and Portugal.
The Trade Mission was an experience Parasker will not ever forget, she said, describing the connections she made while overseas.
“There were 12 women-led companies on this Trade Mission, and each of our companies were marketed in the three countries by the U.S. Embassy,” Parasker said. “They called up their personal contacts and explained why our company would be a good match. On our own, it would take at least six months to maybe get an appointment with these contacts — whereas we were able to have one-on-one meetings with numerous potential clients. That was an incredible benefit of this trip.”
The U.S. ambassadors in France, Netherlands and Portugal also invited the Trade Mission attendees to gatherings at their residence, where an average of 100 of their contacts came to connect with the women-led businesses, Parasker added.
“The amount of exposure and support we received cannot be measured,” she noted. “And that went beyond the trip. I’m currently having conversations with the Portugal embassy to dive into the details of our next steps there.”
The timing of the trip comes synchronized with SnapIT starting to secure international patients, Parasker teased.
“When I went to patient SnapIT’s business model about two years back, I had the opportunity to do a worldwide patent application,” she explained. “I selected a majority of the continent and countries to go after, and we are now getting a few countries approving our patent. … I’m glad I did that two years ago — it was a big hit on the budget, but it’s proving to be worth it as we grow globally.”
Increasing tech in rural Kansas
With SnapIT set to grow beyond the U.S., Parasker ensured that she will continue to advocate for tech resources and high paying jobs across the company’s home state, Kansas.
“I am absolutely dedicated to providing as many IT resources as possible throughout the state of Kansas,” said Parasker, who sits on the KANSASWORKS State Board for Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly. “Where we come to a head is that we cannot hire every SnapIT student we train, so we want corporations out there to look into registered apprenticeships.”
Along with growing SnapIT’s state, national and international presence, Parasker acknowledged the importance of building a skilled team through strategic hiring. Nehemiah Clark is a brand ambassador for SnapIT who uses his social media and reality TV platforms to promote the mission of SnapIT Solutions.
Click here to read the profile on Nehemiah Clark.
In a registered apprenticeship, SnapIT trains students in various tech programs, and then those students go on to complete an apprenticeship with a partner company, Parasker explained.
“We’ve made some partnerships with big corporations, so there’s some exciting news coming out this year,” she said. “And we are always looking for more corporations to take on students.”
The other hurdle the SnapIT team is looking to overcome in 2023 is the idea that tech is only for the young and too complicated to learn, Parasker said, noting that a majority of IT jobs do not require a four-year degree.
“I want to call on those people who are thinking, ‘I want to get into tech, but is it too cumbersome?’” Parasker said. “We have a student who is 50 years old who converted into tech later in his career, and he is delivering. Not only is he coding, but he’s bringing his leadership personality into the company.”
Click here to read about SnapIT Solutions’ office in Wichita, Kansas.
About 99 percent of SnapIT students are able to receive their credentials at no cost, Parasker said — noting that they target students who qualify for workforce grants.
“Our apprenticeships are paid, so this is a really good way for people to figure out if tech is a good option for them,” Parasker said. “We’re also bringing more women, minorities and people with disabilities into the field. … Tech is the future of most jobs, and we want to get as many people involved as we can.”