TAMPA BAY, Fla. — Even though it hasn’t received the same sort of profile as other titans of tech, Tampa’s reputation as an attractive destination for startups and technology workers continues to grow. 

Those moving to town for the food, the arts and tech jobs might not immediately know where to find them, but a locally-based nonprofit technology support organization is here to help. On Wednesday, October 28, Tampa Bay Tech—in conjunction with its startup-focused Software CEO Council—will hold its second Virtual Career Expo

What You Need To Know

  • Tampa Bay Tech is holding a Virtual Career Expo on October 28

  • The Expo is geared toward pairing tech-sector job seekers with hiring companies

  • The event runs from 9 a.m.-7 p.m., and is free to those looking for jobs

It’s an online event that works like a job fair, aimed at connecting those seeking jobs in tech fields with those accomplished Bay area companies that are hiring.

“For job seekers it’s really like walking into the Tampa Convention Center, seeing all the different options of companies you can go to and then just starting where you want to start and work in the room, virtually,” says Tampa Bay Tech Director Jill St. Thomas. “And the companies will actually set up backgrounds that look like you’re at a career fair.”

The first Virtual Career Expo, back in June, created more than 11,000 connections between folks looking for a gig in tech and tech companies looking for gigs. Tampa Bay Tech has more than 100 member companies who help support the nonprofit and its goals; many more non-member companies will likely sign on and pay the modest fee to do some headhunting on Wednesday, but the experience is absolutely free for job seekers themselves.

The event even runs on a platform produced by a local tech company, Premier Virtual, which provides a rich experience on both sides of the hiring fence, including information dashboards providing data for hirers after the Expo ends, and an introductory YouTube video that shows everyone involved for the first time how use the system.

Pre-registration for the Virtual Career Expo for non-member companies has already closed, but job hunters can register right up to and throughout the event.

St. Thomas, who’s been director of Tampa Bay Tech for four years and active with the organization for nearly nine, believes that connecting jobs wanted and jobs needed is more critical than ever during the current coronavirus pandemic.

“It absolutely is our mission as an organization to build a radically connected tech community in Tampa Bay,” she says. “So you know, really, when COVID started really affecting the unemployment numbers here in the Tampa Bay area back in April, that was the first time we really thought about, ‘wow, we could be doing a lot more in terms of our workforce.’”