The local tech industry is poised for growth, but a new study ranks San Antonio number 46 in the country in available tech workers, behind such low tech cities as Oklahoma City, and that is the most severe impediment to the growth of the sector, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
But Dax Moreno is out to change those numbers. He is the newly hired Chief Technology and Recruitment Officer, heading an organization which is funded by the City of San Antonio, Bexar County, and TechBloc, the local tech industry's lobbying arm.
Moreno told City Council on Tuesday in his first report on his activities that one of his goals is to scour the country for qualified people who are interested in becoming a part of San Antonio's growing tech community.
"That is the number of non local IT professionals who will be in our candidate database," Moreno said. "Those will be people who are willing to work and relocate to San Antonio, and who are willing to work within our tech ecosystem."
Managers of local start up tech companies universally say that a lack of qualified employees is the number one reason why their companies can't grow as rapidly as the market will allow.
Moreno says it is also his job to find students and mid-career changers who are interested in moving into key technical fields like cybersecurity and web site design.
"We are going to be in a unique position to influence people who are interested in getting involved into the tech eco-syctem," he said. "It is a very natural thing for us to be able to direct them to the right resources, and the right programs that the city already has in place."
Moreno said he is mainly focusing on helping smaller and mid-sized tech start ups recruit qualified candidates, He says they have the most potential to grow, and the large companies, like Rackspace, already have vigorous recruiting campaigns of their own.
He says he is also working with local high schools and colleges to try to create a spark of interest in tech careers, which tend to be well paying.
San Antonio has long highlighted its relatively modest cost of living, especially compared with tech centers like Silicon Valley, as a key factor in helping recruit tech talent. The growth of the city's multi-faceted downtown, which is home to a growing number of tech companies and will coon house the major technical programs of UTSA, is also seen as a boost, as tech workers prepare to live and work in an urban environment where they interact with other tech professionals.