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Jungle Disk CEO joins CAST Tech Industry Advisory Committee

By Bret Piatt
Feb 28, 2017

I am excited to serve as a member of CAST Tech’s inaugural industry advisory committee alongside other leaders committed to cultivating San Antonio’s tech community. CAST Tech, San Antonio’s first high-tech high school, will be an SAISD in-district charter that provides students with an innovative curriculum that will prepare them to jump into the field immediately after graduation. The school’s radically different approach to learning will offer students hands-on learning experiences, mentorship, internships and job shadowing opportunities with leading industry partners, and the chance to graduate high school with at least 30 hours of college credit.

Technology cannot remain a male dominated industry and I want to contribute where I can to help change this. From research provided by the CAST Tech team, it’s estimated that women will fill less than 3 percent of the 1.4 million tech jobs by 2020. While major technology employers have a workforce made up of 20 to 35 percent female workers many of those workers are in non-technology roles such as HR, marketing, accounting, sales, and non-technical customer service.

We struggle with this at Jungle Disk where our team is barely above fifteen percent female. Through the Students+Startups program between Trinity and our tech district, we were able to provide an opportunity for a female intern last summer to work in a coding role paired up with our data scientist. She’ll be back downtown at Scaleworks after graduation this spring. This change will happen one person at a time, story by story, opportunity by opportunity, until it is something we look back on wondering, “How was that ever an issue?”

Being able to look back from a wonderful future won’t happen without lots of hard work from all of us. That’s why I’m excited to see CAST Tech making a focused effort to recruit females interested in all aspects of technology and entrepreneurship. Interested females can attend an information session Thursday from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at Girls Inc. at 1209 S. St. Mary’s. Applications are being accepted online through March 10 at CASTschools.com. The career-themed high school, established by H-E-B and other industry partners in San Antonio, will open its doors this fall to its first class of 150 ninth graders and I hope your daughter can be one of them.

I’m joined by a excellent group on the 12-member CAST Tech industry advisory committee and I’d like to thank each one of them for volunteering their time to help lead this transformation in high school education:

Tri-Chair: Gavin Gallagher, Chief Information Officer, H-E-B

Tri-Chair: Deborah Carter, Sr. Manager, Global Talent Development, Rackspace

Tri-Chair: Matthew Reedy, Executive Director, Innovation, USAA

Bill Phillips, Chief Information Officer, University Hospital System

Bret Piatt, CEO, Jungle Disk

David Heard, CEO of TechBloc & Chief Marketing Officer for SecureLogix

Dick Evans, Former Chairman & CEO, Frost Bank

Don Mathes, Assistant Vice President for Technology Development, AT&T

Earl Eiland, Senior Engineer, Root 9B

Kate Rogers, Executive Vice President, Holdsworth Institute

Kim Harle, Community Relations, Whataburger

Lorenzo Gomez, Founder, Geekdom

Help us spread the word about this new and exciting approach to learning, and watch our fantastic recruiting videos shot at Rackspace and Geekdom and share with your networks.