Potomac Chapter Names Summer Interns - Aims to Fill Skills Gap
The Potomac AFCOM Chapter joined forces with PDI and VCU to name two recipients of data center internships. From left to right: Dave Mulholland, PDI VP and president of Potomac AFCOM Chapter; Kyle Warner, VCU intern; Anita Taylor, director of VCU Engineering Career Center, and Erick Wayman Baxter VCU intern.
Braden Adam, Herndon High School intern.
Potomac AFCOM Chapter President Dave Mulholland, the VP of Global Services for Power Distribution, Inc. (PDI) announced the recipients of their summer internships.
This is the second year the Potomac AFCOM chapter is sponsoring a summer internship
program, designed to properly train future data center professionals to continue processing the digital workloads so vital to every facet of our digitized lives.
“Data centers anchor the cloud services that process nearly every keystroke, video, social media post as well as vital information from healthcare, financial, military and many other organizations,” Mulholland said. “Unfortunately, the pool of qualified data center professionals ensuring these services is rapidly retiring, leaving a large void to be filled. The Potomac AFCOM Board has taken steps to help change this trend one intern at a time.”
Glassdoor.com recently indicated more than 25,000 available data center internships with an average salary of approximately $48,000. A large number of internship postings underscore the fact that the current data center workforce is comprised of an aging population retiring or about to retire.
Dubbed the “silver tsunami” by the Alliance for Aging Research, the trend of 10,000 people a day applying for Social Security benefits clearly has ramifications across all industries but especially IT. AFCOM validated this concerning trend by surveying members and found that 73 percent were between the ages of 46 and 61—with just 21 percent below age 45.
The interns selected for this year are Erick Baxter and Kyle Warner – both mechanical engineering majors at Virginia Commonwealth University College of Engineering; and Braden Adam, a high school student from Herndon High School. All three interns will spend between 10-12 weeks in their respective employment sites and earn competitive wages while gaining valuable experience from data center professionals.
“At AFCOM National, we’re excited to see the commitment the Potomac chapter is making to further the development of young professionals for the data center industry. Through their internship program, eager students are getting the chance to make connections and learn new skills that they otherwise might not be able to, and it helps enhance the concept that the data center is still a vibrant career opportunity for tomorrow’s business leaders,” said Brian Gillooly, executive director of AFCOM.
PDI and the Potomac AFCOM Chapter worked with Anita Taylor, director of VCU College of Engineering Career Services for the two students at VCU. Taylor said, “I am excited for our students to participate and learn about a challenging and fast-growth industry that is right here at our door step.” The interns will rotate among companies represented by the Potomac Board, including EDG 2, Sabey, Technoguard and PDI, as well as the top companies in the hyperscale and colocation space.
“I am proud to be working with the Potomac Chapter of AFCOM and VCU College of Engineering to support this important internship program and excited to give Braden Adam, Kyle Warner and Erick Baxter a career boost in such an important industry,” Mulholland added.