For the NYC School Construction Authority, designing and constructing safe, attractive and environmentally sound schools is a big undertaking. The goal: Building and modernizing schools for 1.1 million New York City students with a five-year, $18.5 billion dollar capital investment budget and in a responsible, cost-effective manner while achieving the highest standards of excellence in safety, quality and integrity.
To get this done, leaders of the NYC SCA IT department support six verticals, including construction management, architecture and engineering (A&E), capital planning, environmental and regulatory compliance (ERC), finance and HR.
The 1,500+ projects within these verticals vary greatly, and maintaining institutional IT knowledge is important to getting them completed, but finding innovative new solutions to reduce manual processes and support digital transformation across the organization also remains important.
“Our workforce is extremely knowledgeable about the business, and have built significant trust with our business users. Their skills need to continue to evolve to ensure we’re using the best technology possible and eliminating technical debt,” said Chief Information Officer, Manny Innamorato.
“The question is: how can we deliver just-in-time, convenient training to folks, laying out what we expect them to learn over the next six months or a year, let them take those courses, and then be able to validate that it occurred?”
Who they are
The School Construction Authority (SCA) was established by the New York State Legislature in December 1988 to build new public schools and manage the design, construction and renovation of capital projects in New York City's more than 1,200 public school buildings, half of which were constructed prior to 1949.
NYC School Construction Authority by the numbers
Founded in 1988
1,500 active projects
126 developers, operations and support employees
What they're learning:
Upskilling to give momentum to digital initiatives
Manny learned about Pluralsight from his son, who took advantage of the convenient, go-at-your-own pace technology skills platform while in school. Realizing it could bring value to his entire organization, Manny chose Pluralsight Skills to support the overall skill development strategy of NYC SCA, and to provide momentum for digital initiatives.
In one such initiative, IT took on an electronic content management project including an Oracle Primavera contract management system in a .NET environment with an Angular front end. Leadership knew that making the shift to more object-oriented programming (OOP) could be a barrier to this project, and that the organization needed a large number of developers to scale up on AngularJS quickly.
Enter Pluralsight Skills.
In addition to individualized tech skill development via courses and assessments, NYC SCA leveraged the platform’s virtual workshops. A tailored curriculum combined with expert-led workshops gave teams custom, collaborative, hands-on labs and dedicated Q&A time, enabling everyone to get up to speed on the direction they were moving in as a whole.
Ash Tadros, Director of IT, said, “The workshops helped us apply our new Angular skill development within the context of our organization. Plus, it helped teams navigate the mental shift to OOP methodology while giving developers the chance to feed off one another as they take on new development roles.”
IT director Simon Lauermann said the ability to design specific challenges that reflect their business was key in growing skills within the context of NYC SCA projects and processes.
Outside of workshops and challenges, developers continue to rely on the technology skills platform to enhance their learning at their own convenience.
The key benefits of Pluralsight for the NYC School Construction Authority
High quality learning to meet employee demand for upskilling with minimal growing pains.
Speed = cost savings
Advanced Angular skills speed time to product development, decision making, leading to less cost incurred at job sites
Interactive, virtual workshops led by Pluralsight experts let developers bounce ideas and questions off one another.
New skills + trusted relationships with the business = more value realized from projects faster.
Applying knowledge to make faster decisions with greater efficiency
Removing paper processes and reducing the amount of time it takes to create, review and approve plans with contractors is one recent project that the NYC School Construction Authority tackled with tech skills.
NYC School Construction Authority is increasing their use of Pluralsight’s Skill IQ and Role IQ going forward to continue to support their efforts to enhance each individual’s contributions to the org.
IT leaders are also considering ways to deliver and apply new skills across the six verticals they support, like developing analytics capabilities throughout the organization, for example.
“We’re looking at ways to train people outside of IT up on the tools and competencies of doing better analytics with the goal of translating that into better business outcomes for the organization,” says Manny.
Continuing to build and modernize schools drives the organization forward. As an organization literally built for learning, providing an environment for its workforce to grow and learn is vital to its success.
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