(Image credit/Pixabay/StockSnap)Worldpay Inc and the University of Cincinnati (UC) are on a mission to help fill a widespread skills gap, while creating career opportunities for students and business solutions for the Symmes Township-based payments technology company.

Worldpay is the latest industry partner to co-locate at UC’s 1819 Innovation Hub, within the Uptown Innovation Corridor in Avondale. Worldpay expects to move into the Hub this fall. It will join Kroger, Cincinnati Bell, P&G and Cincinnati Financial as charter partners. 1819 is the connecting place for industry to rapidly access the talent and resources at UC.

UC’s 1819 Innovation Hub

The 1819 Innovation Hub is home to innovation, connecting the resources organisations need to succeed. Part of Cincinnati’s developing innovation district, it provides a place for organisations from start-up to Fortune 500 to interact. It provides access to university talent to collaborate, accelerate, and solve today’s complex problems. Every semester, Worldpay plans to employ students to work on fintech applications and other projects in its 1819 space. The collaboration will train students for future careers in technology. In addition, it will help Worldpay advance the way the world pays for goods and services.

Worldpay processes more than 40 billion transactions annually—more than any other acquirer in the world. The company focuses on enabling payment methods, protecting against fraud and delivering data-driven insights for businesses. The company also partners with UC and other schools in its TechBright programme. Techbright is designed to increase the number of students—especially women and underrepresented minorities—pursuing degrees in the technology sector.

If you consider how consumers pay for things and how that is constantly evolving, it means companies like Worldpay need to be heavily focused on innovation. We have to embrace change or fall behind,” said Worldpay President and Chief Operating Officer Mark Heimbouch. “That is why the relationship between UC and companies like Worldpay, Kroger and P&G are so important. It allows us, together, to be ahead of the curve—creating tech and not just consuming it.”

Future of work – skills gap

Korn Ferry Institute’s “Future of Work: The Global Talent Crunch,” estimates the global talent shortfall at 85.2 million people by 2030. Korn Ferry suggests this represents $8.5 trillion in unrealised annual revenue. The financial and business services industries are expected to be the hardest hit. The primary reasons being fierce competition for qualified workers and disruptive technology.

UC Chief Innovation Officer David J. Adams sees opportunity in those numbers and is looking forward to Worldpay taking up residence in 1819. “The struggle for talent is real among startups, mid-size organisations and billion-dollar companies like Worldpay. UC can help, as we do strategically every day, connecting partners to students, research and ongoing educational resources,” he said. “Talent has choices. The more UC can demonstrate that our region is a place where innovative companies thrive, the more likely we are to see that talent choose Cincinnati as a place to stay.”

Worldpay has provided scholarships to UC students in the School of Information Technology and College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. The company regularly sponsors the university’s hackathon, RevUC, as well as the School of Information Technology’s Early College Programme, the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences Senior Design Showcase and School of IT’s TechExpo. Additionally, since 2016, more than a third of Worldpay technology interns from UC have become full-time employees. The company’s working relationship with UC helped pave the way for discussion about a partnership at the 1819 Innovation Hub. Worldpay was interested in making strategic connections at the university to help address talent needs.

UC President Neville G. Pinto said, “It’s exciting to see our expanding partnerships at the 1819 Innovation Hub. We are grateful that an industry-leading technology company with the reach of Worldpay is deepening its relationship with the UC. This should support access and develop the talent it needs for the future.

Enterprise Times: What this means for business?

It’s probably the most repeated prediction of the year: Robots are eventually going to take your job, and probably sooner than you think. As it turns out, that would be the wrong thinking, and by a long shot. However, the biggest issue isn’t that robots are taking all the jobs—it’s that there aren’t enough people to take them. Hence the tie-up between leading technology businesses and universities across the world.

Worldpay’s relationship with UC is the latest tie-up that’s been taking place between business and academia since the Victorian ages. For Worldpay, it’s a win-win situation. An opportunity to brand itself with a leading technical university. In addition to access to some of the sharpest and smartest young entrepreneurial brains. The perfect tonic to the current skills shortages that affects all technology companies across the globe.


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