MnTech is extremely excited to highlight an extraordinary initiative from our Member Impact Spotlight company of the week: TriCom Technical Services!

TriCom is a Kansas City and Twin Cities-based tech staffing agency that provides IT workforce solutions and staffing services to organizations that are looking to build diverse and tenured teams. Their mission is to connect businesses with top IT talent, and job seekers with the opportunities they need to thrive. The TriCom team values and celebrates personal and professional differences among organization members with the firm belief that “it matters who you work with.” They are committed to fostering cultures of diversity, acceptance, equity, and inclusion within their own team, as well as within the communities they serve.

Despite the growing numbers of historically overlooked and untapped sources of technology talent in the Midwest, the number of open jobs continues to outpace STEM student graduation rates, according to TriCom Founder & CEO Matt Sharples. The need for technology practitioners has grown rapidly in the past decade compared to other professions, especially here in the Twin Cities tech ecosystem. Additionally, women, people of color, and those who may not have socioeconomic access to a traditional 4-year degree make up a disproportionately small number of applicants and employees at tech companies.

TriCom knows that “diversity is not simply a hiring solution, it’s an innovation solution,” which is why they were proud to launch their DiverseIT Initiative in 2020, with the broad goal of bridging the talent/skill gap for companies who are looking to hire more diversely and equitably. Their train-to-hire model is designed to help firms build their IT organizations using non-traditional methods and concepts, such as emphasis of the idea that competency matters more than pedigree. In the eyes of Sharples, the best way to bridge the diversity gap while hiring qualified people is to simply train them.

“Competency matters more than pedigree, who matters more than what, and your future does not have to equal your past. I’m willing to bet on that.” – Matt Sharples, Founder & CEO at TriCom Technical Services.

The DiverseIT Initiative provides on-ramps into various IT roles such as Business Analysts, Software Developers, Quality Assurance, Data Analysts, Project Managers, and much more. The program consists of an assessment and talent training phase, after which participants are placed in a year-long contract with a TriCom client. During this contracted period, TriCom supports DiverseIT apprentices by providing mentorship, technical resources, and ongoing training to ensure that emerging talent and newcomers to the tech space experience minimal symptoms of imposter syndrome. During the first month of the contract assignment, apprentices are paid a fair to above-market wage by TriCom, but clients are not billed for the work. This “try before you buy” model minimizes risk for clients while simultaneously allowing apprentices to prove their talent and value. TriCom also provides a designated support manager who delivers consistent and constructive feedback to DiverseIT participants and ensures open lines of communication between IT managers and TriCom apprentices. According to Sharples, “the end goal is to grow our apprentices into full-fledged, operational IT professionals who then turn into loyal full time employees for our clients.”

TriCom’s hope is that the DiverseIT Initiative brings the next generation of tech talent full circle. Sharples and his team envision building a strong, diverse, and close-knit community of apprentices and graduates with the intention of providing emerging tech professionals with a sense of belonging in a group of likeminded individuals who perhaps share cultural or socioeconomic backgrounds and professional goals/challenges. TriCom strives for DiverseIT graduates to become successful professionals who return to the program to help mentor, train, and support future apprentices.

Looking to get on board with the innovative DiverseIT Initiative? TriCom is currently looking for bootcamp operators with offices in the Twin Cities as well as other enterprise firms who would like to utilize this method to make tangible differences in their DEI numbers. “Many companies keep score with diversity regarding spend, but this is a way to keep score with an actual diversified and equitable IT workforce,” Sharples reasoned. To learn more about how to leverage this model within your own organization, you can contact Matt Sharples directly at

If you’re interested in having your company’s goals, initiatives, projects, stories, current events, etc. featured in our newsroom, TECHtuesday newsletter, and MnTech’s social channels, please fill out our Member Impact Spotlight form or contact Adriana Nguyen, MnTech Marketing & Events Manager at