Updated April 17 at 6:17pm

Tech cos.’ bridge gap between work, community needs

By Rhonda Miller
PBN Staff Writer

Corporate time for employee volunteering is part of the structure at East Greenwich-based Bridge Technical Talent. Employees get one day a month to volunteer. More

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Tech cos.’ bridge gap between work, community needs

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Corporate time for employee volunteering is part of the structure at East Greenwich-based Bridge Technical Talent. Employees get one day a month to volunteer.

Scott Deutsch, a business-development manager for the IT-staffing firm, said the designated day is one more element that can help Rhode Island attract and retain technical talent in the highly competitive national landscape.

“I think it can help tip the scales. It’s something I thought about when I came onboard,” said Deutsch, a Rhode Island native who started with the company in October 2012. “I worked at a large company before and they would do walkathons, but they were never as proactive as Bridge.”

In the monthly volunteer day, Deutsch saw more than time away from work. “When you’re shopping for a job and you see the volunteer time, it tells you a lot about the character of the people you’ll be working with,” said Deutsch, who volunteers with Habitat for Humanity.

But in the tech world, where there is a national shortage of qualified workers, some of the perks offered by top companies can make it tough for talented techies to even find Rhode Island on the map.

For instance, Forbes magazine named Facebook the best company to work for in 2013. On forbes.com Facebook’s perks are listed: paid vacation days, free food and transportation, $4,000 in cash for new parents, dry cleaning, day care reimbursement and photo processing. Despite the dazzling array of perks offered by some tech companies, Cynthia Toti, Bridge Technical Talent’s inside-sales manager for Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, said she’s found the company’s monthly volunteer day valuable, because it’s added a meaningful connection to her life.

Toti, who was teacher for a couple of years before she found her long-term place in the business and technology world, volunteers at The Greene School, a charter high school in West Greenwich that focuses on environmental science.

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