If you plan on job hunting in 2018, it looks like there will be a slew of tech openings. The Technology Association of Oregon put out a survey last month to area tech employers, asking about their hiring plans. Twenty-nine companies responded, noting that they planned to hire a cumulative 280+ people into tech-related positions, says Teri Hockett, VP of TAO and head of the Central Oregon TAO office.

What kinds of jobs are these? Teri notes that the positions in demand include high-level CIO and CTO positions, as well as software developers, web developers, product managers, IT support, network security and more.

This is kind of a good news/ruh-roh situation–or as the optimist in me likes to say: good news plus an opportunity. The upside: Bend’s tech community continues to grow. Existing companies are getting bigger and new ones are popping up all the time. It’s heartening to see this community strengthen and improve, and to know that it’s only getting better.

The opportunity? Well, Teri notes that “there are more openings than we have the pipeline for.” That works in your favor if you’re a tech person job hunting, but it’s definitely a challenge for the companies hiring. (It’s also a problem not necessarily unique to Bend).

We’ve already seen some local workarounds to the talent gap, including hybrid remote and local teams, overseas outsourcing and of course, supplemental help from contractors.

At the same time, several Central Oregon organizations including TAO, EDCO, East Cascades Workforce Investment Board, OSU-Cascades and more are exploring ways to permanently boost the tech talent pool.

For instance, the Apprenti program recently launched in Central Oregon, providing one-year apprenticeships for people wanting to dig into technology careers, with a focus on recruiting women, minority and veteran applicants.

Teri told The Bulletin, that the first 10 to 12 people in the Bend program should start their software development training by February. OSU-Cascades is also growing its CS program, with instructor Yong Bakos working closely with local tech employers as well.

Last note and shameless plug: If you are job hunting, check out our jobs board for openings. And if you’re employer, take advantage of our FREE or low-cost postings. You’ll reach a lovely audience of thousands, who are passionate about living and working here.