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Obama TechHire Initiative Aims to Connect Average Citizens and the High-Tech Workplace

A new initiative launched by the president's administration builds partnerships and provides funding to bridge the gap between the middle class and high-paying tech jobs.

by / March 10, 2015

The Obama administration announced on March 9 a new initiative, called TechHire, designed to provide Americans with means to achieve “high-paying” technology jobs. TechHire makes available $100 million in grants, while working with community partners in 21 regions to bridge the gap between the average citizen and high-tech workplace.

Partner communities include Louisville, Ky.; New York City; Philadelphia; Delaware; city of Kearney and Buffalo County, Neb.; the state of Colorado; St. Louis, Mo.; Salt Lake City; San Antonio, Texas; Los Angeles; Minneapolis; Kansas City, Mo.; Memphis, Tenn.; rural eastern Kentucky; Nashville, Tenn.; Rochester, N.Y.; Detroit; San Francisco; Albuquerque, N.M.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; and Portland. Being a partner community, according to the initiative fact sheet, means three things.

  1. Partners are committing to “innovative hiring practices” that use a data-driven approach to identifying needed skill sets, and then working with employers to review and change existing recruiting and hiring practices.
  2. Partners will also speed up the training process for workers, propelling workers into working with new skills in matter of months, rather than years. This is to be accomplished through the use of coding boot camps and online education.
  3. Communities will build local partnerships with organizations who can vouch for the newly-educated workers who don’t have traditional educations but possess the skills to complete the work needed.

Through the Department of Labor, $100 million will become available to support additional innovative approaches to connecting skilled workers with employment.

“This grant will serve people with barriers to accessing training including people with childcare responsibilities, people with disabilities, people with limited English proficiency, and disconnected youth, among others. It will serve both unemployed and low skilled front line workers,” the initiative fact sheet reads.

More details on the announcement, along with a list of partners and associated programs can be found at WhiteHouse.gov and on the TechHire Initiative website.