Minneapolis is one of 20 communities that have pledged to join a new White House campaign to get more people hired in high-tech jobs.
Mayor Betsy Hodges joined President Obama on Monday morning as he announced his TechHire initiative at the National League of Cities’ Congressional City Conference in Washington, D.C. The program aims to boost potential employees’ tech skills through training at colleges, universities, online institutions and boot camps.
The White House says more than 500,000 of the 5 million jobs open in the U.S. are in information technology industries, ranging from software development to cyber security. It plans to launch a $100 million competitive grant program for “innovative” strategies that provide workers with training and employment.
Much of the initiative, however, will be led by communities. Each city that has joined the program has provided a plan that outlines which companies or institutions it will link with to provide more training opportunities.
Minneapolis says it will work with three partners: Prime Digital Academy, an offshoot of the Nerdery, which provides an 18-week accelerated training program; Concordia University Bootcamp, a 12-week software development training program that will provide eligible students with financial aid; and IT-Ready, an eight-week classroom training program operated by the Creating IT Futures Foundation.
Hodges said in a statement that a great emphasis on training will provide momentum for the city’s challenge of closing racial gaps in wealth, education and employment.
“While Minneapolis does enjoy great economic momentum with just a 3 percent unemployment rate, we know that not all share in that momentum,” she said. “There are wide disparities in unemployment between white people and people of color, and there are many unemployed and underemployed people eager to get a job or get a better paying job. The TechHire initiative is a way to close the existing gaps and provide opportunities for everyone to participate.”