In an effort to boost technology communities across the country, the White House administration announced today that it has issued $150 million in U.S. Department of Labor grants. Claiming $4 million of that pot? Atlanta.
ATL TechHire, a partnership between the Atlanta Workforce Agency, TechSquare Labs, and The Iron Yard, will use the funds to train the City of Atlanta’s youth, ages 17-29, with the necessary skills to land jobs in the technology sector (and hopefully keep those talents here in Georgia). Several customized training tracks have been developed to address the needs of the community, including knowledge acquisition in the disciplines of front- and back-end engineering, mobile development, data science, and design.
“Long-term, by developing an inclusive technical workforce, and, ultimately, more technical cofounders of high-growth startups, we will solve the right problems that our Fortune 1000 companies are willing to pay for, which will result in the creation of more diverse lead firms, new jobs, new wealth, new opportunities and transformed communities,” said Rodney Sampson, partner at TechSquare Labs about fostering Atlanta as the technology capital of the South.
“We’re creating tomorrow’s Atlanta today, as well as the model for other cities to emulate and follow.”
The TechHire initiative was created under the Obama Administration as a vehicle to produce pipelines of tech talent, invigorate jobs in local economies, facilitate business growth, and help the rise of community residents into the middle class. Its funding addresses the nearly 600,000 open IT jobs across the sector, as well as the rapid growth of training programs, like The Iron Yard’s coding camps, that can place talent into the 40% open positions that do not require four-year degrees.
“The companies we work with locally are desperate for strong tech talent and want to support their communities,” said Jessica Mitsch, executive director of the Code School at The Iron Yard.
“Additionally, we strongly believe that the technology of the future must be built by diverse tech talent who mirror the diverse people using the technology. Giving deserving young adults access to training programs that will help them gain skills and enter the tech industry is a major step in creating the foundation for a strong, local tech workforce in Atlanta.”
Atlanta is one of 39 communities to win funds from TechHire Partnership grants. Its charter, ATL TechHire, is expected to expand accelerated learning options and emphasize inclusion for high-demand tech jobs. This includes providing more access to learning for out-of-school and out-of-work young Americans, people with disabilities, people learning English as a second language, and those with criminal records.