The White House started off this week hosting a group of technology CEOs as part of ‘Tech Week’. Meanwhile in the DC area, nine Goodwill organizations met for the first Goodwill CareerTECH IT Incubator. The Incubator includes a number of Goodwill organizations from across the country using Goodwill’s Careers in Technology program to implement the Department of Labor’s TechHire grant, which was created to solve economic development issues in local American communities – helping companies fill critical jobs while preparing people with fast-track training they need to launch careers in the technology field.
As President Trump traveled to Iowa to learn about the changing landscape of tech in agriculture Wednesday, Goodwill leaders challenged each other to innovate as they bridge the skills gap by building a cadre of talented, skilled workers. They also celebrated successes within the Careers in Technology program, which targets people underrepresented in IT between the ages of 17-29 who seek pathways to careers. The program began in 2016 and has a goal of serving more than 700 individuals with education, training, credentials and employment in entry-level IT careers, plus the skills to advance as they grow and learn. This week’s privately funded IT Incubator involved even more Goodwill organizations who want to start or expand IT education and career opportunities for people in their own communities who are underrepresented and may not have a traditional pathway into tech fields. In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Kirkwood Community College is showcasing its pathway to “precision ag – “a unique program that prepares students for tech careers in agriculture.
What seems natural from each of these events is the partnership between government, business, and nonprofit organizations to solve our country’s challenges as we modernize. We find ourselves at a recognizable crossroads: industry setting the pace for tech innovation while public investment – in this case at the Department of Labor – creates opportunities for nonprofit and other community organizations to respond with a skilled, talented workforce. Because of this, public investments in tech, infrastructure and education should continue to include education, career preparation, credentialing and apprenticeship opportunities like TechHire and others – the results are empowering for people, communities, economies and keep the country as a whole competitive in a cutting-edge realm. To advocate for jobs and opportunities like these for people in your own community join our advocacy action center now!