TechHire was launched to provide more U.S. workers in the growing technology field. More than 300 employers and local governments from 21 regions across the country have committed to the initiative, announced by President Obama at the National League of Cities.
The Obama administration pledged $100 million in competitive grants to fund joint initiatives to target workers who may not have access to tech training. The money for the grants will come from fees companies already pay to hire skilled foreign workers under the H-1B visa program.
“We’ve got to keep positioning ourselves for a constantly changing global economy,” Obama said during the announcement of the initiative. “If we’re not producing enough tech workers, over time that’s going to threaten our leadership in global innovation, which is the bread and butter of the 21st-century economy.”
Business leaders are also committed to offer free online training to prepare workers for higher-paying technology positions, such as software development, network administration, and cybersecurity. The communities involved are working on ways to use data-driven assessments of employer workforce demands; recruit and expand accelerated tech-learning programs such as coding bootcamps and online training; and find ways to connect people with the jobs.
“The world’s technology needs are just moving a lot faster than traditional education solutions. That’s the fundamental problem here,” said Greg Fischer, mayor of Louisville, KY. “So that’s why these nonconventional methods are needed right now.”