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More Training Dollars for TechHire Initiative

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

This week, speaking to nearly 2,000 local leaders at the National League of Cities annual meeting, President Obama announced the new TechHire initiative, a campaign to work with communities to get more Americans rapidly trained for well-paying technology jobs. 

The United States has about 5 million open jobs today, more than at any point since 2001. Over half a million of those job openings are in information technology (IT), and the average salary in a job that requires IT skills is 50 percent higher than the average private-sector American job. These open jobs are an economic development issue, and helping U.S. companies fill these critical jobs and empowering more Americans to train for and get these jobs is a key element of the President’s middle-class economics agenda.  

The OPM website explains that “TechHire is a multi-sector effort and call to action for local communities to collaborate in helping employers fill critical local IT job gaps by empowering a diverse array of Americans to rapidly gain the necessary technology skills.” This will include not only traditional training solutions but nontraditional training options like “coding bootcamps” and high-quality online courses. 

More importantly, a broad range of partners are already on board, including 21 forward-leaning communities and over 300 employer partners. Some 21 regions, with more than 120,000 open technology jobs and more than 300 employer partners, are announcing plans to work together on new ways to recruit and place applicants into jobs based on their actual skills and to create more rapid IT training opportunities. Get your community or employer involved by learning more here.


In his announcement, the President also noted private-sector leaders that will be offering new tools and resources to encourage and expand continued innovation in technology training, with a focus on reaching under-served populations. For example, Capital One, through its $150 million FutureEdge initiative, will help increase tech skills and hiring, while providing support tailored to the needs of local communities. Likewise, LinkedIn will provide free data about the supply and demand of IT skills to help communities focus their efforts on in-demand jobs. A complete list of private-sector commitments can be found here.

Finally, the Administration will launch a $100 million H-1B grant competition by the U.S. Department of Labor to support innovative approaches to training and successfully employing individuals who face barriers to training and employment, including those with child care responsibilities, people with disabilities, disconnected youth, and limited English proficient workers, among others. This grant competition will support the growth of evidence-based strategies such as accelerated learning, work-based learning, and Registered Apprenticeships.

These new efforts will build on the Administration’s broader agenda to invest in training for in-demand industries, including recent announcements by the U.S. Department of Labor on increased support for apprenticeships and by the Veterans Administration on accelerated learning.

Learn more about the initiative on the TechFirst Fact Sheet. 


About the Author

Ryann K. Ellis is an editor for the Association of Talent Development (ATD). She has been covering workplace learning and performance for ATD (formerly the American Society for Training & Development) since 1995. She currently manages ATD's Community of Practice blogs, as well as ATD's government-focused magazine, The Public Manager. Contact her at rellis@td.org. 

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