White House Names Atlanta A TechHire City

Startup innovation hub and workforce groups partner to close supply-demand gap in IT jobs

Business
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The City of Atlanta has been named an official TechHire city by the White House. The Atlanta Workforce Development AgencyThe Iron Yardand TechSquare Labs will partner to lead and implement the Atlanta TechHire Initiative. The TechHire Initiative was launched by President Obama in March 2015. It is a multi-sector initiative and call to action to empower Americans with the skills they need, through universities and community colleges but also nontraditional approaches such as “coding boot camps,” and high-quality online courses that can rapidly train workers for a well-paying job, often in just a few months.

Atlanta is among the top 10 U.S. cities with the greatest supply-demand gap in IT jobs. In 2016, through the Atlanta TechHire Initiative, The Atlanta Workforce Development Agency, The Iron Yard and TechSquare Labs will train at least 100 individuals in software development and other high-growth IT occupations, and more than 400 individuals by 2020. Individuals trained through the Atlanta TechHire Initiative will be guaranteed interviews with the initiative’s employer partners. “Atlanta’s designation as a White House TechHire city cements its position as the Technology Capital of the South,” says Rodney Sampson, chief of Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives at TechSquare Labs, an innovation hub for entrepreneurs.

“This branding increases our responsibility to create an innovative and entrepreneurial workforce and technology ecosystem for all. TechSquare Labs stands at the ready to lead this task in collaboration with The City of Atlanta, Atlanta Workforce Development Agency, The Iron Yard, and our employer partners.”

[Related: Two Atlanta Startup Hubs Merge To Diversity Tech Sector]

“In order for our city to be competitive in an ever changing hyper-connected economy, we have to ensure local residents have access and opportunities for training and employment in the growing technology industry, and Atlanta’s designation as a TechHire city is key in our work to create more rapid IT training opportunities,” adds Michael T. Sterling, executive director, Atlanta Workforce Development Agency. “As the workforce system for the city of Atlanta, we will work in a collaborative and unrelenting fashion with public, private, nonprofit, local, state, and federal partners to make certain that Atlanta’s workforce is equipped with the tools needed to navigate the innovation and entrepreneurship world.”

The Atlanta TechHire Initiative has engaged several employer partners to participate in the initiative and interview TechHire-trained candidates including Turner, The Weather Co., Pindrop, SOLTECH, Luma, Springbot, WhatCounts, and the City of Atlanta Department of Information Management, among others.

“Pindrop is committed to advancing the precedent of ensuring that Atlanta attracts, builds, nurtures, and retains highly skilled engineering and technical talent, particularly given the opportunity this City has to impact the world in terms of rapidly evolving innovation, entrepreneurship, and investment trends,” says Pindrop Chairman Paul Judge.