On Friday, April 17, the White House will host local leaders from all across our “Innovation Nation” at the first-ever White House Tech Meetup.
Organizers from cities and rural communities are starting coding bootcamps, hosting startup weekends, running share spaces, holding maker events, and setting up hundreds of innovation-focused tech Meetups every day. They hail from all parts of the United States – from Alaska to Alabama, Connecticut to Kentucky, New Jersey to New Mexico, Ohio to Oregon, Tennessee to Texas, and Nebraska to New York.
They are community organizers, local elected officials, artists, business and civic leaders, coders, designers, entrepreneurs, funders, and more. Each of these leaders is playing a part in building interconnected local talent ecosystems that enable more Americans to get involved in entrepreneurship, economic development, and community solutions – inclusive, fun, high-impact innovation of all kinds.
We will gather for the White House Tech Meetup with a few goals in mind: to help each other thrive by sharing best practices and scale outreach and inclusion efforts, to find ways to help more of our neighbors join in (especially those who have been less well-represented in tech), and to engage young people. Through this event, we want to “upgrade” the ability to include all of us in technology and innovation.
The White House Tech Meetup builds on President Obama’s focus on expanding opportunity for all Americans, including the TechHire Initiative announced earlier this year. Currently, there are 5 million jobs open today in the U.S., with more than 500,000 open jobs in IT. TechHire aims to grow our economy by helping fill open jobs in fields like cybersecurity, user interface design, data analytics, and customer support. Working through universities and community colleges, as well as new approaches to learning like coding bootcamps and online platforms, TechHire rapidly trains workers for tech careers. In parallel, TechHire supports local employers to expand hiring practices to include individuals who have gone through these new alternative training programs.
Already, more than 20 communities are participating in TechHire to fill open IT jobs, many of which pay 50 percent more than the average salary. TechHire communities work to help qualify more people for careers in technology in a matter of months instead of years, which can help local economies thrive.
Efforts like TechHire and the White House Tech Meetup are focused on growing the ecosystem of talented Americans participating in our local tech communities by actively reaching out to those who may not initially think that product management, learning to code, mobile app user interface design, or a web Meetup group is for them. We encourage local tech leaders to connect with people of all genders, ages (especially youth), and backgrounds to help them know and believe that they can be our next generation of startup founders, entrepreneurs, computer scientists, innovative designers, and product managers.
This Friday at 9:00 a.m. ET, watch the White House Tech Meetup at WhiteHouse.gov/Live and participate via #WHMeetup to be part of this convening of incredible Americans representing our Innovation Nation.