TechHire Initiative

TechHire Initiative

"When these tech jobs go unfilled, it’s a missed opportunity for the workers, but it’s also a missed opportunity for your city, your community, your county, your state, and our nation"
- President Barack Obama, National League of Cities Annual Conference March 9th, 2015

Administration continuing to expand TechHire

On March 10, 2015, President Obama announced his TechHire initiative, a new campaign to expand local tech sectors by building tech talent pipelines in communities across the country. That announcement included three main components: (1) More than 20 communities with over 300 employer partners signed on to pilot accelerated training strategies; (2) large private-sector companies and national organizations committed to providing tools to support these TechHire communities; and (3) the President pledged $100 million in federal grant funding.

Today, the number of TechHire communities has more than doubled, to 50. If your community is interested to join the TechHire movement, please scroll down for more information on the TechHire initiative and how to get involved.

$150M awarded in Department of Labor TechHire Partnership Grants

Consistent with the goals of TechHire, today, Vice President Biden and Department of Labor Secretary Perez are announcing the release of $150 million in new Department of Labor TechHire grants—which will support 39 public-private partnerships to help train tomorrow’s workforce in rapid-growth sectors like tech, healthcare, and advanced manufacturing.

The grants will focus on providing workers the skills for a pathway to the middle class while providing employers with the skilled technology workers need to grow and expand. The Department of Labor estimates that more than 18,000 participants will receive services through the TechHire grant program. Over $125 million of the grants will go to partnerships that specifically target, train, and support young people, ages 17-29. In addition, $24 million will go to partnerships that help other disadvantaged groups with barriers to employment, including veterans, people with disabilities, people with limited English proficiency, and people with criminal records.

Grant winners and TechHire community partnerships focus on the following:

  • Data and innovative hiring practices to expand openness to non-traditional hiring
  • Models for training that prepare students in months, not years
  • Active local leadership to connect people to jobs with hiring on ramp programs

The TechHire initiative launched in 2015 with 21 communities and over 300 employers committed to providing Americans with the accelerated, nontraditional technical training they need to obtain better jobs and achieve better futures.  Since the launch of TechHire, the initiative has grown to 50 communities, committed to improving the lives of Americans. The President is challenging other communities across the country to follow their lead and get involved.

Rural Tech in the U.S: South Central Appalachia TechHire

On June 27, 2016 the Administration also launched South Central Appalachia TechHire, a joint effort by the Appalachian Regional Commission, the University of Virginia’s College at Wise, and private sector employers to develop a world-class ecosystem of tech talent in the heart of Appalachia. Together, South Central Appalachia TechHire will prepare and place over 50 individuals into tech jobs over the next year, and 400 by 2020.

To learn more about TechHire in rural communities, check out the blog post from NEC Director Jeff Zients and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.


Watch and Read About the Launch Learn More About the Grants Spotlight on Rural Tech



Get Involved with TechHire

You can support the President's TechHire initiative on social media using the hashtag #TechHire.

Join The TechHire Community

We would welcome the opportunity to work with you to highlight new, specific, and measurable steps that your community is ready to take in these areas. If applicable, your announcement may be incorporated into White House materials in the coming months and your organization and relevant partners may be invited to participate in upcoming White House events on this topic.

Commit to become a TechHire Community or employer partner today! As a first step, we request you fill out the information at the link below, which requires coming together with partners across your region to develop an action plan for training and placing more people from your community into tech jobs. Please submit the form at the link below by August 31, 2016 for the next round of consideration.


I Want to Make a Community Commitment I Want to Make an Employer Commitment  

The TechHire Opportunity

America has more open jobs today than at any point since 2008, especially in the information technology sector.


Today there are over half a million unfilled jobs in information technology across all sectors of the economy. These IT jobs make up ~12% of the approximately 5 million job openings making IT the largest occupational category for open jobs right now. Non-IT industries currently employ two-thirds of these private sector IT workers. IT jobs in fields like cybersecurity, network administration, coding, project management, UI design and data analytics offer pathways to middle-class careers with average salaries more than one and a half times higher than the average private-sector American job. IT and cybersecurity jobs are not only for people with advanced degrees
In fact, hundreds of thousands of these jobs require skills that can be learned not only in universities, but also in community colleges, in industry-certified training programs, in “coding boot camps” or in high-quality online courses.
And they’re not just in Silicon Valley, or in the high tech industry – many are in industries we don’t think of as part of the technology sector – in health care, retail, manufacturing, financial services, energy, transportation, or in local government. Helping more Americans train and connect to these jobs is a key element of the President’s middle-class economics agenda.


Ecosystem: Key TechHire Components

Girls code at a bootcamp program

Meeting Employer Demand

Employer demand for IT skills is everywhere-- and it is growing. Those ready to hire from both nontraditional and traditional training programs are reviewing and upgrading their hiring practices to integrate non-traditional hiring. Employers are also working to share robust data on where they have greatest needs and what skills they are seeking to help make sure that training leads to jobs.

Explore the map below to find open IT jobs near you.

Students help each other learn in bootcamp

Innovative Training that Works

In addition to strong four-year and two-year degree programs, new models have emerged for interested non-tech-experienced students to gain coding skills in months, not years. These new training programs can be run both independently or as part of a local community college or university education offering.

Employers listen attentively in conference room

Community Leadership

Strong local leadership convenes and fosters communication, collaboration and innovation amongst local players. Mayors, council members, workforce development program offices and other local leaders can bring together employers, training providers and other key local players and commit to support the TechHire initiative.

Explore the map below for communities that are already leading.

Students concentrate on coding

Regional Teammates

Most cities have a broad spectrum of local leaders who can bring their resources and expertise to this effort. As an example, local tech community leaders can welcome new students to their tech meet-ups, startup weekends, developer hack-a-thons, campus tech and entrepreneurship groups and other local gatherings which are happening across our nation in most cities from Nashville to Boise.

Stories of TechHire

When the President launched TechHire a year ago today, he highlighted the story of LaShana—who, as he said then, “refused to give up on her dream, and used her free time to teach herself new computer skills.  And she started going to a coding ‘meetup’ that was run by LaunchCode, which is a non-for-profit that finds talented people across St. Louis and gives them the training and credibility for the tech jobs employers are desperately needing to fill as we speak.  So LaShana had the skills.  LaunchCode went to bat for her.  And today, she’s a systems engineer at MasterCard.”
And with that story, the President challenged communities nationwide to provide opportunities for their workers to access tech jobs. And now, a total of 50 communities have taken up that challenge. See additional TechHire stories below and in the Stories section, with thousands more still being told across the country.

Garland C. (KY)
Whitesburg native Garland Couch found himself unemployed after being let go from a coal mining company in Southeastern Kentucky in 2014 after working there for two decades. He was out of work for three months until he found Bit Source, a 22-week software development training program, and was trained and hired as a computer coder. After graduating from his program, he found a job as a junior coder who creates websites and apps and games similar to the ones he loved playing during his lunch breaks at Arch Coal.
Thaddeus D. (OH)
Thaddeus Ducker came to The Software Guild in Akron at 23. As a warehouse operator making $30,000 per year, he was interested in technology and looking for a change. According to Thaddeus, “I got tired of working all my days away and not being able to enjoy my job or my life... So I decided that it was time to take my life into my own hands and stop having a job, and create a career for myself.” So he enrolled in The Software Guild as an apprentice. Using a program called Employer Connect, which pairs employers with apprentices, Thaddeus received an offer of over $50,000 from LeafFilter, a local company.
Michelle S. (NE)
Before Michelle Sinclair, age 31, joined the TechHire Pilot Program, she had been with the same employer for 4 years, with no further opportunity for advancement. Thanks to the training she received through the TechHire Nebraska Pilot, Michelle now has a new job as a Quality Assurance Analyst with Xpanxion, which better fits her interests and provides opportunity for growth.


Lori C. (TX)
Lori Culberson, age 45, is a symbol of our dynamic economy—now on her third career, Lori’s friends know her for a “combination of incredible grit and a positive spirit” that lift those around her. Following a decade in K-12 teaching and coaching, Lori enrolled at the Turing School to become a software developer. Now, she is a developer at TeamSnap, making over $10,000 more per year than in her prior role.
Chelsea O. (MN)
U.S. Army veteran and University of Minnesota graduate Chelsea Okey chose to attend PRIME Digital Academy in Minneapolis attain additional training. After completing the 18-week computer programming course, she joined the Minneapolis-based company SmartThings as a software engineer—in spite of having a non-technical background.
S. Aaron T. (CO)
S. Aaron Torres, a Colorado native, served 8 years on active duty in the U.S. Navy as an Electronic Warfare Technician. Following his service, he studied Pre-Law and became involved in advocating for veterans issues. In fall 2015, he decided to switch careers once more—to become an entrepreneur. He is currently in training at Skill Distillery, and at the same time, Aaron is helping to launch First Cloud Consulting as Business Development Manager.


Tracie and Trayvon (MD)
Tracie and Trayvon are twins who were homeless in Baltimore, Maryland before graduating from high school. Fortunately, their futures looked brighter when they found the Baltimore-based tech training program, Digital All Systems. In only two months’ time, they landed jobs with the company fixing computers and building networks. Now twenty-three years old, they are founders of a technology company called Street Geetz that specializes in fixing phones, computers, and networks.
Corrine K. (TN)
DC native Corrine Konoza graduated from college with dreams of pursuing a career in web development. Despite having some the college courses needed to fulfill her dream, she found herself unemployed and decided to join a six-month intensive apprenticeship program with Lamp Post labs in Chattanooga. She has since then relocated to the DC area and has taken on a senior full stack development position making a six-figure salary, all due to the accelerated training program.
Allison L. (NY)
Allison Larson, 22, was a baker at a large grocery chain, kneading enough cookies on a daily basis to lose the feeling in her fingertips. She learned about Turing through a friend and applied, despite having no background in technology or programming. She went straight through the four quarters of Turing’s program, graduated in the top segment of her class, and relocated to New York City where she writes software for Bonobos and has tripled her prior salary.


Victor C. (MN)
In Minneapolis, Victor Chege, originally an immigrant from Kenya, struggled to get a foot into the IT industry in the US despite having an IT background. As a result, Victor took cleaning jobs to make ends meet. Through Changing IT Futures Foundation’s IT Ready free, eight-week training program, not only was Victor able to obtain a CompTIA A+ certification, he also got connected to a 6-month paid work experience opportunity. Victor graduated at the top his class, and is currently an IT Service Desk Agent with the City of Minneapolis.
Luz T. (FL)
Luz Tamayo, an immigrant to the US from Colombia, was a civil engineer by training—yet when her husband was diagnosed with cancer, she left the workforce to focus her attention on him. After her husband passed away, Luz found it difficult to find a full-time job. She enrolled in a CS50 course at Miami Dade College. After Luz completed the course, LaunchCode placed her in 3-month apprenticeship at MasterCard—and as a result of her training and hard work, she accepted a full-time offer.
Geraldina A. (NY)
Geraldina Alvarez-Garcia was born in Venezuela and came to New York with her family. Unable to complete college for financial reasons, she joined the NYC Web Development Fellowship delivered in partnership with the Flatiron School and fell in love with technology. After 22 weeks of intensive training and an internship at Brooklyn-based Kickstarter, today this 23-year-old is employed as a full-time software engineer, a role which earns an average salary of nearly $80,000.


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Private Sector Tools & Community Resources

Learn more about tools and resources to support and scale continued innovation in technology training, with a focus on reaching under-served populations:

Support for Local Leaders

      Capital One
      Yes We Code
      AARP Foundation
      Jobs for the Future

Expanding Accelerated Models for Training

      Dev Bootcamp
      General Assembly
      Hack Reactor
      Hackbright Academy
      Rural Sourcing
      Treehouse Island, Inc.
      Year Up
      The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE)
      Course Report
      Zenith Education Group

Using Data and Innovative Hiring Practices

      Better Weekdays
      JPMorgan Chase
      Innovate+Educate (I+E)

TechHire Communities

Learn more about TechHire activities already happening in communities across America.

      Akron, OH
      Alachua and Bradford Counties, FL
      Albuquerque, NM
      Anchorage, AK
      Arizona (State of)
      Atlanta, GA
      Austin, TX
      Baltimore, MD
      Bellevue, WA
      Birmingham, AL
      Boston, MA
      Buffalo County, NE
      Burlington, VT
      Caroll County, MD
      Central Florida
      Chattanooga, TN
      Cincinnati, OH
      Colorado (State of)
      Delaware (State of)
      Detroit, MI
      Eastern Kentucky
      El Paso County, TX
      Flint, MI
      Hawai'i (State of)
      Indianapolis, IN
      Howard County, MD
      Jackson, MS
      Jackson, TN
      Kansas City, MO
      Los Angeles, CA
      Louisville, KY
      Lynchburg, VA
      Maine (State of)
      Memphis, TN
      Miami, FL
      Milwaukee, WI
      Minneapolis, MN
      Mobile, AL
      Nashville, TN
      New Haven, CT
      New Orleans, LA
      New York City, NY
      Newark, NJ
      Oakland, CA
      Oklahoma City, OK
      Omaha, NE
      Pensacola, FL
      Philadelphia, PA
      Pittsburgh, PA
      Portland, OR
      Puerto Rico
      Raleigh, NC
      Rhode Island (State of)
      Riverside, CA
      Rochester, NY
      Salt Lake City, UT
      San Antonio, TX
      San Francisco, CA
      San Jose, CA
      Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico
      Seattle, WA
      South Central Appalachia
      St. Louis, MO
      Stamford, CT
      Tallahassee, FL
      Tampa Bay, FL
      Toledo, OH
      Trenton City, NJ
      Tulsa, OK
      Virginia (State of)
      Washington, DC

Agency Activities

Learn more about TechHire activities already happening in government agencies America.

      The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
      The Department of Labor