President announces new TechHire initiative

March 10, 2015

President Obama yesterday announced a new TechHire initiative to equip workers with the skills necessary to fill open positions in information technology fields.

In a fact sheet, the White House notes that of the 5 million jobs open today, 500,000 are in information technology fields. The TechHire initiative would respond to the need through a series of commitments from private sector employers and municipalities across the country and a new $100 million grant program. 

The grant program – funded by H1-B visa fees – would support innovative approaches to helping low-skilled workers with barriers to employment – including parents, people with disabilities, individuals with limited English proficiency and disconnected youth – access the skills needed to fill technology jobs. The program will support partnerships between employers, workforce boards, training institutions, nonprofit organizations, cities, and states employing a range of strategies, including accelerated training, work-based learning, and registered apprenticeship to serve both front-line workers and the unemployed. The Department of Labor will release the grant solicitation in fall 2015, and awards will be announced in 2016.

The TechHire initiative also includes commitments from 20 municipalities and from the private sector to: use data to identify local skills needs and implement innovative hiring practices; to introduce and expand accelerated training models including coding boot camps and online training; and to activate local leadership to support new training efforts that help connect people to jobs.

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