Mayor’s Office of Communications
55 Trinity Avenue, Suite 2500 • Atlanta, Georgia 30303
Anne Torres, Director
Jennifer Ogunsola, Communications Director
Atlanta Workforce Development Agency
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 9, 2016
City of Atlanta Receives Official White House TechHire Designation
Atlanta Workforce Development Agency, The Iron Yard and TechSquare Labs partner to lead Atlanta TechHire Initiative
ATLANTA – The City of Atlanta announced today that it has been designated as a TechHire City by the White House. Atlanta joins 15 more cities nationwide that have committed to creating pathways to better, well-paying tech jobs and meeting urgent employer demand. The Atlanta Workforce Development Agency (AWDA), The Iron Yard, and TechSquare Labs will partner to lead and implement the Atlanta TechHire Initiative.
“The City of Atlanta is honored to participate in the TechHire Initiative. In partnership with community leaders and business partners, we will provide residents with the accelerated, technical training needed to obtain better jobs and achieve brighter futures,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “The Atlanta TechHire Initiative will be essential to ensuring that our residents have the skills needed to compete in the global economy.”
The demand for technology jobs is outpacing the supply of available talent. Atlanta is among the top ten 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 throughout 2016, and over 400 individuals by 2020. Individuals trained through the Atlanta TechHire Initiative will be guaranteed interviews with the city’s employer partners.
“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.” said 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, non-profit, 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 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 like “coding boot camps,” and high-quality online courses that can rapidly train workers for a well-paying job, often in just a few months. There are now 50 TechHire cities nationally.
“Atlanta’s designation as a White House TechHire city cements its position as the Technology Capital of the South,” said Rodney Sampson, Chief of Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives at TechSquare Labs. “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, The Atlanta Workforce Development Agency, The Iron Yard and our employer partners.”
“Over the last several years that The Iron Yard has operated in Atlanta, we have had the privilege to work with many of the city’s world-class innovators and employers, and meet ambitious, talented individuals who want to pursue careers in technology,” said Peter Barth, CEO of The Iron Yard. “It comes as no surprise to us that a city with such a range of talent would be named a White House TechHire city. We are honored to work alongside the White House and our Atlanta partners to empower individuals with in-demand skills and strengthen the community’s workforce.”
The Atlanta TechHire Initiative has engaged several employer partners to participate in the initiative and interviewed TechHire-trained candidates including Turner, The Weather Company, 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,” said Dr. Paul Judge, Chairman of Pindrop. “We support The White House, Mayor Reed, Michael Sterling and all of the partners in this initiative.”
There is projected to be 1 million more IT jobs than computer science students in the US by 2020. The City of Atlanta’s Department of Information Management has committed to filling 20 percent of its job openings in FY2016 with graduates from the Atlanta TechHire Initiative. The City of Atlanta Workforce Development Agency will develop a clearinghouse of employer needs, training programs, and job seekers to connect qualified candidates to open tech jobs.
Additional details about TechHire can be found in the White House fact sheet here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/03/09/fact-sheet-white-house-announces-doubling-techhire-communities-and-new
Additional details about the Atlanta TechHire Initiative can be found here: http://techhire.org/community/atlanta/
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For more information about the Atlanta Workforce Development Agency, please visit www.atlantaga.gov/awda
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The Atlanta Workforce Development Agency (AWDA) serves as the workforce system for the City of Atlanta. The agency provides job seekers - adults, dislocated workers (laid-off), and youth (ages 14-24) - with resources to attain sustainable employment and collaborates with business leaders for the recruitment and development of their labor needs.