Delaware Public Media

White House launches TechHire with First State on board

Mar 9, 2015

The White House rolled out a new initiative Monday called TechHire that aims to get American workers the digital skills they need to compete in current job market. The White House pointed to Delaware as one of over twenty other regions ranging from Eastern Kentucky to New York City that have committed to providing tech training to their residents in hopes of helping them land higher paying jobs.

Here’s how TechHire is going to work in the First State: job seekers will get connected to coding boot camps, run by tech organizations like Zip Code Wilmington and Tech Impact. There, they will learn a range of skills, from simple digital literacy to the more complicated world of advanced code.

"The jobs that are growing and not shrinking are those that require digital skills," says Carolyn Berkowitz, President of the Capital One Foundation. The company has taken a lead role in Delaware’s TechHire program. She says that “digital skills” can mean anything from spreadsheet development to word processing. And while having those on a resume can help a job seeker, learning how to code proficiently would make someone an attractive hire.jobs

"The most intensive digital skill jobs are jobs that the President was talking about today in programming or coding. And those jobs on average pay up to 38% or more than middle skill jobs that don’t require any digital skills," she says.

If job seekers do well at coding boot camp, they’ll be placed in an internship at Capital One - which Berkowitz says hires people with a range of digital skills. Capital One is joined by JP Morgan Chase in the effort to hire recently trained workers.

Berkowitz says that in addition to building a workforce with the tech skills desired in today’s economy, the TechHire program also facilitates relationships between employers and employees.

"Connecting this great source of untapped genius in this country, which is our own people, and helping them be trained to qualify for those skills that are part of this gap," says Berkowitz.

The Obama Administration has committed $100 million in grants for TechHire programs across the United States. Gov. Jack Markell announced Delaware’s tech training programs during his State of the State address, highlighting the need to train new tech workers in a matter of months, not years, which TechHire bootcamps pledge to do.