Delaware Job Training Effort Highlighted in White House’s Launch of TechHire

President issues call-to-action for communities to follow Delaware’s lead in preparing people for technology jobs

Wilmington, DE – An initiative that will train Delawareans for hundreds of open Information Technology jobs in the state was recognized today by the Obama Administration as the President launched an effort to connect more Americans to well-paying technology jobs through new training models.

According to the White House, the TechHire initiative builds on work in communities like the State of Delaware, Louisville, St. Louis, Philadelphia, and New York City, where the public and private sectors are partnering to provide citizens with targeted short-term instruction and commit that these individuals will be recruited for jobs upon successful completion of the training.

“To help more Americans thrive, and to give businesses access to the workforce required for them to compete at home and abroad, we must think differently about how we prepare our people,” said Governor Markell. “That means better aligning traditional education programs with business needs, but it also means getting workers critical skills as quickly as possible. In some instances, two- and four-year degree programs are too time-consuming, too expensive, and unnecessary. This intense short-term model must be a part of our job training efforts.

“I’m proud Delaware has been recognized for working in innovative ways to address our shortage of IT workers, and I applaud the President and Vice President for their relentless focus on giving Americans the education and training opportunities to thrive in the new economy.”

Delaware TechHire

Delaware’s TechHire initiative is part of a series of efforts announced in Governor Markell’s State of the State address to rethink the state’s approach to workforce training and ensure more workers gain the skills to meet the demands of key industries in the new economy. Several of Delaware’s biggest employers, which collectively have thousands of unfilled tech jobs, are joining with the state to train and hire hundreds of Information Technology workers through accelerated education programs and a “coding school” launching this fall.

Based on industry needs, training will initially focus on preparing participants for jobs as entry-level Java developers and IT infrastructure support workers. Six employers, including JP Morgan Chase and Capital One, are partnering to recruit those who successfully complete the program, which will allow them to become software developers in months rather than years.

“We are seeing an economic resurgence, but the President has made clear that there is still work left to do,” the White House said in a statement on the initiative. “America has about 5 million open jobs today, more than at any point since 2001. Over half a million of those job openings are in information technology fields like software development, network administration, and cybersecurity – many of which did not even exist just a decade ago. The average salary in a job that requires information technology (IT) skills – whether in manufacturing, advertising, hospitality, or banking – is 50 percent higher than the average private-sector American job.”

The President’s TechHire initiative builds on the job-driven training review that the President asked Vice President Biden to lead in the 2013 State of the Union. Amongst other findings, the Vice President’s review identified information technology as an emerging area of growth that requires job-driven training strategies to meet business needs and provide more workers with a path to the middle class.

Key elements of the TechHire initiative:

  • Over 20 regions, with over 120,000 open technology jobs and more than 300 employer partners in need of this workforce, are announcing plans to work together to new ways to recruit and place applicants based on their actual skills and to create more fast track tech training opportunities. The Administration is encouraging more communities and employers to follow in their lead with similar innovative strategies to advance these goals.
  • Private sector leaders are announcing commitments to provide free training through online training slots and expanding “coding bootcamps” – which provide intensive training for well-paying jobs, often in the course of just a few months. These efforts will also better support low-income and underserved Americans, including women, minorities, and veterans across the nation.
  • National organizations are committing to work with interested communities to share job and skills information, job-matching tools, and other resources to help support the growth, adoption, and creation of promising practices across the U.S.

Communities highlighted by the President today, including Delaware, are committing to three actions:

  • Using data and innovative hiring practices to expand openness to non-traditional hiring: Communities are committing to work with employers to build robust data on where they have greatest needs and what skills they are looking for; communities will work with employers to build willingness to hire from both nontraditional and traditional training programs; and communities will work with employers to review -and upgrade -their recruiting and hiring practices to enable non-traditional hiring.
  • Expanding models for training that prepare students in months, not years: Communities will recruit, incubate and expand accelerated tech learning programs – such as coding bootcamps, and innovative online training – which enable interested non-tech-experienced students to gain coding skills in months, not years. These new models also have potential to reaching to a broader set of students than have traditionally chosen to pursue tech careers. These new training programs can be run both independently or embedded as part of a local community college or university education offering.
  • Activate local leadership to connect people to jobs with hiring on ramp programs: Communities will build local strategies and partnerships to connect people to jobs, with steps ranging from investing in and working with industry-trusted organizations, which will vouch for those who have the skills to do the job but who may lack the typical profile of degrees and career experience.