Governor Announces Details of IT Job Training Program

State’s TechHire initiative brings together business community and training partners to give Delawareans new opportunities to fill openings in well-paying technology fields

Wilmington, DE – Building on efforts to ensure every Delawarean has access to education and training to thrive in today’s economy, Governor Markell today announced new opportunities for workers to gain certifications for Information Technology jobs. Delaware TechHire, which was previewed in the Governor’s State of the State address and applauded by the White House, creates a partnership between businesses, primarily in the financial sector, and training partners, which will allow participants to become software developers in months rather than years.

Beginning in September, Zip Code Wilmington, a new coding school that will offer its first classes in the fall, and Delaware Tech will provide intensive, accelerated education programs lasting about three months to prepare participants to earn Java certifications. The state has awarded Zip Code a $250,000 grant from its economic development funds to help cover startup costs.

“In an economy forever transformed by new technology and global competition, it’s more important than ever that we give Delawareans the best chance to acquire skills most valued in the workplace,” said Markell. “With hundreds of open IT jobs in the state, it’s clear that we must think differently about training in this field and connect more people to well-paying technology careers.”

Several of Delaware’s biggest employers, including JP Morgan Chase & Co., Capital One, Barclays, and Bank of America, have joined the Tech Hire partnership and will ensure that people who successfully complete the training program will be able to enter a paid apprenticeship, which could lead to a coding job assuming the apprentice fulfills his or her responsibilities. Entry-level coding positions are estimated by Delaware companies to pay about $55,000 per year and offer the chance the climb the professional ladder in a growing field.

Beginning in September, Zip Code and Del Tech will both offer their first 20-person classes. The TechHire companies have committed to begin hiring workers from these programs in 2015 and to hire at least 100 in 2016, with the hope that the training initiatives will be able to continue to grow to meet the increasing IT needs of the state’s business community.

Later tonight, Markell will participate in a launch ceremony for Zip Code Wilmington, where leaders of that program will provide further details about the training they will offer.

Training a 21st Century Workforce  

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.

Last month, the Governor announced 15 Pathways to Prosperity grants for high schools to implement programs that allow students to earn workplace experience and college credit in high-demand fields before they graduate.

On Thursday, he unveiled details of a program targeted to at-risk young workers who will receive training at Delaware Tech that will lead to a job at a Delaware health care provider.

Comments by Delaware Tech Hire Partners:

Del Tech- Mark Brainard, President:

“Delaware Tech has a long history of providing education and training programs that develop students’ competencies to work in many different disciplines including technology- related career fields,” said Delaware Tech President Mark Brainard.  We are pleased to be an active partner in the TechHire Initiative and are excited about the opportunities our accelerated programming academies will offer the local workforce.  Last month, with the support from a JPMorgan Chase Foundation grant, we also began offering an accelerated program in computer networking that is preparing participants to earn the CISCO Certified Network Associate credential, also needed for in-demand IT jobs in Delaware.”

“JPMorgan Chase has identified Delaware as one of its strategic worldwide technology hubs,” said Jen McDermott, CAO Talent Pipeline Programs at JP Morgan Chase & Co., and a member of group of business representatives leading the Tech Hire initiative. “As we continue to grow here in Delaware it is crucial for us to have a reliable pipeline of local tech talent. That’s why we are excited to partner with the State of Delaware and other stakeholders in the TechHire initiative.”

“There is a huge demand in Wilmington and Delaware for trained IT professionals, and we cannot afford to continue to let these jobs go unfilled,” said Jim Stewart, Chairman, Zip Code Wilmington. “Our goal is to graduate and place over 100 people per year into local companies, people who will live in our communities and help make our economy stronger.”