The Blacks in Technology Foundation, a tech-focused community dedicated to increasing the representation and participation of Black people in the technology industry, and Apprenti, a national leader in delivering registered tech apprenticeship programs to place non-traditional hires into in-demand tech careers, today announced a partnership aimed to increase Black representation across the tech industry.
There currently are three million available tech jobs in America, but the nation’s colleges produce only 80,000 computer science graduates each year. On top of that, too many employers only recruit from certain schools, over-rely on college graduates, and generally don’t seek to recruit from the broadest pool of available talent. This practice has led to Blacks and other groups being woefully underrepresented in technology roles.
“Both job seekers and companies need to expand their thinking when it comes to job placement and hiring. We’re already seeing a shift in IT job requirements away from four-year and advanced college degrees in mathematics and computer science towards practitioner level skills,” said Dennis Schultz, Executive Director of the Blacks in Technology Foundation. “The only real question is, can the candidate do the work required? We see Apprenti as a practical solution to the challenge of filling key IT roles.”
Together, Blacks In Technology Foundation and Apprenti will collaborate to expose more Blacks to the tech sector, increase access to tech training opportunities and, ultimately, help Black people secure rewarding careers in technology. Over the last five years, Apprenti has worked to build a reliable pipeline for underrepresented groups, bridging the tech talent gap and giving diverse talent with nontraditional backgrounds the opportunity to apprentice at tech and consumer companies. Black people make up 15 percent of all apprentices, and more than 80 percent of these apprentices have been hired on full time.
“While the lack of representation in the tech workforce is well documented, there’s still plenty of work to do when it comes to building systems that offer equal opportunity,” said Jennifer Carlson, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Apprenti. “Blacks in Technology Foundation is making real progress when it comes to diversifying tech talent, and we’re proud to offer a proven program that will strengthen these efforts.”
About the Blacks In Technology Foundation
The Blacks In Technology Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and the largest global community of Black technologists with a combined membership and social media reach of over 50,000. Membership in Blacks In Technology is free. The Blacks In Technology (BIT) Foundation’s goal and mission is to “stomp the divide” between Black workers and the rest of the tech industry and to fundamentally influence and effect change. BIT intends to level the playing field through training, education, networking, and mentorship with the support of allies, partners, sponsors, and members.
WTIA Workforce Institute (dba Apprenti) is a 501(c)3 non-profit, delivering registered apprenticeship programs to bridge the tech talent and diversity gaps. By adapting the time-tested model of apprenticeship, Apprenti helps employers meet evolving workforce needs and trains future tech workers with an emphasis on underrepresented groups including women, people of color, veterans, and people with disabilities. Apprenti’s programs are industry recognized and federally approved for employers with tech talent needs across the United States. Apprentices receive two to five months of full-time, industry recognized training, then begin one-year of paid on-the-job training with one of the program’s hiring partners. Apprenti is partially funded through a U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) contract, as well as other funders nationwide. For more information on how to apply, donate, or become a hiring partner, please visit www.ApprentiCareers.org.
submitted by: Holly Rachel