Omaha Joins 19 Other Communities in Today’s Announcement by the White House Dedicated to Support National Tech Talent Development and Retention Efforts
Omaha has been chosen by the White House as one of 20 TechHire communities dedicated to creating pathways for more Americans to access well-paying tech jobs and expanding local tech sectors in communities across the country. Omaha will be joining a national network of 71 TechHire communities in receiving support to spearhead efforts to help overlooked and underrepresented Americans start technology careers.
“Omaha is an excellent addition to the TechHire initiative. We have a strong business community to provide opportunities in tech careers including a growing, successful tech startup community,” said Mayor Jean Stothert. “My administration supports job and business growth through public-private partnerships, youth education programs, economic inclusion and financial support for community programs that enhance job training and employment. TechHire will be another resource to increase recruiting and training in this important career field.”
Omaha’s designation as a TechHire Community was a collaboration by the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, AIM, and the founders of Interface Web School and Omaha Code School. All TechHire communities go through an intensive and competitive application process to demonstrate their level of commitment and readiness in expanding the technology sector. This TechHire designation shows that Omaha has the partners, employers, training providers, and the civil leadership support needed to implement and scale tech job opportunities for everyone.
“We are very pleased to welcome Omaha, NE to the TechHire Initiative,” said Tess Posner, Managing Director of TechHire at Opportunity@Work. “Omaha has demonstrated a true commitment to making opportunities in tech more inclusive in your community, and we at Opportunity@Work look forward to working with you to help implement, grow, and amplify your efforts.”
“For a quarter of a century, building thriving communities and changing lives through technology has been a passion of AIM,” said Dr. Kandace Miller, president and CEO of AIM Institute. “We are pleased to have the opportunity to collaborate with more organizations to grow, connect and inspire tech talent even more through the national TechHire movement.”
“I have had the privilege of meeting so many ambitious, talented individuals who want to pursue careers in technology,” said Shonna Dorsey, managing director and cofounder of Interface Web School. “With the synergy of the organizations involved within the TechHire community, people in the Greater Omaha area will have expanded opportunities to start tech careers.”
“Greater Omaha’s tech sector is experiencing unprecedented expansion, and we are driving hard to cultivate the necessary tech talent to increase our IT workforce by 4,000 workers,” said David G. Brown, president and CEO of the Greater Omaha Chamber. “Ten Greater Omaha area employers have already joined us in our TechHire initiative, but we’re looking for more to help accelerate our tech talent efforts, strengthen our local economy and build up our region’s Silicon Prairie.”
The other 19 communities that will join the National TechHire Initiative in today’s announcement include:
- Alachua and Bradford Counties, FL
- Anchorage, AK
- Carroll County, MD
- Central Florida
- El Paso County, TX
- Bellevue, WA
- Boston, MA
- Howard County, MD
- Mobile, AL
- Oklahoma City, OK
- Pensacola, FL
- Puerto Rico
- Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico
- Stamford, CT
- Tampa Bay Metro Region, FL
- Toledo, OH
- Trenton City, NJ
- Tulsa, OK
How This Initiative Can Impact Omaha
Having a pipeline of tech talent can be an important factor in bringing new jobs to local economies, facilitating business growth, and lifting more local residents into the middle class. These grants will enable more communities to expand their own local tech sectors.
• Tech jobs are a pathway to the middle class. Tech jobs pay one and a half times the average wage of a private-sector job. Studies have shown that these opportunities are also accessible to those without college degrees— men and women with non-degree certificates in computer or information services earned more than 65 percent of men and women, respectively, with more traditional Associate degrees.
• There is a large and growing unmet demand for tech workers. Today, there are over 600,000 open IT jobs across all sectors—more than two-thirds in fields outside the tech sector, such as manufacturing, financial services and healthcare. Across the country, employers are struggling to find skilled talent for these positions. A study from CEB found that in 10 major metropolitan areas (including New York, Atlanta, Seattle, and Houston), there are only five skilled job seekers available for every eight open IT jobs. Compared to 2010, it now takes employers five additional weeks to fill the average vacancy—at a cost to employers of $8.6 million per 1,000 vacancies.
• New innovations in training and hiring can help meet the tech job demand. Nearly 40 percent of tech jobs do not require a four-year degree. In recent years, there has been a proliferation of fast-track tech training programs like “coding bootcamps” (like Interface Web School!) that prepare people with little technical know-how for tech jobs, often in just a few months. A recent survey from Course Report found that bootcamp graduates saw salary gains of 38 percent (or about $18,000) after completing their programs. At the same time, employers in cities like Albuquerque have been adopting new “skills-based” hiring approaches that enable job seekers to demonstrate their skills to get hired even if they lack traditional qualifications like computer science degrees.
• Tech talent can be an important driver of local economic development. Companies report that one of the main factors in deciding where to locate is the availability of skilled talent. Moreover, research from economist Enrico Moretti shows that for each job in the average high-tech firm, five new jobs are indirectly created in local economies.
To learn more or join the TechHire Initiative, visit www.techhire.org.
TechHire, an initiative powered by Opportunity@Work, is a nationwide, community-based movement that helps underrepresented job seekers start careers in the technology industry. TechHire partners with education providers from across the tech community to teach in-demand skills to people who want to take part in the modern economy—from overlooked youth, to veterans, to the long-term unemployed; and helps them find jobs by connecting them to a network of employers looking for tech talent. To learn more, visit www.techhire.org.
Opportunity@Work is a nonprofit social enterprise with a mission to expand access to career opportunities so that all Americans can work, learn, and earn to their full potential in a dynamic economy. By 2025, Opportunity@Work will empower over 1 million Americans, creating $20 billion+ per year of additional earnings for Americans across the country. Opportunity@Work expands access to career opportunities for all by building partnerships with employers, community organizations, civic leadership and job seekers to transform hiring practices, expand learning pathways, and pioneer talent financing. To learn more, visit www.opportunityatwork.org.