White House names Burlington a TechHire city

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White House names Burlington a TechHire city

Thu, 03/10/2016 - 3:55pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine BTV Ignite Executive Director Michael Schirling, along with local government and business leaders, on Wednesday announced that the City of Burlington has been named a White House TechHire community, part of a multi-sector White House initiative to link area employers with Burlingtonians, growing the local tech workforce and empowering community members with the skills they would need for well-paying jobs in innovation and technology. The City of Burlington and BTV Ignite will partner with local educational institutions and employers to train and employ 75 tech workers in 2016 and 400 tech workers through 2020. Key employers, workforce intermediaries, and training partners include the Vermont HITEC Institute for American Apprenticeship at Burlington College, Champlain College, the University of Vermont (UVM), Vermont Technical College, Community College of Vermont, the UVM Medical Center, the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce, and Vermont Technology Alliance. So far, there are grants supporting ongoing training now in the amount of $3 million that VT HITEC has received. On Friday, an application will be submitted for the TechHire Department of Labor Grant — separate from the White House designation. That application is for $4 million.

Left, BTV Ignite's Michael Schirling with Dealer.com's Alison von Puschendorf and Congressman Welch. Above,  Mayor Weinberger speaks. Courtesy photos.

“The tech economy in the greater Burlington area and throughout Vermont is robust and growing to provide great jobs and opportunities, and fueling the long-standing spirit of innovation in our community,” said Mike Schirling, Executive Director of BTV Ignite (www.btvignite.com). “The ongoing commitment renewed today by employers large and small and a wide array of talented education and training partners is illustrative of the strength and breadth of the commitment to this important sector of our economy now and into the future. We have anticipated this designation as a TechHire City since October 2015 and are grateful to the White House for their recognition of our collective goals for the future.  I am particularly grateful to the Ignite partners, our employers, and the training partners - led by VT HITEC - who have stepped forward to accelerate the pace of training, education, and growth.” Schirling is the former Burlington Police chief.

“Burlington is well-positioned to grow jobs of the future and foster economic development in the City and the region. Today’s welcome news of our community’s designation as a White House TechHire City is validation of our work together,” said Mayor Miro Weinberger. “Our efforts to build this critical part of our local economy are working and gaining national recognition, as well as local traction and focus with area employers. Burlington’s TechHire designation demonstrates the importance of innovation and our collective drive to enhance tech capacity in Burlington and beyond.”

The City of Burlington and BTV Ignite — a multi-institution tech partnership — has rallied broad support from local workforce intermediaries, education and training providers, employers, and employer associations to improve career pathways for tech jobs. Working within the White House TechHire model, Burlington’s public-private collaborative will train and place 75 tech workers in 2016 and seek to train and place 400 tech workers through 2020. With support from the Vermont HITEC Institute for American Apprenticeship at Burlington College, Community College of Vermont, Vermont Technical College, Girl Develop IT, and Vermont Works for Women, and led by bootcamp style trainings and apprenticeships delivered by Vermont HITEC, the greater Burlington area is poised to rapidly increase training capacity to deliver skilled workers to local employers.

These employers include Dealer.com, UVM, MyWebGrocer, the UVM Medical Center, NPI, Inc., Vermont Information Processing, Logic Supply, Vermont Design Works, Higher Turnover, Smart Resource Labs, PAR Springer-Miller, Allscripts, Bear Code, Agilion Apps, Husky Injection Molding, Vermont Precision Tools, and companies within the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce and Vermont Technology Alliance.  Each employer has committed to hire qualified candidates emerging from training programs delivered by partner educational institutions and from new coding boot camps, created with support from community partners.

BTV Ignite is the Burlington, VT arm of the US Ignite initiative. Originally announced in October 2013, BTV Ignite’s mission is to facilitate collaborative efforts between public, private, educational, non-profit, and entrepreneurial partners to grow and attract tech-centric talent, leveraging Burlington’s City-wide gigabit Internet infrastructure and 21st century application development to create the conditions for sustainable tech-centric economic growth.

US Ignite is a non-profit organization, launched in 2012 with inspiration from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Both see it as a 21st century competitive necessity for the United States to take advantage of next-generation technologies. US Ignite’s mission is to foster the creation of 60 next-generation Internet applications – from a network of 200 communities, like Burlington – that will provide transformative public benefit in six sectors of the economy: healthcare, education, public safety, energy, transportation, and advanced manufacturing.

White House Initiative

On the one-year anniversary of the launch of the TechHire initiative, the Obama Administration announced Wednesday new steps to further develop the tech skills of our workforce—driving the ingenuity and creativity that will fuel innovation and the American economy.

Developing the tech skills of our workforce is important for our economic future and is a critical need for employers today. Over half a million of today’s open jobs are in technology fields like software development and cybersecurity—many of which did not even exist a decade ago. The average salary in a job that requires technology skills is 50 percent more than the average private sector job.  Over the past seven years, the President has taken steps to ensure that we are drawing on people from all backgrounds including young adults who are disconnected from school and work, Americans who are long-term unemployed, and workers who are retraining for new jobs to prepare for the tech jobs of the future.  Today’s announcements build on that progress:

  • Expansion of TechHire to 50 Communities. A year ago today, the President launched TechHire as 21 communities working with over 300 employers announced actions to empower Americans with the skills they need. These communities are piloting programs to train workers—often in just a few months—through nontraditional approaches like “coding bootcamps.” Today, we are announcing that we have reached the goal set by the President to double the number of TechHire communities from 21 to more than 40 with the addition of 15 new communities working with 200 employers joining the effort.  

  • Strengthening and Extending On-the-Job Training for International STEM Graduates of U.S. Universities. To strengthen educational experiences of international students studying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in the United States, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published its final rule, expanding and extending use of the existing Optional Practical Training (OPT) program for STEM graduates, and requiring stronger ties between STEM OPT students and universities after graduation to enhance the students’ educational experience.

  • Progress on the President’s Nation of Makers Initiative. In 2014, President Obama launched the National Makers Initiative to give more people access to new technologies to design and build just about anything. Today, the U.S. Department of Education is launching the Career Technical Education (CTE) Makeover Challenge to encourage the creation of more makerspaces in American high schools. The White House is also announcing the dates for the 2016 National Week of Making as June 17 – 23.

  • Advancing Career and Technical Education. In addition, Acting Secretary of Education John King will call on Congress to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career & Technical Education Act, emphasizing the Administration’s ongoing commitment to ensure that we are incentivizing high-quality programs, encouraging innovation, and aligning CTE programs with postsecondary and career opportunities.

More Details on Today’s Announcements

Expansion of TechHire to 50 Communities, Including 15 New Communities Joining the Effort Today

Last June, at the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the President called on mayors, councilmembers, and other local leaders to team up with employers, training providers, and workforce and economic development leaders to double the number of TechHire communities from 21 to more than 40. Over the past year, more communities have continued to sign on.

Today, the Administration announced that we have exceeded the goal set by the President with the addition of 15 new communities — for a total of 50 communities and over 600 employer partners working together to expand access to tech jobs.

Building on the promising work already underway in their communities, they have all committed to three actions:

  • Using data and innovative hiring practices to expand openness to non-traditional hiring: Communities are working with employers to provide data on what skills are most needed, to increase hiring of graduates from both nontraditional and traditional training programs, and to review—and upgrade—recruiting and hiring practices to enable non-traditional hiring.

  • Expanding models for training that prepare students in months, not years: Communities are recruiting, incubating, and expanding accelerated tech learning programs – such as coding bootcamps and innovative online training – which enable interested, unexperienced students to rapidly gain tech skills.

  • Active local leadership to connect people to jobs with hiring on-ramp programs: Communities are building local strategies to connect people to jobs by investing in and working with organizations who can vouch for those who have the skills to do the job, but who may lack the typical profile of education and experience.

Details on the 15 new TechHire communities being announced today, new private sector commitments, and progress updates can be found at the end of this document.

15 New TechHire Communities Announced March 9

Atlanta, GA

Austin, TX

Burlington, VT

Riverside, CA

Flint, MI

State of Hawaii

Indianapolis, IN

Jackson, MS

Milwaukee, WI

Raleigh, NC

Jackson, TN

Seattle, WA

Tallahassee, FL

Commonwealth of Virginia

Miami, FL

Source: BTV Ignite 3.9.2016. To participate in BTV Ignite discussions or initiatives, please contact Michael Schirling at mike@btvignite.com.