(Photo by Flickr user WOCinTech Chat, used under a Creative Commons license)
There’s a growing shortage of tech talent in Delaware, and one of the state’s biggest banks is investing in increasing the pool of homegrown talent from diverse communities across the state.
The JPMorgan Chase Foundation has awarded a $205,000 workforce readiness grant to the Delaware Prosperity Partnership (DPP), a public-private nonprofit economic development organization, to create a plan for a more inclusive tech talent pipeline.
In 2013, the Obama administration predicted that, by 2020, there will be 1.4 million open positions that require tech skills, but only 400,000 people qualified to fill them.
And, while Delaware’s unemployment rate is low, there is untapped potential talent in the state’s under-resourced and low-income areas.
“Creating a more inclusive tech talent pipeline is critical,” said Kurt Foreman, president and CEO of the DPP, in a statement. “A diverse workforce leads to diversity of thought, which is key to innovation. We are privileged to serve as convener and connector for this project, which will ensure that Delaware continues to lead the nation as a place to do business.”
Delaware has the population to meet the demand for tech talent, but even with eight colleges and universities, 224 public and charter schools, a $21 million workforce system and a number of non-degree tech programs (i.e. bootcamps and accelerated courses), there is a need to prepare more residents — especially people of color with less access to some of the state’s education institutions — to enter tech roles and expand opportunities in the sector.
The project will include two key elements, according to an announcement from the DPP:
- A thorough analysis of the current and anticipated tech job market, the supply of qualified applicants, and the current educational and nonprofit capacity to meet the demand
- A strategic plan to identify how Delaware can address the talent gap that exists and improve the inclusiveness of the pipeline
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