Diversity & Inclusion
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New partnership aims to secure 100,000 tech hires in 2017

The Tech Jobs Tour is as no-nonsense as its name suggests.

The Tech Jobs Tour is an extension of an Obama-era initiative. (Photo by Flickr user Michael Kumm, used under a Creative Commons license)

It’s a challenging disconnect — on the one hand the U.S. has a glut of unfilled tech jobs (500,000 by some counts) and on the other hand there is talent graduating every day from “non-traditional” (but now very standard) tech vocational training programs like coding bootcamps. How do the two markets meet?

TechUP, the organization that connects diverse tech talent with companies, and TechHire, the Obama White House–launched initiative to help underrepresented talent get into tech roles, have an answer — the Tech Jobs Tour.

Launching this Saturday, March 11 at South by Southwest in Austin, the Tech Jobs Tour is a yearlong IRL tour of 50 U.S. cities, at the end of which the initiative aims to have filled 100,000 open positions. It’s a significant acceleration of TechHire’s previous goal of 100,000 jobs filled by 2020.

“American cities are shifting from industrial to digital economies, meanwhile, our workforce is acquiring technical skills via non-traditional training,” TechUp founder Leanne Pittsford said in a statement. “From Philadelphia to Omaha to Honolulu, we’re creating activations in 50 United States cities this year with one simple goal: help innovative companies hire America’s talent.”

Among the cities that will be part of the tour? D.C., Baltimore and Philadelphia.

The tour is supported by a host of big names in tech, economic development and social impact, including former U.S. CTO Megan Smith.

“The idea for the Tech Jobs Tour was born during my time in the Obama Administration and I’m pleased to see it coming to fruition so quickly thanks to the private sector,” Smith said in a statement. “At this rate, by 2020 we are going to have over 1 million open jobs in our innovation economy. The Tech Jobs Tour will fill an important role in connecting job seekers to opportunities in our rapidly evolving and growing workforce.”

Going to be at SXSW on Saturday? Stop by the Highland Lounge to learn more about the Tech Jobs Tour. The kickoff event will feature remarks by Dream Corps cofounder Anthony Kapel “Van” Jones and a fireside chat with Recode cofounder Kara Swisher and Code2040 founder Laura Weidman Powers.


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