Monday was a soft launch when folks could first create their profiles and begin to make connections. In mid-February, the site will have a full launch and integrate the Baltimore Tech Slack. Then, anything posted on either the portal and Slack — notices about local events, resources and jobs, for instance — will be shared across both platforms.
“The purpose is to build bridges, not walls,” Fearless Strategic Projects Specialist LaToya Staten told Technical.ly. “There are so many silos. People looking for jobs don’t know how to connect. There’s great resources out there but being able to narrow down and focus on what’s relevant to you, that’s what this portal will solve for.”
DEI-focused tech workforce coalition Baltimore Tracks, of which EcoMap and Fearless are a part, took a snapshot of the makeup of the Baltimore tech workforce through the self-reporting of its 19 member organizations and found it to be 67% white, 14% Asian and 7% Black. The city as a whole is 32% white, 3% Asian and 63% Black, per the latest US Census data. The portal is another avenue for Baltimore residents of all backgrounds to make inroads into a tech community raising hundreds of millions in venture capital and driving major parts of the Maryland economy.
It’s also a way for those outside the city or those staying indoors, thanks to the pandemic, to stay connected beyond those IRL networking events of old.
“We realize that where people are working from may be different than where their job is headquartered. Again, it’s about making those connections,” Staten said. “It takes away from having to be in the city, to know what’s going on in the tech space.”
Donte Kirby is a 2020-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation. -30-