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TechHire InitiativeRiverside Community College District (RCCD) will take part in the TechHire initiative, a national effort to train and hire workers for high-demand technology jobs through regional alliances of education, government and businesses.

As a member of the SmartRiverside coalition, RCCD recently joined TechHire, a multi-sector initiative launched a year ago by President Obama. With the promise of grant funding, TechHire taps community partnerships to rapidly train people for careers in emerging and high-paying fields like information technology, software development and cybersecurity, where at least a half-million U.S. jobs are currently unfilled, according to the White House.

“It pains me to think of a company struggling to fill a vacancy, so this effort is very encouraging,” said Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey in announcing SmartRiverside’s partnership with TechHire. “Well trained talent is crucial for business growth, and good-paying jobs increase the quality of life for Riverside residents. I look forward to this initiative helping us make progress on all fronts.”

Nontraditional Pathways

The SmartRiverside TechHire Community includes the SmartRiverside non-profit that helps residents gain access to computers, Riverside County Workforce Development Agency, RCCD, Vocademy makerspace and the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce.

As part of the SmartRiverside TechHire effort, more than 30 regional employers and other organizations have committed to connect 4,000 local people to technology jobs in five years, including 500 employees from nontraditional, technical pathways in 2016. These nontraditional pathways will be developed by the local makerspace Vocademy, RCCD and other accelerated training partner programs.

The TechHire initiative launched in March 2015 with 21 communities across the U.S., and over 300 employers involved. This month, the White House announced that TechHire has grown to 50 communities and more than 600 employers, which surpassed a goal that was set by President Obama to double the number of communities participating.

Community Colleges: Key Partners

As a vital source for career technical education, community colleges have an important role to play in efforts like TechHire. RCCD joins at least five other California community college districts that are members of TechHire-qualified local tech-job training partnerships. These include Los Angeles, Pasadena, Peralta, San Francisco and Santa Monica community college districts.

Some reported results of these partnerships to date:

  • Peralta Community College District is a partner in TechHire Oakland, which placed workers in 86 paid internship and 326 full-time jobs in 2015. In 2016, Oakland plans to expand partnerships with companies throughout the East Bay. Colleges in the Peralta district will be part of a comprehensive pipeline to expose local youth and underrepresented communities to opportunities in the tech field and provide points of entry for a range of developer and engineering certificates.

  • City College of San Francisco is a partner in TechSF, which placed 50 participants in tech-related internships and 200 under- or unemployed participants into full employment in 2015. Approaches include accelerated training and placement through community college as well as entry-level bootcamp training and online training with private-sector partners. Other priorities for 2016 include building a tech-focused apprenticeship program with local employers; developing the pipeline of tech trainees through work-based learning, including internships, for San Francisco high school and community college students; and expanding employer partnerships in curriculum development, training, and hiring of Information and Communication Technology students.

  • Los Angeles, Pasadena and Santa Monica community college districts are members of the LA HI-TECH regional consortium, which was among the first multi-sector alliances to join TechHire.

Information about TechHire can be found at TechHire.org.


Crista Souza is the TechEDge News Editor