Higher Turnover Websites Helps City of Burlington to be Named a White House TechHire City

March 9, 2016

Contact: Michael Schirling

City of Burlington Named a White House TechHire City

Burlington, VT - BTV Ignite Executive Director Michael Schirling today announced that the City of Burlington has been named a White House TechHire community, part of a multi­sector 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 well­paying 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.

"The tech economy in the greater Burlington area and throughout Vermont is robust and growing to provide great jobs and opportunities, and fueling the long­standing spirit of innovation in our community," said Mike Schirling, Executive Director of BTV Ignite. "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."

"Burlington is well­positioned 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 multi­institution 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 public­private 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 Springer­Miller, 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, non­profit, and entrepreneurial partners to grow and attract tech­centric talent, leveraging Burlington’s City­wide gigabit Internet infrastructure and 21st century application development to create the conditions for sustainable tech­centric economic growth.

US Ignite is a non­profit 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 next­generation technologies. US Ignite’s mission is to foster the creation of 60 next­generation 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.

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

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President Obama Remarks at National League of Cities ­ TechHire Launch

"So, today, I’m announcing a new initiative that we’re calling TechHire. And it’s going to be driven by leaders like you."

"TechHire communities are going to help employers link up and find and hire folks based on their actual skills and not just their résumés. Because it turns out, it doesn’t matter where you learned code, it just matters how good you are in writing code. If you can do the job, you should get the job."

"And while four­year degrees in engineering and computer science are still important, we have the opportunity to promote programs that we call, for example, coding boot camp ­­ or online courses that have pioneered new ways to teach tech skills in a fraction of the time and the costs. And these new models have the potential to reach underserved communities, to reach women, who are still underrepresented in this factor; and minorities, who are still underrepresented in this sector; and veterans, who we know can do the job; and lower­income workers, who might have the aptitude for tech jobs but they don’t know that these jobs are within reach."

"... what TechHire is going to do is to help local leaders connect the job openings to the training programs to the jobs. And if you’re not already involved in this, you’ve got to get involved, because your community needs this just like everybody else does."

"[M]y administration is committed to this initiative. We’ve got a lot of private and non­profit sectors leading the way. We want to get more onboard. But ultimately, success is going to rest on folks like you ­­ on mayors, councilmembers, local leaders ­­ because you’ve got the power to bring your communities together and seize this incredible economic development opportunity that could change the way we think about training and hiring the workers of tomorrow."

"LaShana grew up in East St. Louis. She had a passion for computers. But because of circumstances, constraints, she wasn’t born with a silver spoon in her mouth. She wasn’t able to get a college degree, and because she didn’t have a college degree, she couldn’t even get an interview for a tech job, despite her coding skills. So she was working as a bus driver, and she was working in entry­level jobs.

But LaShana apparently is a stubborn person ­­ (laughter) ­­ which is good. Sometimes you need to be stubborn. So she refused to give up on her dream, and she used her free time to teach herself new computer skills. And she started going to a coding "meetup" that was run by LaunchCode, which is a non­for­profit that finds talented people across St. Louis and gives them the training and credibility for the tech jobs employers are desperately needing to fill as wespeak. So LaShana had the skills. LaunchCode went to bat for her. And today, she’s a systems engineer at MasterCard."

"So we’ve got to create more stories like LaShana’s. (Applause.) And if we do, then we are going to more effectively capture what is the boundless energy and talent of Americans who have the will, but sometimes need a little help clearing out the way. Help them get on a path to fill the new jobs of this new century."

President Obama Remarks at U.S. Conference of Mayors - where he set forth a challenge to double the number of TechHire communities

"Three months ago, I launched an initiative called TechHire to help train workers for the high­skill, high­wage jobs of tomorrow. Twenty­one communities have signed up for TechHire so far, and we’re looking to double that number. So if your town has tech jobs that need filling to people who want to fill them, come join us."

"...we’re creating jobs, we’re training folks for jobs."

TechHire Factsheet (2015 launch)

TechHire is a bold multi­sector effort and call to action to empower Americans with the skills they need, through universities and community colleges but also nontraditional approaches like "coding bootcamps," and high­quality online courses that can rapidly train workers for a well­paying job, often in just a few months. Employers across the United States are in critical need of talent with these skills. Many of these programs do not require a four­year degree.

Key elements of the initiative include:

Over twenty forward­leaning communities are committing to take action - working with each other and with national employers - to expand access to tech jobs. To kick off TechHire, 20 regions, with over 120,000 open technology jobs and more than 300 employer partners in need of this workforce, are announcing plans to work together to new ways to recruit and place applicants based on their actual skills and to create more fast track tech training opportunities. The President is challenging other communities across the country to follow their lead.

$100 million in new Federal investments to train and connect more workers to a good job in technology and other in­demand fields. The Administration will launch a $100 million H­1B grant competition by the Department of Labor to support innovative approaches to training and successfully employing low­skill individuals with barriers to training and employment including those with child care responsibilities, people with disabilities, disconnected youth, and limited English proficient workers, among others. This grant competition will support the scaling up of evidence­based strategies such as accelerated learning, work­based learning, and Registered Apprenticeships.

Private sector tools and resources to support and expand continued innovation in technologytraining, with a focus on reaching under­served populations. Private sector leaders are announcing commitments to provide free training through online training slots and expanding "coding bootcamps" - which provide intensive training for well­paying jobs, often in the course of just a few months - to low­income and underserved Americans including women, minorities,and veterans across the nation. National organizations are committing to work with interested cities to share job and skills information, job­matching tools, and other resources to help supportthe growth, adoption, and creation of promising practices across the United States.

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