A new initiative announced by the White House Monday will bring $100 million in grant opportunities to create new high-tech jobs.

As of Monday, close to 20 communities – including Portland, Ore. and New York, N.Y, along with the states of Delaware and Colorado, committed to joining the White House’s plans.

The TechHire initiative combines in-person coding, programming and technology training at universities and community colleges with online education and “boot camps” run by municipalities, local governments and community groups.

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President Barack Obama’s initiative will be “building on the promising work already underway in their communities” by focusing on three actions, says the Department of Labor:

  • Using data and innovative hiring practices to expand openness to non-traditional hiring.
  • Expanding models for training that prepare students in months, not years.
  • Active local leadership to connect people to jobs with hiring on ramp programs.

For example, in New York City, employers including Microsoft, Verizon, Goldman Sachs, Google and Facebook are forming the Tech Talent Pipeline, committing to prepare college students in the City University of New York system, connecting them to paid internship opportunities at local tech companies.
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Grants will pilot and scale partnerships between employers, workforce boards, training institutions, non-profit organizations and local government bodies across the country, according to the DOL. These partnerships will support the implementation of job-driven training strategies to help workers complete basic and technical skills training using evidence-based strategies such as accelerated learning, DOL adds.

CompTIA, the IT industry’s trade association, and its philanthropic arm, the Creating IT Futures Foundation, on Monday lauded Obama’s efforts.

“We are excited to see the administration's emphasis on training and education to fill the increasing number of job openings in the IT workforce,” said Todd Thibodeaux, president and CEO of CompTIA. “We have been working closely with Congress and the administration to make IT training and certification a priority. The average IT worker's salary is double that of the private sector and we must continue to expand access to these jobs, many of which do not require a four-year degree.”

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