by Kirsten Lundgren

Congratulations to the talented TechHire Oakland members below who successfully secured major tech apprenticeships (and to the innovative companies who hired them)!

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We’ll be sharing their stories in the coming months and hope they’ll inspire additional East Bay residents of color to follow in their footsteps, and new companies to get involved.

We’re particularly excited to celebrate their success because it means the apprenticeship workshop model we prototyped at the end of 2018 is working. We hosted four workshops with four carefully selected companies and helped coach our applicants into apprenticeship roles at each one.

These wins are all the more impressive when one considers that the apprenticeship cohorts are open to a small number of candidates from across the country annually. …


By Kirsten Lundgren, TechHire Oakland

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Survival Entrepreneurship for Good

Poor communities of color produce uncommon talent. At the age of eighteen, Debrena McEwen bootstrapped a childcare business out of her own home to survive. And survive she did through her own agency — using basic technology to develop a website and marketing to support her business.

Eight years in, the 2008 recession hit. Economic pressures forced 90% of her client families to drop childcare services. She had to walk away from her business.

She accepted a job as a bus driver shepherding scientists to and from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, where engineers encouraged her to re-focus on work she loved again. …


Kirsten Lundgren, TechHire Oakland

August brought the launch of GitHub’s first ever apprenticeships in partnership with TechHire Oakland. In doing so, the world’s leading software development platform company is tapping talent from one of the most racially diverse regions in the Bay Area and the nation.

While GitHub has long prioritized skill-based hiring over degree qualifications, the “Octoprenticeship” program formalizes job entry for frequently overlooked non-traditional (non 4 year CS degree holding) talent. In doing so, GitHub joins a growing movement of companies starting to slowly pilot tech apprenticeships and broaden recruitment to address a perceived skill shortage. …


by Kirsten Lundgren

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How much longer must we read the same headlines about diversity in tech? Last week, Reveal released The Clearest Picture of Silicon Valley’s Diversity Yet. The sub-line reads, “It’s bad. But some companies are doing less bad.” TechHire Oakland won’t settle for Silicon Valley and San Francisco’s status quo. Our network of training, employer, and community partners are working with talent of color like Abel Regalado, to create a new alternative.

Raised in Fruitvale by a single working mom, Abel learned about opportunities in tech from a supportive public school teacher. Over the course of three years, he enrolled in over six after-school exposure programs, rotated across three community college campuses, and juggled part-time work to fulfill his goal of enrolling in Hack Reactor’s Immersive Bootcamp on full scholarship this summer. …


by Kirsten Lundgren, Lead, TechHire Oakland

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TechHire Oakland kicked off 2018 by convening 15 companies that are currently supporting — or interested in supporting — Oakland tech education & career paths. The industry group, co-led by Intel and Salesforce.org, will take action across three key areas this year:

  • Supporting job entry with inclusive internships and apprenticeships
  • Pooling funding to fill ecosystem gaps, and
  • Measuring shared impact on the Oakland community

TechHire Oakland will also be launching a new website this month featuring a tech job board, local training opportunities with our 20+ partners, and mentoring from professionals of color. Stay tuned for more!


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by Kirsten Lundgren, Lead, TechHire Oakland

Don’t let people tell you there’s not enough diverse talent for the tech industry. I have proof that there is right here in Oakland — and over 120 people to back me up.

TechHire Oakland, which soft launched in Oakland during national TEQWeek last month, is committed to supporting residents navigating non-traditional pathways into tech careers — from bootcamps, community colleges, and community based organizations.

Our goal leading greater Oakland’s development as a national TechHire City, is to connect 1,000 of these individuals to living-wage internships, apprenticeships, and jobs by 2020.

On April 26th, we co-hosted a unique employer engagement event for Oakland’s underrepresented, non-traditional talent, Passport to Tech Careers Pathways, with the Kapor Center, home of inclusive tech done right. This interactive, small-group coaching event featured companies demo-ing projects and skills used on the job, and position-specific advice on resumes. …


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IDEO CoLab and TechHire Oakland team up to design a solution.

by Kirsten Lundgren, Lead, TechHire Oakland

In design thinking, a “mash-up” emphasizes bringing together unexpected things to spark fresh ideas. IDEO CoLab and TechHire Oakland at the Kapor Center Innovation Lab have joined forces to experiment with a unique mash-up of our own.

As part of our mission to catalyze the training and placement of 1,000 residents from underrepresented, non-traditional backgrounds into tech careers by end of 2020, TechHire Oakland is facilitating advancement pathways in software engineering, IT/devops, UI/UX/new media, and tech sales.

As with all of our work, our UI/UX pathway aims to keep our community’s most underrepresented talent on the forefront of emerging tech. …


By Kirsten Lundgren, Lead, TechHire Oakland

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If you search for “Developer Groups Bay Area,” the result is a long list of product-specific meetups concentrated in downtown San Francisco and Palo Alto. Facebook is setting out to disrupt this landscape. By launching its first North America Developer Circle Program across the Bay in Oakland, the company is engaging a community rich in diverse tech talent, but historically short on resources, access, and information.

Bringing Developer Circles Where They’re Needed Most

The Facebook “Dev Circles” Program is no stranger to working with “emerging” communities of high potential. The program got its start in emerging markets associated with high unemployment and income inequality such as Lagos, Nigeria, Lahore, Pakistan, and Sao Paulo, Brazil. …

About

TechHire Oakland

We’re advancing 1000 underrepresented residents of color into emerging tech jobs by 2020. A Kapor Center Initiative. www.techhireoakland.org

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