TechHire Oakland Talent Lands Major Tech Apprenticeships

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)!

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 candidates from across the country, with only a small handful of openings available annually.

TechHire Oakland’s apprenticeship workshops were the result of data-driven design that evolved over time. We spent much time analyzing the landscape of companies supporting Bay Area tech talent development.

We found there’s an abundance of companies hosting field trips and paid employee volunteer hours in inner-city classrooms. However, there are few offering high-pay, high growth job entry opportunities for the adults these young people grow up to be.

With a growing number of people of color choosing less costly community colleges, bootcamps, and self-directed learning over traditional college/university pathways, it is critical that companies be inclusive of “non-traditional” tech talent. Traditional university recruiting is not filling openings fast enough.

Apprenticeships that, by definition, provide the opportunity for non-traditional talent to upskill on the job and convert to full time roles are part of the answer.

We set to work identifying which companies grasp the urgency of including non-traditional talent of color. They are committed to skill-based hiring, fair living wages, inclusive culture, and job-based learning that increases skill mastery. We host custom workshops with companies that are committed in these areas:

TechHire Oakland’s custom workshops evolved as we iterated on them. Our goal was not just to highlight our employer champions, but also to increase placement of our talent in their apprenticeships. We decided to:

  1. Bring companies to Oakland to meet our community where they’re at
  2. Feature company representatives with a shared lived experience
  3. Connect talent to key hiring decision makers and foster deep professional connections
  4. Provide follow up support: application and interview coaching to talent

We are so proud of our apprentices and excited for more to come.

In 2019, we’re further refining our workshop model, and will double down on additional companies to collaborate with, especially those in our own backyard (Oakland and the East Bay). It’s urgent work, particularly as more tech companies move to the East Bay, and as momentum around tech apprenticeships picks up nationally, and at state and regional levels.

Stay tuned and join our TechHire movement today!