👩🏽🔧A problem near and dear to my heart: People need jobs.
👩🏽💻Another problem: Companies have a tech talent gap.
👩🏽🎓Solution: We can reskill people who need jobs to fill the tech talent gap.
🤷🏽♀️Challenge: It’s tricky but can be done.
🏆Best case: Catalyte reskills + gives people jobs, while providing companies with needed engineering talent.
🎉Upside: They’re changing lives and families with tech for good and a sustainable business model.
📣Announcement: Catalyte is awesome and so I’m joining Catalyte as Chief of Staff.
When my parents immigrated from Mexico, they came alone with no education or money. My dad became a migrant grape and apple field-worker and later a door manufacturing factory worker and truck driver. My mom babysat and cleaned houses. They did it all for the American Dream that their kids could one day live. They are beyond admirable, right? Sadly, my parents found themselves poor and at dead-end manual labor jobs that gave them constant worry about when their jobs would be replaced by tech and how they would pay their bills.
There are many others like my mom and dad. In fact, half of Americans are in or near poverty and in dead-end roles. And with robotic automation eliminating an estimated 75 million jobs by 2030, getting a job is harder than ever. On the flipside, tech will create a projected 133 million jobs by 2022 and it’s already feeling the pains of a talent shortage.
So, there are a ton of people with dead-end jobs or no job and a tech world that has many jobs (and not enough talent to fill them). There’s an opportunity here for people and for businesses. What if we could reskill people for tech jobs and give the tech market the tech talent they demand? Win-win, right?
It’s not that simple, though. While talent may be distributed equality, opportunity is not. Not everyone can afford to go to a 4-year college to study computer science. And while you can provide free education, it’s not easy to self-identify as someone who has the raw talent that will lead to an enjoyable and successful technical career. So, what can happen is that people start a free technical program but end up wasting their time.
First, we need to identify raw talent, provide them with adequate technical programming, and then they can worry about finding a job, right? What if the job hunt could be skipped? What if there’s a community that can identify raw technical talent, gives free technical programming and, upon graduation, provides jobs?
There is a company providing all that: Catalyte. So far, Catalyte has identified raw talent in hundreds of people (48% do not have a college degree, 36% are minorities), provided them with technical training and hired them as software engineers. From a business perspective, Catalyte engineers are proving to perform above average; they produce 3x more than traditional teams and have twice the code quality. Those results make companies looking for tech talent happy. They can finally start filling their talent gaps and pride themselves in knowing they have a workforce that is performing at an above average productivity level and also happens to be diverse.
From a personal perspective, the newly minted engineers are, in many cases, getting a new lease on life, instead of having dead-end jobs. They are building-out careers and getting paid a salary that can help them achieve the American Dream of a better life for their families, social mobility, and everything else that comes with that.
I wish Catalyte was around when my dad was alive. I bet we would have avoided so many obstacles, like physical injuries on factory floors or the bankruptcy we couldn’t avoid because of the hefty medical bills and lack of insurance. Life could have been a lot easier for him, for my family, and yet, it wasn’t.
The good news is that life can be better for so many today because of companies like Catalyte who are finding ways of preparing people for the future of work in a way that works for people from all walks of life. And that’s exactly why I’ve told my brother to consider working with Catalyte after he is done with his Army stint and why 🥁🥁🥁I’ve chosen to join the Catalyte team as the CEO’s Chief of Staff.
As the daughter of poor immigrants, I’m ecstatic about the fact that I get to help build a company with a team that is not only changing peoples’ lives but also allowing for social mobility. As a tech geek, I’m thrilled to see Catalyte is using tech for good and enabling my vision of the future — a future where tech is created by a population that reflects our world’s diversity. And, as a capitalist, I’m glad Catalyte has a business model that will make a lot of money.
About the author: Lolita Taub is the Chief of Staff at Catalyte, a workforce data science company that uses AI to identify individuals, regardless of background, who have the innate potential and cognitive ability to be great software developers. In line with her work, Lolita’s interests lie in the intersection of AI and business; she has interviewed investors, founders and experts in the field; written an Enterprise AI series on Huffington Post; given a TEDx talk on Raising AI, and was featured in Forbes’ article: Why We Need More Women Taking Part In The AI Revolution.
Outside of Catalyte, Lolita is an LP at Portfolia’s Enterprise Fund and a former VC at Backstage Capital and K Fund. She holds nearly a decade of enterprise B2B software-hardware-and-services sales experience at IBM, Cisco Systems, and in Silicon Valley. Lolita has a BA from the University of Southern California and an MBA from the IE Business School.