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By Kristin Smith March 12, 2015

TechHire Will Change the Game

On Monday, President Obama announced the launch of TechHire, an ambitious employment initiative that will bring together government agencies, businesses, and non-profits to provide technology education and training opportunities to all Americans.

The need for a bold initiative like TechHire couldn’t be clearer. Technology jobs are being created faster than they can be filled, and that growth comes on top of the half million existing positions waiting to be filled.

Employers are desperate—to hire job-ready developers and technologists, and to move faster. The TechHire plan explicitly calls for training options that produce results in months, not years, and singles out code schools for their ability to do just that.

Along with many of our peers in the industry, we are whole-heartedly behind this initiative—not only because it validates so much of what we’ve been practicing (and preaching) for the last two years, but because with the additional support and attention it will provide, we can help even more software developers unlock their superpowers and watch their careers take off, and we can help even more businesses meet their talent needs and bring innovation and growth to market.

Over the next few months, we’ll announce several programs, some of which have been in the works for some time already, that align with the president’s vision:

We have already given our support to NESTA, a recently-chartered organization of educators that will set standards and develop best practices, and we’ll support its plan to increase transparency by having key enrollment, graduation, and placement metrics audited by an independent third party.

Later this spring we’ll introduce details of several new scholarship programs that will seek to increase the enrollment of women, minorities, and veterans in our programs. We’re incredibly excited about the potential the scholarships will have for bringing in much of the talent that today is sitting on the sidelines.

We’ll also continue to deepen our partnerships with groups committed to career development, mid-career transitions (including military), and retraining.

And, as always, we’ll continue to experiment—with new course subjects, new course formats, new course locations—to find the right job-oriented offerings that will help train the most developers, fill the most jobs, and impact the most lives.

The White House program’s agenda is bold, not just because its scope is big, but because it’s grounded so firmly in new ideas and approaches to what education and job training should be—addressing how long it should take, how much it should cost, how it should be taught, who should teach it, and in what kind of environment.

Rarely does the government put the values and approaches of a grass-roots movement like ours at the center of such a sweeping initiative, and on a personal level it’s so gratifying to see. We’re excited to be a part of this movement and look forward to the acceleration and learning that TechHire will drive.