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President Obama doubles TechHire communities nationwide to meet employer demand in high-paying careers

ALBUQUERQUE, NM — Talent Albuquerque (Talent ABQ) – a demand-driven enterprise launched in 2013 by Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry in partnership with Innovate+Educate and the New Mexico Workforce Connection (NMWC) Business and Career Center, today celebrates the one-year anniversary of the launch of the national TechHire initiative as the White House announces new steps to further develop the tech skills of America’s workforce. 

According to the White House today, developing the tech skills of our workforce is important for our economic future and is a critical need for employers. Over half a million of today’s open jobs are in technology fields like software development and cybersecurity – many of which did not even exist a decade ago. The average salary in a job that requires technology skills is 50 percent more than the average private-sector job. Albuquerque was one of the initial cities recognized last year when President Barack Obama issued a call to action for communities across the country to join the movement and create TechHire partnerships. Key to the work is employers engaging in the communities to articulate the critical needs, and then to provide fast-track training that can equip workers for fields needing tech skills. 

“This partnership is an important step in continuing to provide job seekers the best resources available, while helping them to learn how their skills can connect them with high-demand employment opportunities in IT across Albuquerque. Incorporating the Talent ABQ model into the Business and Career Center is just another great investment in our people, and a smart way to help them succeed,” said Mayor Berry. 

"Helping our workforce 'skill-up' will drive the ingenuity and creativity needed to fuel innovation and economic development in New Mexico and throughout the country," added Jamai Blivin, president and CEO of Innovate+Educate, which is planning to launch a new TechHire Community of Progress that will work with all interested employers in TechHire communities to share competency-based models and help scale up employer participation. "Working with employers and job creators to develop and scale new pathways to high-paying and rewarding IT jobs will effectively place skilled talent into positions of success in New Mexico, and we’re already seeing positive progress in Albuquerque.” 

Today’s announcement by the White House builds on the progress of expanding TechHire communities, strengthening and extending on-the-job training for international STEM graduates of U.S. universities, further progressing the president's Nation of Makers Initiative, and advancing career and technical education. The president is planning to speak further on the success of TechHire this Friday when he travels to Austin, Texas for South by Southwest. 

TechHire officially launched in 2015 with 21 communities and more than 300 employers committed to providing Americans with the accelerated, non-traditional technical training they need to obtain better jobs and achieve better futures. The 15 new TechHire Communities added today include Atlanta, Ga., Austin, Texas, Burlington, Vt., Riverside, Calif.; Flint, Mich.; State of Hawaii, Indianapolis, Ind.; Jackson, Miss.; Milwaukee, Wisc.; Raleigh, N.C.; Jackson, Tenn.; Seattle, Wash.; Tallahassee, Fla.; Commonwealth of Virginia; and Miami, Fla. The addition of these new communities now doubles the number of TechHire communities nationally from 21 to more than 40. 

Talent ABQ has more than 300 local employer partners along with the City of Albuquerque. The goal is to fill good, high-paying IT jobs based on skills and competencies rather than just degree and experience; opening up job opportunities for candidates in the area that would not have had the opportunity for IT jobs and fields. 

In October 2015, Mayor Berry along with Innovate+Educate announced combined funding of $400,000 from the City of Albuquerque and The Rockefeller Foundation to continue their work in Albuquerque to advance a competency-based pathway to employment based on skills. Skills-based hiring, an innovation of Innovate+Educate that goes back to W. K. Kellogg Funding in 2011 in New Mexico, has taken a concept to reality as the nation continues to face a crisis in unemployment, high cost of degree attainment, low placement of degreed students, and many skilled workers not able to find jobs under the traditional hiring methods used over the past 50 years. 

Innovate+Educate currently is working in several states and cities working on similar initiatives, such as TechHire Utah.


About Innovate+Educate

Innovate+Educate (I+E) is a national, non-profit organization implementing evidence-based, employer-led strategies to drive competency-based training and hiring for in-demand jobs. I+E is led by a Board of Directors from top industry across 35 states. For more information, visit www.innovate-educate.org

Editorial Contact

Noah Garrett, noah@thinkngc.com, NGC Communications on behalf of TechHire Utah