The Department of Labor this week announced $150 million in grant funding to 39 partnerships across the country to launch innovative technology training and placement models to develop tech talent, with a focus on high-growth sectors like IT and healthcare.
Many of the partnerships that have been awarded grant funding involve healthcare IT training and development programs. The TechHire Partnership grants aim to keep and create jobs in local economies. In March 2015, President Obama launched TechHire to expand local tech sectors by building tech talent pipelines. In addition to federal funding, grantees are leveraging nearly $50 million in philanthropic, private and other funding to contribute to local partnerships.
According to a White House press release, there is a large and growing unmet demand for tech workers. Today, there are over 600,000 open IT jobs across all sectors—more than two-thirds in fields outside the tech sector, such as manufacturing, financial services and healthcare. Across the country, employers are struggling to find skilled talent for these positions. A study from CEB found that in 10 major metropolitan areas (including New York, Atlanta, Seattle, and Houston), there are only five skilled job seekers available for every eight open IT jobs. Compared to 2010, it now takes employers five additional weeks to fill the average vacancy—at a cost to employers of $8.6 million per 1,000 vacancies.
Among the partnerships that were awarded funds, the AHIMA Foundation, along with CareerSource South Florida Mount Sinai Medical Center and the McKinsey Social Initiative will provide assistance to Miami Dade College on a program designed to provide 400 young adults with barriers to employment access to training in IT, healthcare and financial services. That program received $3.5 million in grants.
In addition, Atlanta Technical College’s Technology Impact Project received $3.6 million in grant funding to build on the Atlanta TechHire community to implement online and classroom learning, boot camps and on-the-job training for participants to increase skills and opportunities for employment in IT, healthcare, business and transportation.
Employ Milwaukee developed a partnership between three TechHire communities—Milwaukee, Cincinnati and St. Louis—and these organizations will team up to help connect participants to jobs in high-growth sectors like IT and healthcare. That partnership received $4 million grant funding.
In Kansas City, Greater Kansas City Technology Career Collaboration (GKCTCC) was awarded $5 million to help train 2,000 participants, including young adults facing barriers to employment such as disabilities and criminal records and workers currently in low-wage jobs. Training will focus on four high-growth industries: IT, healthcare, advanced manufacturing, and financial services.
The Tampa Bay Workforce Alliance Inc.’s Tampa Bay TechHire program received $3.8 million and aims to work with 1,000 young adults and low-wage workers in Tampa with the goal of preparing them for jobs in IT and healthcare. And, the Hudson Valley TechHire Partnership in Westchester County, New York will use $4 million in grant funds to help participants learn skills in healthcare, biotechnology and IT.
Mahoning Valley Partnership for Employment (MVPE), in Youngstown, Ohio, received $4 million in grants to equip individuals, with a focus on veterans and those with criminal records, with skills in high-demand by advanced manufacturing and healthcare employers.