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Creating a Tech Talent Pipeline in New York City
During the opening session of Internet Week New York 2014, Mayor Bill de Blasio delivered the keynote address in which he presented a set of reforms and initiatives that would change New York City into the most technology friendly and innovation-driven city in the world. He delineated four key priorities: attracting and growing tech talent locally; ensuring universal , high-speed, affordable broadband access for all New Yorkers and New York City business; supporting government innovation; and digital engagement in government.
In his speech, the Mayor said, "New York kept its position as global leader by moving forward with technological and economic advances, and this administration is committed to doing everything to expand our talent pool and develop our innovation economy."
New York City's tech ecosystem provides 291, 000 jobs and contributes $30 billion in wages annually to the city's economy.
In addressing workforce development, he prsented 12 key initiatives, one of them being Tech Talent Pipeline. Specific information for this initiative is as follows from his press release:
Tech Talent Pipeline: Mayor de Blasio today announced the launch of a tech talent pipeline to support the growth of the tech sector and train New Yorkers to be tech companies’ premier hiring choice. Building on existing relationship with CUNY and the Department of Education, and the Department of Small Business Services, the Tech Talent Pipeline will combine city, state, federal, and private funding to reach a budget of approximately $10 million, distributed across three years, to recruit and train New Yorkers; design new curricula to meet employer need; and engage employers in building the talent pipeline. This collaboration will be supported by several philanthropic partners, including JP Morgan Chase, the inaugural funder, and the NY Community Trust and the NYC Workforce Funders, which are committing to future funding.
On June 22, 2014, an article in the New York Times, " Creating Unexpected Opportunities in a Recovering Economy", presented a web developer training program at Flatiron School in Manhattan. This program is run by the New York City Department of Small Business Services, which contracted with Flatiron School to offer a free, 22-week course to New Yorkers who earned less than $50,000 and had never worked as web developers. (The course normally costs $12,000) Twenty-eight were accepted out of 1,200 applicants and they started the course in October.
In this program, students learned Ruby on Rails and Java Script, database building and web design. In June, 21 of the 28 fellows have full-time tenchnology jobs, with an average of $70,000, three fellows are currently weighing job offers and one is pursuing advanced education in coding.
Mayor Bill de Blasio plans to broaden the program into what he has named the New York City Tech Talent Pipeline, which aims to train more than 500 new workers over the next three years.