Today in San Francisco, the typical tech employee is young (73% are under 35), male (90%), and white (70%). To increase opportunities in the tech sector for under-represented populations in the Bay Area, the Office of Economic and Workforce Development launched TechSF, a city-wide initiative that provides access and educational opportunities to job seekers as well as employment assistance to connect those individuals to technology jobs in all sectors. Service offerings include technical skills training, job placement support, and retention services that individuals need to get jobs and stay employed in the tech sector.
At the September SF Tech Council meeting, Annie Tahtinen, Strategic Technology Partnership Manager at JVS and Program Manager for TechSF, noted that by every measure, the initiative has been a success. Since its inception in 2012, TechSF programs have:
- Offered more than 6,300 learning opportunities;
- Placed 2,574 people in jobs;
- Facilitated 1,258 summer tech internships; and
- Involved more than 650 companies in hiring participants in the program.
Working in partnership with three workforce services coordinators —JVS, Goodwill, and BAVC—and training service providers, including Code Tenderloin, Samaschool, Mission Bit, Upwardly Global, Mission Economic Development Agency, <dev/Mission>, TechSF’s services are free to participants. Each of the training providers offers a variety of programs ranging from job readiness sessions to intensive coding courses, and targets particular groups who are under-represented or face barriers to employment in tech.
Two JVS tech-related training programs, Salesforce Administration and QuickBooks Certification for Office Administrators, have been specifically designed for job seekers who have been out of work for at least 6 months, although all job seekers are encouraged to apply. Both training courses, which have been fueled by employer needs, combine job-specific skills, job search skills and practical on-the-job training experience. So far, there have been 10 cohorts of 30 people each in the Salesforce administration program. The average age of participants, notes Tahtinen, is 48, pointing to a demand for tech-related work among those who are middle aged.
For more information on TechSF register for an upcoming orientation session.