Opportunity@Work has actively led a few initiatives and betas to expand access to career opportunities for overlooked individuals.
The TechHire initiative, announced by the Obama Administration in 2015, is a national network of communities that creates pathways for overlooked and underrepresented Americans to gain skills and access to open technical jobs across the country.
TechHire communities were designed to bring community partners together to create pathways for more Americans to access tech training and well-paying jobs.
TechHire was originally launched with 21 communities, and grew to 72 communities partnering with more than 1,300 employers and 237 training providers, while placing 4,000 people into jobs.
Launched in late 2016, TechHire.careers was an inclusive hiring platform that connected employers with talented individuals who possess vetted technical skills.
TechHire.careers was designed to support skills-based hiring so candidates can show they can do – regardless of pedigree – and be hired for, career-path jobs. Beta’d in Rhode Island, TechHire.careers allowed candidates to demonstrate their technical skills through an online assessment and complete a mock interview conducted by volunteers to demonstrate their soft skills. Employers looking to hire candidates based on skill searched on the site by location and skill set to find job-ready candidates who have successfully completed the assessments. These assessments were co-created and refined with Dell, Amazon, Pinterest and other leading companies hiring technical roles.
During its beta, TechHire.careers helped dozens of job seekers to secure career-path technology jobs in Rhode Island. More than 200 employers signed up, and the platform was featured in HR Magazine, Forbes, and HuffPost.
Our Talent Equity Fund, piloted in November 2017, offered a financing opportunity for low-income and overlooked Americans to upskill or re-skill for a new career without bearing excessive financial risk.
Our Talent Equity Fund was designed to support students typically underrepresented in the tech community and otherwise unable to afford education. Our solution fundamentally realigned incentives for all stakeholders in the system — school, social investor, loan servicer — to drive high-quality, long-term outcomes for the individual served. The Talent Equity Fund covered 100% of students’ upfront tuition costs for training, provided monthly living stipends, and career support. In return, students agree to pay a portion of their income after training and landing a job.
Our Talent Equity Fund launched two pilots under the name of Learn and Earn: one with General Assembly in Washington, DC, and another with the Turing School of Design and Software in Denver, Colorado.