Tess Posner, Director of TechHire
TechHire, Opportunity@Work’s flagship project, is a public-private initiative in American cities, states, and rural communities to to get more Americans rapidly trained for well-paying technology jobs. TechHire fills local IT jobs and empowers Americans with the skills they need to fill these jobs, including through new accelerated approaches like “coding boot camps” and high-quality online courses. Tess supports the TechHire initiative nationwide through collaboration with key stakeholders including state and local government leaders, workforce development programs and education providers. Through the TechHire platform and facilitating a learning network and opportunities for collective action, she works to help TechHire locations successfully sustain and grow the initiative’s impact in their communities.
Tess has spent her career on initiatives that increase equity and economic opportunity in the education system and economy. She is passionate about working towards a future where all people have the chance to access education, find dignified work and reach their full potential. Prior to joining Opportunity@Work, Tess was Managing Director of Samaschool, a social enterprise part of the SamaGroup that equips low-income people to find work in the digital economy. Samaschool’s job training bootcamps provide trainees with in-demand skills, resources, and the support they need to be successful in the new economy and their careers. Tess grew the program from a pilot in San Francisco in 2013 to international adoption, now with a global online platform and eleven diverse locations from New York City to rural Arkansas and in East Africa. As Managing Director, Tess led all Samaschool departments, fundraising, strategy, and expansion efforts, including the development and launch of an online training platform, now serving students in 70 countries. Samaschool’s approach to giving low-income populations 21st century skills to tap into the digital economy led it to be named one of the “13 most innovative schools in the world” by Business Insider, featured in TechCrunch, FastCompany and receive funding from organizations such as the Tipping Point Community, JPMorgan Chase, the California Endowment and the Robin Hood Foundation.
Prior to Samaschool, Tess led the employment and education programs at First Place for Youth, a nationally-recognized model that helps foster youth find housing, get their first job, and stay in school. Before First Place, she managed programs that taught competitive debate as a literacy and empowerment tool in underserved public schools in New York City. Tess holds a master's degree from Columbia University School in Social Enterprise Administration and a bachelor’s in liberal arts from St. John’s College.