Heather Terenzio, Co-Founder and CEO of Boulder-based Techtonic Group, a world-class software development services firm successfully created a unique outsourced apprenticeship program aimed at closing skill and equity gaps in high-tech industries.
It is grossly evident that our higher education system is flawed, and systematically failing to attract minorities to the boundless opportunities in technology.
Techtonic Group focuses on accepting women, people of color, youth and veterans to their program, the United States’ first-ever Department of Labor-registered Software Developer Apprenticeship.
Traditionally, coding bootcamps like Techtonic’s are extremely expensive and logistically impossible for anyone unable to take months off work to complete. Paid from day one, Techtonic’s apprentices gain extensive classroom training and on-the-job experience as they integrate with the team and work on actual client software projects. Four to six months later, apprenticeship grads are hired–either directly by Techtonic or one of the company’s clients. In most cases, the apprentice-client relationship Techtonic creates leads to a direct hire.
To date, 75 people from all sorts of backgrounds have launched careers through Techtonic’s apprenticeship program. The next class of 20 is poised to begin this September.
Current statistics that illustrate the situation’s severity. Keep in mind there are currently more than 600,000 unoccupied tech jobs.
- Only 1 in 10 employees at the largest technology companies are Black or Latinx
- Less than 1 in 5 of all technology companies are founded by women
- Among all VC-backed companies, not even 1% have founders of Black or Latinx descent
- Men earn 82% of all Computer Science Bachelor’s Degrees
- The number of white students enrolled in CS programs is eight times the number of Latinx students
- Only a quarter of CS graduate students are women
*Statistics courtesy of the Kapor Center for Social Impact
Techtonic is guided by the belief that opportunity should be equal, and that if employers aren’t hiring talent from diverse backgrounds, the industry cannot reach its full potential. This Spring, Techtonic’s values attracted $2 million in funding from education and training investment firm University Ventures.
Apprenticeship programs are becoming more valuable and popular among new job seekers as an entrance vehicle into the job market and seasoned professionals looking to increase the skills and value.
For more information contact: Casey McDonald – firstname.lastname@example.org – 212.584.5668