5 DC groups partner to launch initiative to continue to make DC the most inclusive tech ecosystem in the nation
WASHINGTON, May 4, 2017— The Washington DC Economic Partnership (WDCEP) in partnership with Thinkful and DC’s Inclusive Innovation Incubator, In3, today announced the launch of a pilot program called Pathway Scholars to prepare underrepresented workers for jobs in tech.
The announcement is part of innoMAYtion, Mayor Bowser’s month-long initiative to showcase the District as a global model for inclusive innovation. Now in its third year, innoMAYtion focuses on key priorities from the Bowser Administration including education, technology, small businesses, and the creative economy. In November 2016, Mayor Bowser published Pathways to Inclusion, a report on diversity in DC’s tech sector. Mayor Bowser set a goal of creating 5,000 new tech jobs for underrepresented workers.
“As the Capital of Inclusive Innovation, Washington, D.C. is at the forefront of advancing inclusivity in the tech sector,” said Keith Sellars, President & CEO of WDCEP. “We are proud to partner with Thinkful, In3 and other DC leaders, to launch this program, and continue to support the District’s mission to establishing the most inclusive culture among tech ecosystems in the nation.”
“When we first started working with employers in D.C., we found a real hunger to build diverse workforces, said Dan Friedman, co-founder and President of Thinkful. “Working with the WDCEP, we’ll have the resources to help Mayor Browser meet the stated goal of bringing 5,000 underrepresented workers into the tech sector.”
WDCEP and Thinkful will provide five Pathway Scholarships, including one full scholarship and four partial scholarships, to Thinkful’s flagship six-month course in web development. Each scholar will work with a mentor who’s an expert in the field. Mentorship will take place in In3. Mentors will come from D.C. companies and will help scholars learn best practices, grow scholars’ networks, and prepare for the challenges of their first tech jobs. MEANS Database will be an employment partner, providing job opportunities to graduates of this program. At MEANS graduates will help program a website that has rescued over 100,000 pounds of food that would otherwise have been thrown away. Byte Back, a local DC non-profit and recent top prize winner of WeWork’s Creator Awards, will partner to identify potential applicants and support on-going technology and workforce training.
“By offering these scholarships, WDCEP, Thinkful, and In3 intend to demonstrate inclusion in action,” said Kevin Morgan, Director of Tech Sector Attraction & Retention at WDCEP. “We see this as an opportunity both to provide training that would otherwise be inaccessible and to learn what works – and what doesn’t – with respect to inclusive training programs in the tech sector.”
WDCEP and Thinkful will host events throughout May to promote the program. Over the next 12 months, WDCEP and Thinkful will bring together leading tech employers to train mentors at those companies, growing the Pathway Scholars program and helping those companies build a diverse pipeline of candidates.
Individuals identified by the report as underrepresented based on gender, race, or disability are welcome to learn more by reaching to Kevin Morgan, Director of Tech Sector Attraction and Retention at firstname.lastname@example.org and apply here: https://www.thinkful.com/scholarships/washington-dc/.
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The Washington DC Economic Partnership (WDCEP) is a non-profit, public-private organization whose core purpose is to actively position, promote, and support economic development and business opportunities in Washington, DC. WDCEP facilitates economic development through business attraction and business retention programs and activities, including site location assistance, educational seminars and workshops, and networking events geared towards building jobs and increased tax revenues for the city of Washington, DC. WDCEP is a key resource for Washington, DC economic development information and publishes several reports throughout the year, including the DC Development Report, DC Doing Business Guide and Neighborhood Profiles. For additional information, please visit www.wdcep.com.
Thinkful helps people become developers or data scientists. Every Thinkful student works one-on-one with a mentor who’s an expert in the field and then with a career coach to land a job after graduating. Thanks to that support, 94% of Thinkful graduates have found a job within 6 months. Thinkful is ranked the #1 best overall bootcamp by Course Report. https://www.thinkful.com/bootcamp/washington-dc/
In3 is the District of Columbia’s first community space focused on inclusion, innovation and incubation. The incubator is committed to creating a collaborative environment where under-resourced members have access to the space and services needed to build or grow a successful business. In3 will improve the business landscape in the District by providing members with the right tools and access to financial, technical and professional resources. For additional information, please visit www.In3dc.com.
About Byte Back
Byte Back improves economic opportunity by providing computer training and career preparation to underserved Washington, DC metro area residents. The dynamic organization helps people traditionally left out of the tech sector reach their potential in living-wage careers. www.byteback.org
About MEANS Database
Started by a food pantry volunteer, MEANS Database is a nonprofit that uses 21st-century technology to help food pantries connect with each other and local donors – diverting food that would have been thrown away into the hands of those who need it. Visit www.meansdatabase.com to sign up for donation alerts or learn more about their work to waste less and feed more.