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Miami joins White House TechHire initiative

By Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

Miami has joined the White House’s TechHire initiative, with 14 community partners and more than 140 companies committing to work together to train and place nearly 2,500 candidates into well-paying technology jobs by the end of 2020, the White House is expected to announce Wednesday.

TechHire, launched one year ago by President Barack Obama, is a multi-sector national initiative to create a pipeline of Americans with technology skills via universities and community colleges, as well as coding boot camps and high-quality online courses that can rapidly train workers for a well-paying job.

The Miami area is one of 15 U.S. communities joining Wednesday and is now part of a network of 50 communities. It’s the first such initiative in Florida.

CareerSource South Florida and LaunchCode, both nonprofit groups dedicated to placing place "job-seekers in tech jobs, are leading Miami’s efforts to train and place 1,190 individuals into tech jobs by the end of 2017 and 2,415 individuals by the end of 2020. The TechHire initiative comes with no federal dollars attached, but grant programs are available, said Jacob Leibenluft, deputy director of the National Economic Council. “We see it as an opportunity to bring together partners and provide tools,” Leibenluft said on Tuesday. “Part of the goal of this program is that communities learn from each other. As the network grows, we will see returns to scale.”

Miami currently has 140 companies committed to interviewing qualified candidates that graduate from Miami TechHire’s training partners, including the Idea Center at Miami Dade College, Wyncode, Code Fever Miami, New Horizons, Florida Vocational Institute, the Academy of South Florida and Ironhack. The Beacon Council, along with Miami-Dade County, the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce and e-Merge Americas, will lead efforts to ensure that employers’ commitments to the community of Miami are fulfilled, the White House said.

In addition to the new TechHire partners, the White House will also announce new rules that aim to extend the time international students graduating from U.S. universities with STEM degrees can stay in the U.S. The White House also said the U.S. Department of Education will also be holding a “makeover challenge” to encourage more maker spaces in high schools and that the White House plans a “Week of Making” June 17-23 to feature makers across the country.