SAN FRANCISCO — The nonprofit Base 11 is launching a workforce development program to train 100,000 African Americans for careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) by 2025.
This effort, called the Springboard Initiative, is spearheaded by Ellie Mae chairman Sig Anderman, who contracted with Base 11 to develop and implement the training program. The program is already underway, training 18 students in the San Francisco Bay Area to be ready to fill software development and tech support jobs within 8 months.
Perhaps nowhere is the need for diversity in STEM greater than in nearby Silicon Valley, where about 7 percent of the employees at the leading technology firms are African American. At the same time, the unemployment rate of African Americans in California is more than double that of whites.
“The shortage of qualified talent for critical technology and software development jobs isn’t just hurting Ellie Mae, it’s negatively impacting the entire country,” said Anderman. “We have a tremendous opportunity here to connect and train hard working students who need jobs, with tech support and coding positions we desperately need to fill to maintain our competitive edge.”
Base 11 worked with Ellie Mae to “reverse engineer” the training program, developing the curriculum to prepare students for specific “middle skill” tech jobs – those that require certifications and some college-level coursework, but not a four-year degree. Ellie Mae and Visa are the first corporate partners to join the Springboard Initiative to help produce a qualified talent pipeline for specific, high-demand roles in their businesses. After the first cohort of students are successfully trained and placed in jobs, Springboard expects more companies to join the effort and train and hire employees to fill current and future roles.
“We’re proud to be partnering with innovative tech companies like Ellie Mae who have made the strategic decision to grow their own STEM talent pipeline,” said Landon Taylor, CEO of Base 11. “There are thousands more companies across America facing a massive shortage of talent, and we’re committed to helping accelerate the development of the STEM talent that our country so desperately needs.”
The workforce development program combines industry certifications, academic coursework at community colleges, and on-site training and mentorship from current employees at the companies. Students will take fieldtrips to tech companies like Google and Intuit, and receive employability-skills training to succeed in the 21st century workplace. While enrolled in the training program, students receive a stipend, as well as college credits for courses. Top students from the program will be employed as apprentices at Ellie Mae and Visa with the potential for employment
The Springboard Initiative unleashes the untapped talent of hundreds of thousands of smart, but under-resourced people in minority communities by getting them trained and ready for productive, high paying jobs in the high tech industry. With a unique, intensive nine-month training program designed by and meeting the specific needs of high tech employers, Springboard offers a new, strategic approach to talent development.For more information, visit www.springboardinitiative.com.
About Base 11
Base 11 is a non-profit public benefit corporation focused on empowering high-potential, low-resource community college students with hands-on education and training in STEM-related enterprises. Base 11 partners with community colleges and their feeder high schools to provide high-potential, low-resource students with real-world training, experience and mentorship in STEM-related enterprises, delivering to employers a pre recruitment pipeline of well-trained, highly skilled STEM employees and entrepreneurs. For more information, please visit www.Base11.com. Base 11 is a DBA of the Center for Innovations in Education, a nonprofit 501(c) 3 – IRS exemption EIN# 26- 4365936.
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