Baltimore group seeks to ‘RetrainAmerica’ for jobs of the future
Baltimore and the country are at an important crossroads that will decide the economic fate for millions of people for years to come. COVID-19 has triggered historic unemployment levels. Due to the unprecedented nature of the pandemic and our path to medical, social and economic recovery, we don’t know if or when many of these jobs will return.
Even before the crisis hit, changing consumer behaviors, automation and digital transformation were shifting the employment landscape. Grocery stores no longer need baggers, but engineers to debug self-checkout software. Factories have more robots on the floor than humans. Farming equipment is more advanced than the rockets that took us to the moon.
However, those displaced by technology or coronavirus-triggered closures are some of the least likely to be able to secure jobs in expanding industries. A combination of cost and outdated methods of assessing and hiring talent lock many people out of the jobs of the future…
The remedy begins with RetrainAmerica, an effort launched in May by a coalition of local private businesses, government and nonprofits with one goal: to give anyone — regardless of background, education or prior experience — the opportunity to get retrained for jobs of the future.
In October, we took a major step to achieving this goal by launching the Baltimore City Technology and Software Development Fellowship program. A collaborative partnership between Baltimore City, Baltimore Corps and Catalyte, this program will create equitable and family-sustaining technology careers, build a sustainable talent pipeline for city agencies, improve community health outcomes and help modernize Baltimore’s information technology infrastructure.
Using Catalyte’s technology talent transformation platform, we are able to identify Baltimore area residents, from any background, who have the aptitude to become great software developers. We then train them for free and hire them as software developers.
The first round of fellows are already making the city’s applications more secure and helping with important public health issues involving the pandemic. This group includes people like Katherine, who previously worked for her family’s home contracting company. Or Alena, a Belarusian immigrant who made a midlife career change into the technology industry. Through the training and software developer fellowship, they, and many others, are deployed working on critical projects for Baltimore City Information & Technology (BCIT) and the Baltimore City Health Department…
Not only can we put people back to work, but retrain them for higher-paying careers. For example, Catalyte’s retrained software developers, the same people who would become technology fellows, increased their earnings nearly four times in just five years, from $25,000 to $98,000, regardless of prior technology experience or education level. Imagine the economic benefits of that wage growth applied to thousands of people in neighborhoods across Baltimore…
Read the full article at the Baltimore Sun