05 Mar, 2019, 08:00 ET
DOWNERS GROVE, Ill., March 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- American industry continues to suffer from a severe shortage of tech talent made worse by a lack of awareness and resources that prohibit large populations of young people from pursuing careers in technology. To close this gap and reach more potential technologists, CompTIA's tech workforce charity Creating IT Futures today announced its acquisition of fellow nonprofit TechGirlz.
Together, the two mission-aligned entities will identify, inspire and prepare the next generation of technology workers. By adding TechGirlz as a complement to its successful adult-focused IT-Ready training program and a network of partner organizations, Creating IT Futures has now crafted a continuous path of technology prep from middle school through high school and into adulthood.
Creating IT Futures has been a longtime supporter of TechGirlz, which inspires middle school girls to explore careers in technology. With its rapid growth, TechGirlz required a new way of thinking about their operational and funding resources for continued scaling. At the same time, Creating IT Futures recognized the quality and impact of TechGirlz' youth-focused programs as a key to begin addressing tech training inequalities earlier in the talent pipeline so that more diverse populations can take advantage of today's tech skills gap.
"As the technology industry continues to search for ways to teach tech and fill open jobs, we are committed to launching a bottom up effort that will create a swell of talent," said Charles Eaton, executive vice president, social innovation, CompTIA, and CEO, Creating IT Futures. "More than any other organization, TechGirlz has repeatedly demonstrated its ability to inspire and teach middle school girls to do more than just code. We are thrilled to apply our institutional knowledge to help rapidly scale this proven model and grow even larger pools of future technologists."
As part of its mission to invent better onramps to IT careers, Creating IT Futures' research has highlighted middle school as the prime age to spark interest in the future technology workforce. This creates a natural alignment with TechGirlz, a program that has helped reached more than 15,000 middle school girls through its wide-ranging TechShopz that focus on robotics, digital media and many other topics beyond coding.
TechGirlz workshops have been successful because subjects are designed specifically for this age group, refined with feedback from participants, and available for volunteer instructors to use freely across the country. Creating IT Futures plans to incorporate TechGirlz's best practices for technology curriculum development and engaging middle schoolers into its other programs.
Recruiting more women into IT remains a point of emphasis for Creating IT Futures. Data from the US National Science Foundation shows that between 2004-2014, the number of women graduating with a Bachelor's degree in computer science declined. Today, women make up nearly 50% of the workforce but hold less than 25% of STEM related jobs in the United States. Through TechGirlz and its IT-Ready career program, Creating IT Futures hopes to counter this trend.
"We are eager to expand our relationship with Creating IT Futures in service to the millions of future technologists that can benefit from our combined efforts," said TechGirlz CEO and founder Tracey Welson-Rossman. "The lack of available tech talent and the proven competitive advantage of a diverse workforce has created a unique opportunity to build a path for more young girls to pursue a career in technology. By ensuring these women have a critical part to play in America's technology industry we can also help them secure greater economic and social influence."
As part of the acquisition, TechGirlz will integrate its team and operations with Creating IT Futures as one of two primary programs alongside IT-Ready, but continue to function as a unique brand from Philadelphia, PA. Creating IT Futures will also take over management of the current TechGirlz $1 million capital campaign, already underway through 2020.
Creating IT Futures' acquisition of TechGirlz follows its recent partnership with the Wounded Warrior Project's Warriors to Work Program, which helps American military veterans gain the digital skills necessary to launch an IT career.
"Creating IT Futures is assembling the premier platform for training America's IT workforce," continued Eaton. "Our deep expertise and resources combined with an extensive network of partners centralizes the knowledgebase and programs that will be key to building an abundant pipeline of talented technologists."
About Creating IT Futures
Founded in 1998 by CompTIA, Creating IT Futures is a 501(c)(3) charity with the mission of helping populations under-represented in the information technology industry and individuals who are lacking in opportunity to prepare for, secure, and be successful in IT careers. Learn more at www.creatingITfutures.org.
TechGirlz is a nonprofit that fosters a love for technology in middle school girls. Our free, open source technology courses can be used by anyone to inspire curiosity, impart confidence and build community as the foundation for the application of technology throughout a girl's career and life. TechShopz courses have been taught by volunteer instructors in ten states and four countries to more than 5,000 girls. To learn more or how you can participate, please visit http://www.techgirlz.org/.
SOURCE Creating IT Futures
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