Unemployed and underemployed Houstonians will have the chance to train for family-sustaining jobs under a major expansion of the Houston Area Urban League Tech Jobs Program, funded by longtime partner Comcast.
“The Urban Tech Jobs Program 2.0 provides an opportunity for our participants to receive in-demand IT training at the collegiate level without student debt. In this current environment where we have seen a huge demand for technical skills due to COVID-19 pandemic, our program will help bridge the digital divide in our communities.”
“With the support of Comcast, I foresee HAUL becoming one of Houston’s leading agencies in providing quality technical training and ensuring underserved clients in BIPOC communities have access to technology”, stated Judson W. Robinson III, Houston Area Urban League President & CEO.
Tech-related job openings are surging, both nationally and in Houston. According to the 2021 Greater Houston Partnership Houston Tech Report, Houston has the 12th largest tech workforce in the U.S. The Greater Houston area ranks as one of the hot spots in the country for an in-demand area of tech expertise. In fact, the top 10 in-demand roles listed by a World Economic Forum Future of Jobs Report are all tech-related — but four in 10 American employers report that they struggle to fill tech vacancies, according to a survey. When tech companies do hire, few of the jobs are going to workers of color. The National Urban League’s 2018 State of Black America® found that of the 40,000 employees of four major Silicon Valley technology firms, only 1,000 were Black. To address the racial opportunity gaps in the digital economy and broadband availability, the National Urban League has developed the Lewis Latimer Plan for Digital Equity and Inclusion.
“It is imperative we create new opportunities for underserved communities to participate in the growth of the digital economy,” said Ralph Martinez, regional senior vice Comcast Houston Region. “We are excited to continue our partnership with the Houston Area Urban League and help expand their Urban Tech Jobs Program to ensure more adults have the opportunity to gain the necessary technical skills to compete in today’s workforce.”
The Urban Tech Jobs Program is an accelerated training program that recruits unemployed and underemployed adults and provides them with workshops to build solid job readiness and personal resiliency/adaptability skills while offering nationally recognized certification coursework and paid work experience.
“The AWS class itself was fine. Jose is an EXCELLENT instructor. Incredibly knowledgeable and great at getting across the information. I am launching a portfolio project on AWS to display some of my knowledge and staying active in the AWS scene in hopes of remaining current. As a freelancer, I have gigs now that utilize the AWS service. As a rule, I am the techie my less techie managers come to, to help them understand an issue. I’m now equipped to have some of those conversations about AWS”
“I do hope HAUL continues the program. I keep talking about it to friends who would benefit as a wonderful opportunity to get solid training”. Chere Westmoreland, UTJP 2.0/Amazon Web Service Program Participant.
More than 800 workers and jobseekers have taken advantage of the program nationally since 2016, leading to jobs in technology such as network administrator, office manager, installation technician, helpdesk specialist, systems analyst, programmers, and developer.
Comcast’s $3 million commitment will enable a total of 240 individuals to be trained through an expansion of the program at six Urban League affiliates:
- Urban League of Philadelphia (Andrea L. Custis, President & CEO)
- Chicago Urban League (Karen Freeman-Wilson, President & CEO)
- Houston Area Urban League (Judson Robinson III, President & CEO)
- Urban League of Broward County (Germaine Smith-Baugh, President & CEO)
- Urban League of Greater Atlanta (Nancy Flake Johnson, President & CEO)
- Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh (Esther L. Bush, President & CEO)
Individuals who are interested in applying for Urban Tech should send their resumes to email@example.com. Regular updates regarding future Houston Area Urban League and National Urban League initiatives can be found at www.haul.org and www.NUL.org .