Obama initiates STEM education and training expansion

President Barack Obama has announced new partnerships for additional STEM education and training expansion, addressing the nation’s current shortfall in the labor market.

TechHire, the name of the job-training initiative, is an integral part of continued economic recovery and hiring highly skilled tech workers is a major push of the initiative.

Deputy director of the National Economic Council, Jacob Leibenluft, told reporters that there are countless new jobs that employers in the country hope to fill with candidates who are skilled in technology.

At the present time, there are more than 5.5 million job openings in the United States. More than half a million of these are IT positions, which is more than in any other occupational category. The positions aren’t concentrated exclusively in innovation hubs like Silicon Valley and New York and Boston like many assume, and pay on average about 50 percent more than other positions.

Leibenluft says that job openings exist throughout America, in big cities and small towns and various industries. He says he knows the demand will continue to grow.

This month marks the one year anniversary of the TechHire IT training initiative and that makes it a great time for White House officials and Obama to announce the expansion of the program from 21 communities last year up to 50 communities around the nation at the present time.

Rhode Island is one state on board with the TechHire initiative. The state’s Governor, Gina Raimondo, says that the government is striving to create a pipeline of technology talent. She has set a four-year goal of training and placing 2,000 employees in tech jobs in the state of Rhode Island.

She believes that the government’s harmonization with the tech firms that do the hiring is crucial to the success of the program. She says that it’s not enough to train people with relative skills, but instead employers need to step up and alter the way they’re searching for employees to ensure this succeeds.

According to Raimondo, 35 companies in the state of Rhode Island have agreed to review and revamp their hiring practices to align with the TechHire program, acknowledging that they need employees with strong tech skills, no matter their level of prior formal education.

IT and the technology sector are a rapidly growing area of opportunity. I fully support Obama’s push to expand STEM education and training efforts nationwide. I think the changes we will see as a result will do nothing but benefit our country.

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