PDC has committed $100,000 in grants to four teams to engage and train populations underrepresented in the technology industry. Increasing access to the industry supports the goals of the Tech Diversity Pledge which PDC and more than 20 technology companies signed in 2015.

The Outreach and Technology Training Pilot Program focuses on two key actions on behalf of underrepresented populations: raising their awareness of careers in tech, and providing training so they can better access careers in this highly paid, high growth industry sector. Training efforts will encompass both soft and technical skills.

PDC Executive Director Patrick Quinton said, “This pilot program is a meaningful step toward fulfilling a key action of the Tech Diversity Pledge: to partner with groups in Portland that can assist with hiring and career advancement for underrepresented communities. We’re eager to get started with this committed group of trainers and educators.”

Participants in the pilot program and their use of the grant are:

  • Code Fellows: enhance diversity by providing scholarship opportunities to 15 people from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups in Portland Code Fellows courses;
  • Mount Hood Community College and the Rosewood Initiative: offer 16 people from underrepresented racial/ethnic populations the opportunity to take MHCC courses at Rosewood Community Center;
  • iUrbanTeen: enroll a minimum of 40 high school junior and seniors from underrepresented racial and ethnic populations in the technology sector in the iUrbanTeen iCode program;
  • Portland Youth Builders: enroll 50 people in Portland Youth Builders Technical Program with at least 28 from underrepresented racial/ethnical populations.

Deena Pierott, founder of iUrban Teen, said, “This opportunity by PDC to expand our iCode program for underrepresented high school students will assist iUrban Teen in assuring youth have the needed skill-sets for future careers.”

Jarrod Hogue, Associate VP Workforce, Innovation & Partnerships, Mt. Hood Community College, said, “Mt. Hood Community College is thrilled to partner with PDC and the Rosewood Initiative to offer east Portland residents entry-level technology training with accelerated credits towards a CIS degree.”

Tony Lamb, Director of Economic Development, The Rosewood Initiative, said, “We are excited to partner with Mt. Hood Community College, PDC and others to provide skill-building opportunities for the modern economy in our neighborhood-based computer lab. We look forward to providing this investment in the community infrastructure and residents of East Portland.”

Jill Walters, Executive Director, Portland YouthBuilders, said, “Portland YouthBuilders is very excited to partner with PDC to deepen our technology program, helping under-represented young people acquire the technical skills and work habits to launch careers in the technology sector.”

Contact: Shawn Uhlman, PDC, 503-823-7994