July 22, 2014
More than 75 organizations working on 21st Century workforce development gather at The New School for Social Research
NEW YORK—Kicking off the inaugural Tech Talent Summit, more than 100 attendees—representing over 75 community organizations, tech companies, foundations, and elected officials—gathered at The New School’s Wollman Hall today to discuss the future of the City’s workforce development and its Tech Talent Pipeline. The summit was held to solicit feedback and best practices from the community, helping shape the future investments in education and the City’s technology sector—which is part of Mayor de Blasio’s broader plan to tackle income inequality by growing the City’s thriving innovation economy and expanding job opportunities in higher-wage industries with ample advancement potential for New Yorkers. In partnership with the City government and sponsored by The New School, the event was organized by the New York Tech Meetup, Coalition for Queens, Code to Work, StartUp Box: South Bronx, Per Scholas, and Fedcap.
Mayor de Blasio announced the launch of the Tech Talent Pipeline in May during Internet Week New York, in conjunction with the Jobs for New Yorkers Task Force, as one of his administration’s key workforce development initiatives. The purpose of the Tech Talent Pipeline is to support the growth of the tech sector by recruiting and training New Yorkers; designing new curricula to meet employer need; and engaging employers in building the talent pipeline.
“Our vision is to cultivate a 21st Century workforce with upward income mobility—therefore, technology is a critical sector to focus on with the Tech Talent Pipeline. To support the tech ecosystem in New York City, we need to build a pipeline from our schools, colleges and workforce community to meet specific employer needs in real time,” said Katy Gaul-Stigge, Executive Director of Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development, who delivered the keynote address at the summit, following introductory remarks by Chairman of the New York Tech Meetup Andrew Rasiej; Senior Advisor to the Deputy Director at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Kumar Garg; and Dean of the School for Art, Media and Technology at Parsons The New School for Design Anne Gaines.
The tech sector—the second largest in New York City—has the potential to revolutionize the lives of countless New Yorkers. Already, the City’s tech ecosystem supplies more than 291,000 jobs and contributes $30 billion in wages annually to the City economy. While 50 percent of New Yorkers live at or below the poverty line, the average tech job salary is $95,000—and there are tens of thousands of unfilled tech jobs in the city. These unfilled jobs, as well as the tech sector’s potential, serve as a catalyst for discussion of the development of the tech talent pipeline of New York City.
“As the momentum of the City’s tech ecosystem grows, so does economic opportunity across the boroughs,” said Kyle Kimball, president of the New York City Economic Development Corporation. “We are committed to working with the City’s tech companies to ensure that their success is powered by skilled New Yorkers, who in turn will drive the success of tech firms and further cement New York City as a global capital of technological innovation and expertise.”
“There are currently 300,000 jobs being created by NYC’s growing tech sector, and the Tech Talent Pipeline is committed to making sure that government, employers, community groups, and training providers are working together to ensure that all New Yorkers have a fair and equal chance at these good paying jobs, and that NYC tech companies have the local talent they need,” said Maria Torres-Springer, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “The dialogue initiated through the first ever New York City Tech Talent Summit is just the beginning, and we will continue to work together to find innovative ways to develop the tech talent pipeline of New York City, and ensure economic mobility for all.”
The summit consisted of the keynote address, two panels, and a series of breaks to carry out informal discussion. The first panel focused on the definition of 21st Century workforce development, and featured Majora Carter, Founder and CEO of StartUp Box South Bronx, Jukay Hsu, Founder of Coalition for Queens, and Angie Kamath, Executive Director of Per Scholas, as panelists.
“For New York City to successfully compete in the new hyper connected global economy, it is essential to create a technologically skilled and diverse workforce,” said Andrew Rasiej, Chairman of NY Tech Meetup. “The first New York Tech Talent Summit is an important step to help government leaders and policy makers understand what is needed to create a New York City talent pipeline to properly serve its future in the 21st Century.”
“We are honored to be co-organizing the first New York City Tech Talent Summit and creating a dialogue about the vast opportunities that tech can provide to increase economic mobility,” said Jukay Hsu, founder of Coalition for Queens. “Sixty-five percent of adult New Yorkers do not have a college degree and earn less than $35,000 a year, thus most of the market for human capital is currently not included in the tech sector. It is imperative that we find pathways of opportunity, so that all New Yorkers can gain the skills to participate in our digital economy.”
“We’re excited to be a part of the NYC Tech Talent Summit, because the opportunity to grow a dynamic and diverse tech workforce that builds on talent, especially talent within ‘underperforming’ communities, can create new economic activity in our City,” said Majora Carter, Founder and CEO of StartUp Box South Bronx.
The second panel, “What is Working in 21st Century Workforce Development,” focused on gaps in tech education, the need for clear skill maps, and the effectiveness of working one-one with hiring managers to understand requirements and help workforce clients get hired. Barbara Chang, CEO at Code to Work, and Keith Klain, CEO at Doran Jones Testing, served as panelists.
City University of New York
Coalition for Queens
Code to Work
Cornell NYC Tech
Empire State Development
Executive Chamber, NYS Governor's Office
Henkels & McCoy
Henry Street Settlement
Intel Computer Clubhouse Network
LaGuardia Community College
Macaulay Honors College
Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC
Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development
Museum of Moving Image
New York Code + Design Academy
New York Public Library
NY Tech Meetup
NYC Computer Clubhouse
NYC Department of Education
NYC Department of Small Business Services
NYC Economic Development Corporation
NYC Employment and Training Coalition
NYC Human Resources Administration
NYCLMIS - CUNY Grad Center
Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
Office of Housing and Economic Development
Office of the Mayor
Office of the NYC Comptroller
Open Technology Institute
Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow
Parsons School of Design
Queens Vocational and Technical High School
Queensborough Community College
Robin Hood Foundation
School for Poetic Computation
Startup Box: South Bronx
The Cooper Union
The New School
The New York Community Trust
Urban Assembly Gateway School for Technology
White House Office of Science and Technology
Workforce Opportunity Services