Bitwise Industries & Calbright Partner to Launch Tech Apprenticeships For Underserved 

Fresno, Calif., Nov. 16, 2022 – Today, Bitwise Industries (www.bitwiseindustries.com) announced its partnership with Calbright College (https://www.calbright.org), California’s first statewide online community college focused on workforce development training, to launch an apprenticeship program that will support historically underrepresented, underserved individuals in California. This program will support the upward economic mobility of Calbright’s diverse student body and close equity gaps for those without access to traditional educational routes. 

“This partnership aligns with our mission of providing pathways to high-wage, high-growth quality tech jobs through training of in-demand skills,” said Michelle Skoor, Chief Workforce Officer, Bitwise Industries. “This type of collaboration is an example of how organizations across sectors can directly invest into creating a diverse and equitable workforce with underserved individuals.”

The twelve-month apprenticeship program will provide disenfranchised communities with paid opportunities that offer workforce training, education and employment in designated tech disciplines such as Salesforce and Information Technology Support. 

Calbright, through its workforce development programs in IT Support and Salesforce Administration, will provide pre-apprenticeship training and the program will place graduates under the direction of Bitwise senior level developers, providing hands-on experience with real work projects. 

“This newly minted partnership will leverage the proven Bitwise Industries model that supports historically underserved individuals with earn-while-they-learn apprenticeships and wraparound services that remove all the barriers to participating in the digital economy,” said Michael Younger, Vice President, Workforce, Strategy, and Innovation, Calbright College. “92% of Calbright’s students are at least 25 years old, and more than 70% identify as a member of the BIPOC community – often the populations we serve can’t afford to stop working to invest in their own education. But Bitwise’s approach has shown over the last decade that if given the opportunity, disadvantaged people can change the trajectory of their lives with the skills employers are looking for right now.”

Bitwise Industries has trained over 10,000 individuals from underestimated communities, 80% of whom have gone on to find technical employment. This accounts for over a quarter of a billion dollars in aggregated wages being distributed to individuals historically under-represented in the tech industry, mostly women and people of color. On an individual level, the average person entering a Bitwise training program is earning $20K a year, and upon completion, earns over $60K a year.

“This collaboration brings together two of California’s mission-aligned entities to support residents of the state, nurture a vibrant economy, and advance a key component of Governor Newsom’s ambitious workforce strategy to expand the state’s apprenticeship system,” said Ajita Talwalker Menon, President and CEO, Calbright College. “Our students are parents, struggling with unemployment, and/or working multiple jobs to make ends meet. Bitwise Industries and Calbright’s investments will provide a vehicle to upskill adult learners, further align the needs of industry and higher education, and advance the development of quality tech talent and jobs in fast-growing and underestimated areas of the state.”

For more information about Bitwise Industries and to read the latest company news, please visit our website at: www.bitwiseindustries.com  

For more information about Calbright College and to read the latest company news, please visit our website at: www.calbright.org

Calbright students and alumni who would like to learn more about this program: please email  the College’s Workforce Development team at [email protected].

About Bitwise Industries

Bitwise Industries creates a bridge between humans from marginalized communities and stories of systemic poverty to skills and resources necessary to access opportunities in the tech industry. By leveraging public-private partnerships, Bitwise provides paid apprenticeships to students to learn tech skills, connects them to meaningful tech opportunities, and builds vibrant buildings in underestimated cities to house their work. By upskilling disenfranchised humans, it empowers them to change their own lives—which ignites and transforms the regional economies of the cities in which Bitwise serves.

Bitwise has raised more than $100M in support of this important work; expanded its model to serve nine cities (Fresno, Bakersfield, Merced, Oakland, Las Cruces, Greeley, El Paso, Buffalo and Toledo); and built a tech apprenticeship engine that will drive national jobs/economic recovery in 2022 and beyond. To learn more about Bitwise Industries, check out www.bitwiseindustries.com.

About Calbright College

Calbright College is the California Community Colleges system’s first statewide and fully-digital college. Focused on workforce development, Calbright offers a competency-based education model and is designed to meet the needs of working adults across the state who seek to transition to a new career and/or gain new skills to support their growth and professional opportunity in a rapidly evolving economy.

Founded in 2018 by the California State Legislature, the College opened for enrollment in October 2019 and offers skills-based workforce development certificate programs. To learn more, visit www.calbright.org

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