Hackbright Academy Partners with White House to Launch TechHire Initiative

SAN FRANCISCO and WASHINGTON D.C. – March 9, 2015 – Hackbright Academy is officially partnering with the White House for President Obama’s launch of TechHire. The new program is a bold public-private initiative to empower Americans with the technical skills they need through various educational approaches.

To kick off TechHire, 20 regions with open technology jobs, and more than 300 employers, are announcing plans to work together to create more tech training opportunities. Hackbright Academy will commit staff technical assistance and travel time to engage with pilot communities interested in starting or recruiting coding schools.

“We’re honored to join President Obama and the White House in ensuring more Americans, especially women and underrepresented minorities, have the technical skills to fill the country’s needs,” said CEO David J. Phillips.

Only 14 percent of computer science grads today are women. Hackbright Academy is graduating more female engineers than Stanford and University of California, Berkeley combined each year. By selecting to partner with Hackbright Academy, the White House assures that the tech initiative includes women in what has traditionally been a male-dominated industry.

“Creating a federal initiative that supports diversity will make an impact on the country’s historical gender gap in tech,” said Angie Chang, VP at Hackbright Academy.

In his speech at the National League of Cities, President Obama explained that getting Americans trained to fill these well-paying jobs is an imperative strategy to strengthening the nation’s middle class, and that coding schools are a practical way of fulfilling the roughly 500,000 open technology jobs throughout the nation today.

“Folks can get the skills they need for these jobs in newer, faster training programs,” said the President.

High-tech employers seem to agree. Hackbright Academy was one of the nation’s original coding schools and has already received major support from the technology industry, partnering with tech giants such as Facebook, Ebay, Pinterest, and SurveyMonkey — all which have hired directly from Hackbright Academy to fill their high-demand tech positions.

“One of the massive benefits of the coding schools is there are qualifying people who are smart, hard working, and are brave to make a life change,” said Selina Tobaccowala, President and CTO of SurveyMonkey, a longtime Hackbright Academy partner company who has hired several Hackbright graduates from the program. “These are qualities that make fantastic engineers.”

Hackbright Academy’s current model trains women to become software engineers in 10 weeks. Over 90 percent of graduates receive full-time job offers in tech. Fellowship participants come from various backgrounds- everything from nannies, product managers to scientists.

“This was the biggest leap I’ve taken in my life, and the one that has paid off with the best rewards,” said Nicole Zuckerman, alumna and current software engineer at San Francisco start-up Sosh. Nicole worked in publishing prior to deciding to change careers to become a software engineer.

The academy will now make available 160 hours of staff time per year to consult with pilot communities in order to expand the program. Other coding schools and educational institutions have made similar commitments in an effort train and fill the national tech demands.

The President is challenging more to follow in their lead. Helping more Americans train and connect to these jobs is a key element of the President’s middle-class economics agenda.

Learn more about the new tech initiative on the White House website.

For more information about Hackbright Academy, please visit: https://www.hackbrightacademy.com


Hackbright Academy is the leading engineering school for women with a mission to increase female representation in tech through education, mentorship, and community. Its flagship fellowship is a 10-week accelerated software development program where women with little coding experience learn the skills to become full-time software engineers. Over 90% of graduates receive full-time job offers in tech and alumnae are represented in companies such as Facebook, Pinterest, Change.org, Lyft, Eventbrite and New Relic. To learn more, visit www.hackbrightacademy.com. Connect with Hackbright Academy on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. “

Media Contacts

Paria Rajai, Hackbright Academy: paria@hackbrightacademy.com