Bitwise gets grant for job readiness program
Central Valley Business Times
December 19, 2018
• James Irvine Foundation ponies up $350,000
• “Unexpected people and places have huge contributions to make”
Bitwise Industries Inc. of Fresno says it has received a two-year grant of $350,000 from the James Irvine Foundation to help pay for its Geekwise Academy web developer job readiness programs.
The programs train unemployed and underemployed workers in the San Joaquin Valley for middle-wage jobs in the tech industry.
“The assumption that to be successful in technology, you must be a computer scientist in the Silicon Valley with a degree from a high-profile university, is one that has kept people in the Central Valley from exploring computer programming as a career,” says Irma Olguin Jr., co-founder and CEO, Bitwise Industries. “We know that, if given an opportunity, unexpected people and places have huge contributions to make to the technology industry.”
One of the biggest problems facing the tech industry is the inabilityto find talent fast enough to keep up with demand. The purpose of Geekwise, theeducational arm of Bitwise, is to train software developers in Fresno. To date,Geekwise says it has educated 3,500 students and intentionally cultivated astudent population that is more than 50 percent female, 50 percent minority and20 percent first-generation immigrant.