The Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) announced this week that it would launch a new training partnership designed to “enable employers throughout the state to access a more diverse pool of qualified tech talent and upskill their present workforce.”
The initiative, developed in collaboration with SkillStorm – whose unique tech training platform has helped aspiring tech professionals earn in-demand tech certifications in AWS, Salesforce, CompTIA, Appian, and Pega – will also include a targeted scholarship program aimed at bridging career opportunity gaps for Black professionals in Georgia’s fast-growing tech industry.
“Closing the opportunity gap in Georgia’s tech industry requires intentional action and collaboration,” said Dr. Loretta Daniels, Director of TAG’s Bridge Builders program. “By leveraging SkillStorm’s innovative training platform and scholarship program, we can create a broader pool of workers with the skills that are in high demand in the state’s tech job market and pave the way for a more diverse and inclusive tech economy.”
According to CompTIA’s 2023 “State of the Tech Workforce” report, Georgia’s technology sector added over 10,000 new tech jobs in 2022, a 3.8% increase from the prior year and 8th highest total added compared to all states. Georgia’s tech workforce is the 10th largest in the nation, and boasts over 17,500 tech businesses statewide. Major tech employers and current TAG corporate partners such as UPS, Accenture, Honeywell, and Comcast have facilities in Georgia, and Big Tech giants including Apple, Google, and Microsoft have opened offices in Atlanta in the last several years.
Despite this massive growth in the state’s tech industry, there is still work to be done in terms of diversifying the tech profession, especially in mid-to-senior level and managerial roles. Despite making up nearly one-third of Georgia’s population, Black workers represent only 23% of the state’s tech workforce. Additionally, less than 8% of managers in tech are Black, and less than 5% of tech businesses in Georgia are Black-owned, reflecting significant gaps in opportunity.
“Our goal with TAG Bridge Builders is to create a more equitable technology workforce throughout Georgia – one that is more reflective of our population,” said Larry K. Williams, President and CEO of TAG. “We aim to help Black professionals advance into senior-level positions and create pathways for those wanting to enter the tech workforce. Our partnership with SkillStorm will help to promote scholarships by providing direct access to in-demand technology certificate training to build qualified, diverse pipelines for Georgia’s workforce trends.”
TAG’s Bridge Builders program will fund scholarships through SkillStorm’s pioneering Upskill Together program. For each participant who accesses SkillStorm’s training through TAG or its corporate partners, the SkillStorm Upskill Together program will provide a unique one-to-one match scholarship for the exact same training at no cost to a participant. TAG will select scholarship recipients with a focus on awarding scholarships to Black Georgians to support its goal of advancing 1,000 Black professionals in technology careers over the next five years.
“Our work is rooted in a belief in the transformative power of skills-first training to both close talent gaps and create new paths to economic mobility for historically underserved communities,” said Joe Mitchell, COO at SkillStorm. “By investing in untapped talent and equipping more workers throughout the state of Georgia with in-demand tech skills, we’re building a stronger, more innovative workforce that reflects the diversity of our society.”