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City of Birmingham Selected for TechHire Race to Place Hiring Pilot

Media Advisory

April Odom
Mayor’s Office of Public Information



City of Birmingham selected for TechHire Race to Place Hiring Pilot

                              City of Birmingham named as one of only six communities through U.S. to participate in pilot for tech hiring platform 


WHAT:                            In Fall 2015, Birmingham was named by the White House as a TechHire City, among others throughout the nation that are making great strides to improve and promote access to fast track training programs for those who are under employed or with barriers to employment. Opportunity@Work, a not-for-profit social venture that collaborates with communities and supports the national TechHire initiative, has developed a hiring platform to help employers find great talent they might have otherwise screened out, and to place job seekers into jobs. Birmingham applied and was selected to take part in the pilot program, along with Atlanta, Georgia; Akron, Ohio; Seattle, Washington; Hawaii; and Rhode Island. This effort is specifically focusing on software engineer and developer roles.

Candidates will apply online, detailing their skill sets, work history and previous projects, certificates or relevant experience. They will also submit an online assessment to evaluate fundamental coding skills and programming language. Next, the candidate will be vetted by third-party volunteer HR and hiring managers and interviewed to evaluate soft skills. Successful candidates are then matched with employer partners who are hiring for those specific skill sets. At the end of the year, if this model is deemed successful, it will be replicated throughout the country, potentially in other TechHire cities (there are currently 51 TechHire cities across the United States).

WHO:                             Mayor William Bell and the City of Birmingham Mayor’s Office

Birmingham Business Alliance

University of Alabama at Birmingham

Innovation Depot

UAB iLab at Innovation Depot
WHEN & WHERE:             October 2016 through December 2016

Online platform:


OVERVIEW:                   TechHire is a bold multi-sector initiative and call to action to empower Americans with the skills they need, through universities and community colleges but also nontraditional approaches like “coding boot camps,” and high-quality online courses that can rapidly train workers for a well-paying job, often in just a few months. Employers across the United States are in critical need of talent with these skills. Many of these roles do not require a four-year computer science degree. To give Americans the opportunity they deserve, and the skills they need to be competitive in a global economy, we are highlighting TechHire partnerships.

Opportunity@Work is a non-profit social enterprise whose mission is to secure a future of robust opportunity in which all Americans can learn, pursue and realize their potential contribution. O@W has a vision for a labor market where those who have the potential to perform a job successfully have the opportunity to obtain that job. In this “re-wired” labor market: hiring decisions are made based on an individual’s ability to demonstrate skill and readiness; training is accessible to anyone with the aptitude and drive to learn a skill; and technology is used to accelerate learning outcomes and uncover overlooked talent. O@W’s goal is to empower 1 million more Americans to work and earn to their full potential over the next 10 years.