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Inclusive and equitable tech reskilling at LaunchCode in St. Louis

During the pandemic, the employment gap between Black and Hispanic Americans and white Americans reached record highs . They were the first fired and the last hired . At the same time, while the technology sector is struggling to fill 410,000 open computing jobs nationwide, only around 72,000 computer science graduates will enter the workforce this year. Yet, widened by the pandemic, the technological skills gap in computer science—which disproportionately impacts Black and Hispanic individuals—continues to grow. Of projected computer science graduates, less than 20% are women, less than 8% are Black, and less than 9% are Hispanic.

While many companies have expressed a willingness to move towards more equity-focused hiring practices, this is not enough to break the cycle of exclusion. Employers tend to look to higher education institutions to find high-skilled candidates, especially in STEM fields, yet structural barriers often exclude people of color from entering higher education. In response, technology boot camps and other re-skilling programs have emerged as alternative routes to building in-demand technical skills.

However, due to inadequate recruitment and retention strategies in many boot camps, as well as implicit and explicit biases in employment practices , people of color still face barriers in gaining access […]

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