Building More Castles for Underdogs Across the Nation At the end of March, Bitwise Industries announced a five-state national expansion, adding locations in: New York, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming. This rapid growth infuses millions of dollars towards developing a diverse tech workforce, reducing poverty that extends between generations, and further validates Bitwise Industries’ proven model of providing pathways into the technology industry for people coming from stories of poverty and/or exclusion. After raising over $100M in venture capital, Bitwise is now located in 10 cities across the country which include the California cities of: Fresno, Bakersfield, Merced, and Oakland; Toledo, OH; Buffalo, NY; El Paso, TX; Greeley, CO; Las Cruces, NM; and Cheyenne, WY. Watch the announcement! With this expansion, the demonstrated impact of Bitwise Industries can now be shared with millions more underrepresented people across the country. Bitwise is expanding economic opportunities to reach the most vulnerable by creating accessible and attainable pathways to quality jobs.Mitchell Kapor, Partner at Kapor Capital Why the Door Is Open Bitwise Industries operates one of the largest federally accredited apprenticeship programs in the U.S. and provides careers for instructors and job opportunities for students. In order to make this happen, the priority is breaking down barriers for those interested in the field. Why does this matter? Being descendents of Mexican immigrants, co-CEOs and co-founders, Jake Soberal and Irma Olguin Jr., realized the possibilities of creating opportunities in the tech community for people just like them, so they started Bitwise in 2013. To nurture the success of underestimated talent in underserved communities, this duo worked to strategically address the technology barriers of access and education, as well as, the social needs for transportation, personal health and well-being, and child care. Just like they saw in the early days of Fresno, CA, Jake and Irma understood that the future of modernized tech in this country hinged on the talent/labor gap found in the exceptional people unearthed in communities that were often seen as “less than” or “pit stops” to somewhere else. Bitwise has become that bridge of hope for folks to rise out of poverty and exclusion through non-traditional pathways and into meaningful careers in the tech industry. Bitwise is a vehicle that has transformed lives, and cities. We look forward to helping more people left out of the digital economy to find financial independence and stability through increased employment opportunities, while bringing government digital infrastructure into the modern era with world-class software developed by the overlooked people we train and hire.Irma Olguin Jr., Co-CEO and Co-founder, Bitwise Industries The Bricks and Mortar Bitwise Industries uses its unique two-sided marketplace approach to drive outcomes and growth. The company teaches people the skills they need to access opportunities in the tech economy–ranging from Salesforce administration to web development–and hires many of those trainees to build enterprise technology solutions for customers as a part of Bitwise Technology Consulting. As such, training drives both individual transformation for the trainee and commercial scale for Bitwise. Customers and partners can work with Bitwise in purchasing talent pipelines or technology solutions. Bitwise surrounds students and companies with inspiring technology hubs in Bitwise cities, supportive amenities, and programming. Trainees have access to a robust set of non-technical resources (called Wraparound Services) like counseling, transportation, and child care. This is what building castles for underdogs looks like. Not only are people discovering a life-changing career, the community sees a blighted historic building in a vacant downtown area find new life. This complete building transformation offers more than the Bitwise culture people crave. It pours that welcoming open mindedness into the coffee shops, breweries, coworking spaces, and event centers that reside within the integrated Bitwise space. This technology hub houses Bitwise operations at the city’s urban core to bring back life to the area. The company has already transformed a combined total of nearly a million square feet of downtown commercial space and will continue to do the same in new cities. The Diverse Model Finds Success Bitwise is–and will continue to be–all about humans. The goal is clear: to create a viable alternative for a person to find upward economic mobility and redirect their generational trajectory, Bitwise’ focus will be on launching people from underestimated stories to careers and opportunities in the tech industry. This positive impact will be reflected in their lives, the macro economics of their communities, and reverberate throughout the entire country. To date, more than 8,000 non-traditional students have been a part of Bitwise’s Workforce Training program and 80% of those pre-apprentices earned employment in the tech community. The majority of these folks found Bitwise from the field, factory, retail, or restaurant work. The average student enters the program making less than $20,000 a year and upon exit goes on to positions that make more than $60,000 annually. This accounts for $295M in aggregate wages being paid to mostly women and people of color. Our goal is to bring our proven, repeatable approach to as many communities and people as possible. What has been successful in our first five cities, will become part of these new regions’ stories of how investing in underestimated people and places can create a more inclusive and representative economyJake Soberal, Co-CEO and Co-founder, Bitwise Industries Let Us Help Bitwise Industries specializes in custom software development, Contact Center-as-a-Service, and Salesforce implementation and administration. Our technology professionals have deep experience applying cutting-edge technology solutions to help business entities of all sizes navigate the technology landscape to find solutions to optimize their operations. Bitwise Industries creates a bridge between humans from marginalized communities and stories of systemic poverty to skills and resources necessary to access opportunities in the tech industry. By leveraging public-private partnerships, Bitwise provides paid apprenticeships to students to learn tech skills, connects them to meaningful tech opportunities, and builds vibrant buildings in underestimated cities to house their work. By upskilling disenfranchised humans, it empowers them to change their own lives—which ignites and transforms the regional economies of the cities in which Bitwise serves. If you’re interested in uncovering the tech possibilities available to your organization, click this link to schedule some time with one of our experts. This post was written by Jeff Rickels, Technical Writer for Bitwise Industries. When he’s not writing, he’s playing guitar. When he’s not playing guitar, he’s thinking about playing guitar. When he’s not thinking about playing guitar, he’s contemplating what went soooo wrong in his life to keep him from playing guitar. Did you love this blog? Subscribe here for new Bitwise blog notifications.