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Bitwise Industries in Flint, Michigan:
Why Should Bitwise Come to Your City?
The New Economies Team (NET) leads the early exploration of prospective expansion cities through three phases:
Explore, Convene, Transition.
The NET explores initial interest to determine the level of “gravitational pull” (whether enough interest is demonstrated by local stakeholders in having Bitwise become part of the local story of economic growth). We identify key stakeholders that have convening authority, strong networks, and high influence in the region. Through local leadership of an identified key partner, or collaborative partners, the Explore phase culminates in a “catalytic convening” of leading stakeholders across 10 Communities of Influence (see image).
The “catalytic convening” process, led by the identified key partner, or collaborative partners, and co-produced in partnership with the NET, provides a half-day immersion experience among local leaders and Bitwise teams to facilitate shared learning and establish common understanding. Bitwise learns about important objectives of the region and the region learns about the unique value proposition Bitwise provides to the local tech economy, achieved through collaborative partnerships. The Convene phase culminates in the establishment of a local leadership committee.
In Flint, this local leadership committee is called the “Flint-Bitwise Expansion Committee” (FBEC). This volunteer committee is established as an efficient vehicle through which leadership of the Bitwise local engagement process transitions from the NET to Bitwise teams. After the launch of the FBEC, its members collaborate with Bitwise teams to achieve a single goal: Expedite identification and execution of opportunities to reach Relational and Commercial Readiness (RCR) for Bitwise expansion, within a specific time frame.
Relational and Commercial Readiness (RCR) is also known as the “Opportunity Support Stack.” The RCR threshold is an aggregated local investment across multiple sources. This local investment provides a sufficient amount of first-year resources to develop economic mobility pathways to the local tech economy for local underestimated humans. These pathways include: local pre-apprenticeship, apprenticeship employment, apprentice wraparound support, and permanent employment opportunities. Once the RCR threshold is reached, the full promise of the Bitwise ecosystem is unlocked, including local placemaking led by our real estate team. Notably, Bitwise placemaking investments in the local region are exponentially greater than the minimum RCR threshold, providing an attractive return on local investment.
Workforce Transformation Impact: Bitwise has developed the nation’s most diverse tech workforce. Driven by the goal to dramatically diversify the nation’s tech industry workforce, Bitwise’s unique value proposition is creating sustainable economic mobility pathways that center and prioritize the cultivation of untapped talent that exists among underestimated humans. These pathways provide an opt-in opportunity for almost anyone to elevate their income from low-income to middle-income within 14 months (on average). This is done in three phases:
Upon acceptance, apprentices become Bitwise employees. To help them succeed, we surround them with wraparound services they can access as needed: childcare, transportation, and mentoring. Also, we pay apprentices a living wage to ensure no distractions while they learn and earn. Under the supervision of senior developers, Apprentice Employees work on real-world projects for Bitwise clients to gain real-world experience, real-world confidence, and expertise in producing high-quality, tech-based solutions that meet the high standards of our clients.
Eighty percent of students completing Pre-apprenticeship Training secure employment in the tech economy, 90 percent stay in the market where they are trained, and the great majority of Bitwise Apprentice Employees secure full-time employment in the tech economy.
Although Bitwise Apprenticeship Employment programs target growing tech and tech-enabled industry sectors, such as Salesforce and Docusign platform services, we are agile enough to customize apprenticeship employment programs to meet the significant workforce needs of actively hiring employers in any expansion city, and address the needs of local priority industry sectors. Bitwise serves tech companies, the broader tech industry, and the overall tech economy.
Click on the video link to learn more about the New Economies Team (NET) at Bitwise Industries, and see how our initiative to revitalize the downtown areas of underestimated cities is working to make the technology industry more accessible.
Experience the unique stories of the individuals who make up our team and how they came to be part of the Bitwise family.
As Senior Vice President of New Economies at Bitwise Industries, Johnathan leads commercialization and expansion into underestimated cities across the U.S. Prior to Bitwise, Johnathan served as Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Advisor of the White House Domestic Policy Council from 2017 to 2021. He is co-founder of ScaleUp Partners LLC and authored The Future Economy and Inclusive Competitiveness: How Demographic Trends and Innovation Can Create Shared Prosperity for All Americans.
As Vice President of New Economies, Mike Green helps to establish Relational Commercial Readiness (RCR) in prospective underestimated cities to support Bitwise Industries’ expansion efforts. In his years as a Navy recruiter, he noticed the consistent gaps in academic outcomes for students of color and studied the challenges and opportunities that students of color faced across the socioeconomic spectrum. This manifested into a passion to change the system of learning so that every student at every age–regardless of background, individuality, or socioeconomic status–could embark on a path of their dreams with equitable access to opportunities. The work Mike is doing at Bitwise aligns with his mission to increase the productivity of the most vulnerable populations in a tech-based, globally competitive, innovation economy.
As Readiness Lead of New Economies, Jordan Sanchez serves as the connective tissue between Local Leadership Communities in prospective expansion cities and the Bitwise Revenue Team. During her 7 year tenure with Bitwise, Jordan has contributed to many of our initiatives, most recently sourcing our expansion city real estate investors and securing our expansion city buildings. Bitwise has nurtured a passion for economic development within Jordan and she is deeply involved in equitable, inclusive revitalization in her hometown community.
Ariana ensures smooth operations by providing administrative support to the New Economies Team. As an Executive Assistant, she works with teams across the company to ensure efficient and effective interdepartmental communication and support. Ariana also assists with the coordination of various meetings, conferences, and retreats. From coordinating calendars to taking on projects, she believes that each task is deserving of attention to detail.
Ready for more resources? Take an in-depth look at our downloadable PDF files and read what makes NET so successful at investing in and empowering underestimated communities.
Interested in Bitwise coming to your downtown? Let’s talk. Johnathan Holifield is well versed in creating sustainable solutions for like-minded community partners. Click this link to email him now and get the conversation started.