PDC doles out $100K for tech diversity projects

PDC doles out $100K for tech diversity projects

The Portland Development Commission is throwing funds behind one of the five action items highlighted in the city’s much-discussed tech diversity pledge.

The PDC has committed $100,000 in grants to four programs as a pilot effort designed to raise awareness about technology careers and provide training for such careers among minority populations.

The four programs receiving money are:

Code Fellows, a code school with a Portland campus. The school will use the money to provide scholarships to 15 people from underrepresented groups.

Mt. Hood Community College and the Rosewood Initiative. The money will help 16 people from underrepresented groups take courses.

Portland Youth Builders, which offers high school completion or vocational training for young people. The money will be used to enroll 50 students in the program with more than half of the seats going to minority individuals.

iUrban Teen, which offers technology courses and exposure to higher education to minority students. The group will use the money to enroll at least 40 minority high school juniors and seniors in the group’s iCode program.
“This opportunity by PDC to expand our iCode program for underrepresented high school students will assist iUrban Teen in assuring youth have the needed skill-sets for future careers,” said iUrban Teen founder Deena Pierott in a written statement.
The move is part of a broader effort by the PDC to work with the city’s tech industry to ensure that the new jobs and opportunities created by the booming scene benefit all city residents. Also this week, the group unveiled a project aimed at minority entrepreneurs to offer a six-month training program to help business owners grow their organizations.

The PDC was also instrumental in creating the Portland Tech Diversity Pledge, which has a five-point action plan for companies to follow.


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