Uber commits $300K to Bay Area tech training programs
- Uber announced it will commit $100,000 each to three Bay Area tech training initiatives this year, and will also offer office space and employees to volunteer as mentors and trainers. The donations will go to nonprofits DevMission, Code Tenderloin, and Opportunities for All, which is an initiative started by San Francisco Mayor London Breed.
- Uber has hosted weekly "Open Labs" and corporate visits for DevMission, which creates apprenticeship programs with local tech companies for young adults. With Code Tenderloin, Uber provided resources to create a six-week Code Ramp Bootcamp program to teach students front-end web development.
- Opportunities for All, which seeks to expand diversity in tech by connecting high schoolers with paid internships and training, will add additional interns with the Uber donation.
In its blog post announcing the donations, Uber said it was "committed to improving access to high quality jobs for residents in our home town of San Francisco." A thriving mentorship and training program has obvious benefits for Uber in creating a potential future workforce, while also helping the industry grow more diverse.
Beyond the space and resources, DevMission says the financial donation will help it add 30 students and 10 new internships to its program; Code Tenderloin will add more than 50 new students to its boot camp program.
San Francisco has been a prime example of the disruptive influence of tech in some cities, with skyrocketing property values that have pushed out some low- and middle-income residents and actions that have alienated long-time residents. After years of courting tech giants, some cities are now trying to prod the industry to give back. Los Angeles, for example, created PledgeLA, an initiative that will have tech and venture capital firms publicly track diversity and engagement with the community, including offering mentoring and internships. New York City has made community benefits a focus of its planned Union Square Tech Hub, to help limit concerns about negative impacts on surrounding neighborhoods.
Breed has indicated that she plans to use her term to improve what she called San Francisco’s “complex” relationship with tech firms, especially by improving inclusion for young and diverse employees. Uber’s donation to her initiative and others is a start, and could show that companies are willing to take these steps without prodding from the government.
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