April 19, 2013

SFSU Secures $300,000 Grant for Tech Workers, in Aid of the TechSF Program

San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee launched TechSF in March 2012; this is a new workforce training initiative to jumpstart funding in order to educate and reskill residents (and keep them connected) with great opportunities and job prospects in the high-tech industry to potentially work in the city’s growing IT workforce.

Basically, TechSF is a citywide workforce plan that provided the city’s mayor a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Technical Skills Training Grants program to give San Francisco’s residents the education, training and job placement assistance they need to secure a high-tech job in the future, if they wish.

The Mayor’s TechSF initiative is expected to lead to the City’s economic recovery and create thousands of new jobs in the near future as it not only builds public-private partnerships and the San Francisco’s workforce, but it encourages students and residents alike to compete and obtain jobs the tech sector is creating, said Ron Conway, Chair of San Francisco Citizens for Innovation & Technology.

It is this TechSF grant, worth millions in workforce training, that could “win the future” for San Francisco, President Obama said. As stated by the Mayor, it is all part of his economic strategy plan – Lee’s 17-Point Economic Plan for Good Jobs & Opportunity for San Francisco – to, ultimately, “create the newest jobs for generations to come.”

In line with the Mayor’s commitment to residents and offering them education and IT job training that are currently in demand, since March of last year, TechSF has partnered with schools, non-profits and several companies that are on board and have a role in this effort to provide apprenticeships to prepare students for internships and jobs in order to build San Francisco’s workforce.

To help with the City’s TechSF initiative, which remains committed to creating jobs while focusing on IT training programs to employ city residents, more money to train tech workers has been received. In fact, a $300,000 grant from the city of San Francisco’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development was collected this month by SF State University (SFSU).

This financial aid for TechSF provides vocational skills training and work experience opportunities for San Francisco to be “a lively and exciting place for innovation and culture,” stated William Hsu, an Associate Professor of Computer Science at SFSU.

As per Hamid Mahmoodi, an Associate Professor of Engineering at SFSU, the grant not only provides a means to find a high-tech relevant career, but gives his and his colleague the means to cover courses that may not be partially covered in the curriculum, such as HTML5 Application Development, which some say is the future of the Web.

Both educators concluded saying that the TechSF incentive and grant enables them to create a more formal infrastructure (in a curricula) that specifies what topics must be understood and what level a student must reach to achieve the essential skills one needs that are currently (and will be) sought by employers in the rapidly-evolving field of computer science and engineering.

Edited by Rich Steeves


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