Building a Tech Workforce: Bitwise Industries Expands to Buffalo

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Bitwise Industries, which offers paid apprenticeships for students to build technical skills, is expanding to Buffalo. The California-based company today announced a nationwide expansion, adding locations in five new states: New York, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming. Bitwise Industries has a proven model of building pathways into the tech industry for people from histories of poverty and/or exclusion.

After raising over $100 million in venture capital, Bitwise now has operations in 10 cities nationwide, including the following California cities: Fresno, Bakersfield, Merced, Oakland, Toledo, OH, El Paso, TX, Greeley, CO , Las Cruces, NM, Cheyenne, WY and Buffalo.

“We started Bitwise Industries nearly a decade ago in hopes of helping our local community and since then Bitwise has positively impacted thousands of lives, boosted economic growth in underappreciated cities and creating the tech workforce of the future,” said Jake Soberal. , CEO and Co-Founder, Bitwise Industries. “Our goal is to bring our proven, replicable approach to as many communities and people as possible. What succeeded in our first five cities will be part of the stories of these new regions of how investing in undervalued people and places can create a more inclusive and representative economy.

Bitwise Industries uses its unique two-way market approach to drive results 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 these interns to build enterprise technology solutions for customers in part of Bitwise Technology Consulting.

As such, the training results in both individual transformation for the trainee and business scale for Bitwise. Customers and partners can work with Bitwise to purchase talent pipelines or technology solutions. Bitwise surrounds students and businesses with inspiring tech hubs in Bitwise cities, supportive equipment, and programming. Interns have access to a solid set of non-technical resources such as counseling, transportation, and childcare.

Today, Bitwise operates one of the largest federally accredited apprenticeship programs in the nation, allowing it to pay Bitwise apprentices to learn. It has trained over 8,000 students in non-traditional technology through its workforce training program, with 80% of job seekers gaining technical employment. That’s $295 million in total salaries paid primarily to women and people of color. The average student enters the program earning less than $20,000 per year and upon graduation moves into positions earning over $60,000 per year. Training programs typically last 18 months.

On the heels of Bitwise’s Series B announcement in 2021, the company doubled in size, doubled in revenue, and reached a record number of people enrolled in its workforce training programs. Through its enterprise technology consulting services, Bitwise creates demand for digital solutions and develops custom software for local organizations, while creating thousands of jobs in each expansion city that supports employee training. a new fleet of diverse tech workers.

“As we expand across the country, we look forward to strengthening our efforts with the cities we currently serve and branching out into new communities,” said Irma Olguin Jr., CEO and Co-Founder of Bitwise Industries. “Bitwise is a vehicle that has transformed lives and cities. We look forward to helping more people excluded from the digital economy find financial independence and stability through increased employment opportunities, while bringing government digital infrastructure into the modern age with software class developed by the overlooked people we train and hire.

In each city it serves, Bitwise is renovating derelict historic buildings, creating a technology hub, and locating its operations in the heart of the city to bring the region back to life. The company has already transformed a combined total of nearly one million square feet of retail space downtown and will continue to do so in new towns. Although classes are currently taking place virtually due to Covid, company officials plan to open a temporary office in Buffalo while it searches for a permanent location.

“Through this expansion, Bitwise Industries’ demonstrated impact can now be shared with millions of underrepresented people across the country,” said Mitchell Kapor, Partner at Kapor Capital. “Bitwise expands economic opportunities to reach the most vulnerable by creating accessible and achievable pathways to quality jobs.”

“What started as the founders’ dream of nurturing and training underrepresented people in their hometown of Fresno, California for jobs in the growing tech economy Bitwise Industries, has blossomed into a unique and proven scalable model,” said Paula Pretlow, Independent Director of the Board. at Bitwise Industries. “Bitwise is truly making a difference, not only in the lives of those gaining tech skills and jobs, but also in the cities where it operates and arguably, the nation as a whole.”

Bitwise Industries is backed by a wide range of investors including: Kapor Capital, Motley Fool Ventures, JP Morgan, ZOMA Capital, Candide Group, Gingerbread Capital, Promedica, M&T Bank, 43North Foundation, Ralph C. Wilson Foundation, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Acumen America and the New Voices Fund.

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