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More inclusive tech talent pipeline planned in Delaware

April 08, 2021
By: Kevin Michel

In its effort to support a more diverse tech talent pipeline in the state, the Delaware Prosperity Partnership (DPP), in partnership with JPMorgan Chase, has outlined a plan to boost the tech workforce in the state and help diverse populations’ access pathways into IT. DPP, the nonprofit state economic development agency in Delaware, completed its work on a strategic plan to achieve those goals, that it says is dependent on the state’s ability to align state polices and resources to accelerate the impact of the IT talent strategy.

It is estimated that nearly 75 percent of information technology (IT) workers in Delaware are men and 60 percent are white. Only 15 percent of the IT workforce in the state is Black or Latinx, DPP says. The plan will enhance competitiveness of local industries and help residents of all backgrounds explore career opportunities in IT.

DPP partnered with 50 local stakeholders representing Delaware businesses, nonprofits, education, and workforce development organizations to create the plan, which addresses three factors: the importance of IT to employers, the accelerated digitization of work exacerbated by the pandemic, and upskilling current IT workers while expanding education pathways. DPP will use the plan to guide IT workers through five stages of IT career preparation: career awareness, interest and exploration, training and education, career entry, and career advancement.

The plan proposes establishing an employer training tax credit and a work share program that uses unemployment insurance for part-time layoffs to reduce workloads for employees pursuing further education or training. Furthermore, DPP proposes that dislocated workers receive unemployment when training for a high-demand IT occupation and that working adults receive credit for skills training provided by the state’s public institutions.