Report: NYC nonprofits fall short on robust training for tech jobs

People sit in meeting with computers in classroom.
People sit in meeting with computers in classroom.

Report: NYC nonprofits fall short on robust training for tech jobs

Most nonprofit workforce tech training programs focus on basic digital literacy skills.
February 13, 2020

Few New York City nonprofits are providing in-depth workforce training to adults for careers in technology, with most organizations tending to focus on teaching basic digital literacy skills, according to a new report from the Center for an Urban Future. 

Just seven out of 158 free and nonprofit workforce training programs for adults evaluated citywide provided advanced training for coding jobs, while nearly 90% of them focus on teaching introductory-level computer skills. None of those seven programs are offered in the Bronx or Staten Island, according to the report. 

The findings highlight how low-income residents may not be able to easily access those jobs, despite New York City’s continuing to attract top tech companies like Google and Amazon.

“This is no small problem for New York,” the report reads. “The troubling opportunity gap that exists in the city’s tech workforce is exacerbating inequalities across the five boroughs.”

The demand is there, organizations surveyed agreed. But scaling up their workforce programming would require greater and more flexible funding, as well as stronger partnerships and relationships with city agencies, fellow nonprofits, and employers. Nearly one-fourth of organizations running such programs cited finding and retaining talented instructors as one of their largest barriers.

“We are searching for unicorns,” Jason Moss, president and founder of Metis, a network of data science boot camps, said, according to the report. “It’s hard to find data scientists who are also great teachers – and tech companies are essentially fighting for them, too.”

NYN Media reporter Kay Dervesh
Kay Dervishi
is a staff reporter at NYN Media.