Portland tech groups push diversity

PDC makes $30,000 available for diversity initiatives; code schools offer scholarships.

Share this article!


The Portland Development Commission is making $30,000 in grants available for initiatives aiming to fix the problem of a lack of diversity in the tech industry.

The commission named it Technology Training Funding Opportunity program.

“Technical career opportunities are out of reach for many disadvantaged and economically disconnected Portlanders,” PDC Executive Director Patrick Quinton said in a written statement. “By increasing training opportunities for the underrepresented, we can better align the local tech demographic with the city’s own profile.”

The funding could be given as one lump sum to a program or it could be broken up into smaller allocations depending on proposals. The PDC is taking proposals through July 20.

PDC has several other programs that address diversity and inclusion within the tech and startup community. The group backs the Startup PDX Challenge, an incubator for startups with diverse founding teams. Plus, the agency was one of the organizations to convene tech leaders and create the Portland Tech Diversity Pledge.

(SOURCE: Portland Business Journal)

RELATED NEWS: Man for all seasons

Meanwhile, coding schools Code Fellows and Epicodus have launched initiatives to address the diversity problem in tech.

Code Fellows launched a $250,000 scholarship that is designed to offset costs for 40 students.The scholarships will cover 50 percent to 70 percent of the cost to attend Code Fellows. The school seeded the fund but is looking for donations and grants to bolster it. The first recipients will be announced soon.

Also in May, Epicodus launched an initiative calledBreak the Code, designed to support more women in tech. Since launching in 2013, about a third of the school’s students have been women. As part of the initiative, Epicodus is running awomen-only course starting August 10 that will focus on Java, JavaScript and Android developing, said Emily Priebe, marketing and community manager for Epicodus.

(SOURCE: Portland Business Journal)

RELATED NEWS: 5 schools helping students crack code