President Barack Obama emphasized the important of the importance of technology training to the workforce in his remarks at Monday's National League of Cities conference in Washington. This is very much aligned with the topic we will be discussing at the Utah Breakfast Club on Thursday, March 12, from 7 a.m.-9 a.m.: "Making Education a Priority: Tackling the State's Workforce Challenges."

The United States has about 5 million open jobs today, more than at any point since 2001. Over half a million of those job openings are in information technology (IT) fields like software development, network administration, user-interface design and cybersecurity – many of which did not even exist just a decade ago. The average salary in a job that requires IT skills – whether in manufacturing, advertising, retail, or banking – is 50 percent higher than the average private-sector American job.

In his remarks, the President emphasized that these open jobs are an economic development issue. When those jobs go unfilled, it’s a loss for American workers, for employers eager to hire, for our regional economies and for American competitiveness. Helping U.S. companies fill these critical jobs and empowering more Americans to train for and get these jobs is a key element of the President’s middle-class economics agenda.

TechHire is a multi-sector effort and call to action for local communities to collaborate in helping employers fill critical local IT job gaps by empowering a diverse array of Americans to rapidly gain the necessary technology skills, including using nontraditional training options like “coding bootcamps” and high-quality online courses.


Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker introduced President Obama on Monday at the National League of Cities event.