Byron Auguste, the CEO of Opportunity@Work, calls tech jobs “the new manufacturing jobs” because they offer an opportunity for economic security. Nonprofit organizations play important roles here, both in teaching needed skills and in connecting schools, students, and employers. Successful programs are showing a way forward, but they also highlight the challenges to be overcome if the solutions are to scale to the problem.
Hal Salzman, a professor at the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University, told the Times-Dispatch he doesn’t see tech jobs creating a “substantial middle class” anytime soon. His calculations “show 70 percent growth in information technology jobs over 15 years, to 4.7 million in 2018. But that total is far fewer than the 12.8 million in manufacturing, a sector that shed 1.5 million jobs over that span.”