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White House Summit on Building the Tech Workforce of Tomorrow


Ryan Burke: We’re going to
go ahead and get started. My name is Ryan Burke. I work with the National
Economic Council, and I helped to launch the
TechHire Initiative almost two years ago now. So, to start off — and
most of my remarks will focus on two feelings that
I think are things that kind of every human has
experienced, and really get the core of TechHire. So, I’ll start with this
story about myself. When I was in third grade,
I moved to a new grade, and I was put in a
remedial math grade. They had three levels of
math, and I was put in the lowest level. And I immediately thought
— I thought I was good at math; at my old school, I
was good at math, but they must see something in
me that says I’m not. So, I went home over
the weekend, and I went through the math workbook,
and I finished the workbook that we were
supposed to do in a semester’s time
in just two days. I gave it back to my
teacher, and she put me in a higher level class. Looking back at that
experience, I feel so frustrated. Frustrated that, you know,
someone just kind of assumed something about my
potential without really understanding my
capabilities and take a little harder look at me. So, everybody
close their eyes. I see a lot of you not
closing your eyes. Close — okay,
that’s better. So, I want you all to
think back to a time in your own life, similar
to this story that I described — a time when
you knew you were capable. You knew you had the kind
of motivation and ability to get something done, but
someone didn’t believe in you, and that
held you back. Think about how that made
you feel, and think about what you did about it. Okay, you can
open your eyes. So, my guess is everyone
in this room has had this sort of feeling, but
probably the stakes were pretty low in the situation that you were facing. What TechHire shows is
that for some people, the stakes are much higher. I’ll give an example that
the President used when he announced the initiative of a woman named LaShona Lewis. LaShona grew up
in east St. Louis. She always had a passion
for computers; taught herself to code in high
school, and went on to get a C.S. degree from a university. But halfway through her
trying to get her degree, her mom passed away. She had to drop out to
take care of her brothers and sisters. And LaShona worked for
about 10 years in odd jobs — things like bus
driving, customer service, and then finally was in a
position to be able to go back and pursue
her passions. She had the skills. She applied for over
100 jobs at different companies throughout
St. Louis, and couldn’t even get an interview. LaShona had the ability;
she knew she had the ability, but the companies
wouldn’t give her a chance. And then, LaShona hooked
up with an organization named Launch Code. They assessed her ability;
they used technical assessments, interviews,
and they saw her potential, and saw
what she could do. They matched her up to an
employer, MasterCard, and she did a six month
apprentice, and she’s now been hired as a senior
software engineer for MasterCard; she’s been
there about two years, and was really able to do that
through that organization. Unfortunately, LaShona’s
story is not unique. There are millions of
people in this country who struggled early on in
life, hit a bad spell, and just can’t seem to get on
kind of that pathway to opportunity, and that’s
kind of one of the big pieces of TechHire. Marc Andreessen has
a great quote saying “Whether you believe the
robots are going to take all of our jobs depends
on, at its core, what you think about human
potential.” And I think there’s a
lot of untapped human potential that’s a big
economic opportunity. So, the second feeling I
want you to think about — I’ll tell you another
story about myself. When I was younger, I
used to go to church. Did anybody go to church,
or any sort of organized religion? Okay, that’s more than I
expected in this room. (laughter) See, I’m stereotyping
now; it’s awful. So, I grew up in Atlanta. I went to church, and I
was — I think a similar age — probably around 5th
grade, like that awkward time, when especially as a
girl, you’re like, super insecure and wondering
whether people like you. And my parents took
me to one church. And you know, you go into
the youth group room. There’s like hundreds of
people singing songs, and talking about and using
words that I had never heard, and I just felt
super alone and awkward sitting there by myself
in a room where everyone seemed to get the material
better than me, be more excited, and have just
kind of this network of friends. I felt super out of place. We wound up going to
another church about a year later in a new town. And at that church, when I
entered the youth group room, I immediately had
somebody come up to me, ask who I was, try to get
to know me, tell me what it was about, bring me in. They had a dinner for
newcomers that night, and I really started to feel
like I was a part of something, and that I wasn’t other from those people. So, I think that is just
another example of, you know, when we think about
TechHire, a bit piece — and something I’m sure
Megan will talk about is, you know, in so many
places, we have one city, but two super different
communities living even blocks away. And so, you know, these
awesome kind of tech innovation — Megan
recalled like Burning Man/Ted style economies,
and then, you know, who are people living in
extreme poverty and are, you know, worry about
whether they’re going to get their next meal, and
you know, whether their parents are going
to violent to them. So, what TechHire is about
is kind of bringing those together, but I think
kind of social fabric and people feeling like I
did in the second church versus the first one is a really important piece of that. So, just to give folks a
sense, I think a lot of you have been doing this
work for awhile, but the three main components are
one, companies open up hiring pathways to
nontraditional talent. So, people who may have
the skills and ability to do jobs in technology that
may not have a typical background, which is
pretty different from the way they’re doing
things today. The second is fast track
training that’s tightly linked to what employers
are hiring for. I think when people think
about TechHire, they often think coding boot camps. And those are great, but
the real crux of it is if they are teaching people
things that they actually need to get jobs, and that
employers recognize that. So, that could be an
online course with the appropriate support. It could be a
community college. It could be a university
after hours program. There are a lot of different conceptions of that. And then, the last piece
is really building this kind of ecosystem and
community with these kind of four players
coming together. And that’s why we’re
really excited about the folks in this room and
the community building. So, the companies, the
training providers, leadership from cities,
and really, kind of community organizers in
different cities around the country. So, TechHire —
where we are now. We’ve shown that
this model can work. About 6,000 people have or
are going through training right now. Four thousand people have
been placed into jobs. We’ve been
over-subscribed. There was a TechHire
program launched in eastern Kentucky that had
10 slots for former coal miners — 400
people applied. And companies are really
starting to hire in this new way — companies like
G Digital, Capital One, and the list goes on. So, the big question is,
you know, what’s next? And I think a lot of
people, when they ask me that question,
they look very sad. And I think kind of
dejected and worried, given recent events. And I am not that worried
about this program, actually, because the
magic of TechHire — like, there’s really not magic
about the White House doing this, right/ We have
a good brand, convening power, and we issued
a call to action. But the real work and
impact is happening kind of in places like
Albuquerque, eastern Kentucky, New York City,
from people deciding that they care about this; they
think it’s important, and they want to go
and get it done. So, that’s our hope coming
out of today, with each of you. I think we often think
like a number, like 4,000 jobs? Wow, that’s so small. But this is going
to start small. So, go back and try to get
five people, you know, who haven’t had these opportunities placed into jobs. Try to get one employer
to think differently. Build a relationship with
someone who may feel super left out of the tech
community right now. But you reaching out makes
the difference to them. And so, I hope, you know,
today isn’t just a great last session at
the White House. I hope it’s really the
start of something where you guys are thinking
through the difference that you individually can
make, and the network that you can build with each
other to lean on and really get this done. So, thanks for being here,
and I’ll turn it over to Megan Smith. Megan Smith: Thanks, Ryan. Hello. It’s great to be
with you guys. So, someone stuck this
piece of paper — Kelly in our team found
it in a report. And I thought it was such
a cool quote to start with. It’s from Teddy Roosevelt,
who is the reason why the West Wing started — the
building, because he needed an office. You know, they took — the
kids took the horse to the second floor. I think he was like,
“I need a new office.” Okay, so, “Far and away,
the best prize that life has to offer is the chance
to work hard at work worth doing.” Right? How does that feel? It’s an amazing feeling
when you’re extraordinary things, and you’re on
teams that just are making a difference in the world
and whatever it is that you’re passionate about. And one of the things
that’s so exciting about living right now is that
we’re coming into a time of sort of almost an
age of creativity. So, we published another
report on artificial intelligence last night. The President always says
we’re not afraid of the future, and he pushes us
really hard to really get into the conversations. There were a lot of
conversations about a year ago, kind of about this
robot apocalypse, and people were really nervous
about what could happen. And we can’t — none of us
can predict the future, but we don’t know, but
let’s not be afraid of it, and let’s step right into
it, and design what we want it to be like. And what it should be like
is something where all of the seven billion people
in the world are included in a way that their talent
is really mobilized, and they’re doing the things
that they want to do, and they’re bringing it in the
way they want to do that. And we don’t know exactly
what that looks like, but we definitely want that,
and we want that certainly for our country, and for
other countries, too. And so, really, if you
look across all of the different elections that
are happening, in some ways, they’re about making
sure that everybody’s in. You know, how to make
sure that everybody’s in. And the conversations, it
doesn’t really matter what part of the conversations
or who they’re — everybody’s kind of
talking about how to make sure everybody’s included
in economic possibilities, and the social
possibilities, and being equal in the future. This is such a great
photo from Science Fair. President Obama started
hosting the science fairs — so, we’ve
done six of them. These are these little
girls, I think they’re first grade or
kindergarten, and they had built a
page-turning robot. And so, they were talking
to the President and he said, “How did
you guys do this?” “We had a brain storming.” “Oh, yeah. And then what?” “We built a prototype.” What if everybody
did that, right? We all learn to
read and write. Why don’t we all
learn to make things? What don’t we
make our spaces? And in fact, I brought
down this little cool robot. The Muscogee Creek Tribe
in — that’s in Oklahoma is teaching robotics from pre-K in Head Start. Right? So, why don’t we have
the robot play music in pre-school, and then, we
could understand that things work like that, and
that we could do them. We could design things. This is a real new
toy just found. These are these little
bots, and you hold them up to the screen, and you
program, and you make them play around. You know, play is the
beginning of design. The four age kids and the
future farmers of America Kids all had a UAV
contest in October. There’s four million kids
in that program, and so, you know, how do we
pull everybody into the confidence of making and
playing, and being a part of the future so that
they’ll bring the topics that they want to work on? So, some people are using
machine learning and artificial intelligence
for advertising optimization, for self-driving cars as things. What topic are you
interested in? And how can you bring all
the tools of the universe to it? Not only storytelling and
writing and media and those pieces, but also
technology, science, and but also, technology, invention. Collaboration. Any of the tools that are out there that we could use. I want to pop this one
up because one of the components of TechHire is
the regional teammates. So, there’s the employers
who are incredible, you know, are starving for
tech talent, for user interface designers, for
product managers, for digital marketers. For those who want to work
in these economy jobs — and they’re all over the
country, the employers. They’re from hospitals and
agriculture, retail, as well as the tech
sector itself. And so, people —
companies need you. They need more Americans
into those jobs. And what’s interesting now
in the regions that have a growing tech sector, every
tech job generates about five more jobs, according
to Enrico Moretti’s research — two white
collar, three blue collar. So, it really brings money
to the region in ways that are really important. So, how do we make sure
that only employers, whether they are startups
or big companies, are getting who they need,
and that people are in? And so, the employers
have really stepped up. Who are some of the employers who are here? Great. Thank you very much. And for — these folks are
doing, and many like them — there’s 1,500 employers
in TechHire already who are doing the work to make
sure that they can hire as many of the two year and
four year degrees holders as we have, as we generate
— but there’s just not enough of those. So, we’ll take as many of
those as we can, and let’s use the incredible boot
camps and short course training programs
that we have. So, who’s from a boot camp or a training program? Great. Online programs, offline
programs, student programs, prison programs,
veteran programs. All around, you guys are
all doing that — weeks, not years, to
pull people in. The Social Security
Administration team just had 100 feds go through
code boot camp with Iron Yard. So, inside of government,
we’re using TechHire in really exciting ways. We hope to — we hope that
other agencies want to ramp that so that we can
kind of build up the tech community, and upgrade the
talent skills there using these things. This is one that I wanted
to share, which is a regional teammate’s — the
President was going to Boise, Idaho. And we wondered how many
tech meet ups there are. There are hundreds of tech
meet ups all around, and as Ryan was saying,
it’s almost like the communities hide in
plain sight, right? So, there’s techies who
are doing their TEDx and Burning Man and hackathons
and all this stuff. And nobody knows — half
the community doesn’t know what I just said. And they’re talented, too. So, how do we have them
use these methods as much, and how do we have the
tech folks also bring their talents
into other topics? And so, this was just tech
meet ups in Boise, Idaho. This one has almost
800 people in it. There’s Girl Develop It
— but I know the Girl Develop people — are you guys here? Yes. So, Girl Develop It is a
communities of women who are learning coding or are
already ahead, and you guys just get together. These guys get together,
I think, twice a week and just co-code in a space. It’s fun. You can meet
at the library. You could meet
at a coffee shop. You could meet at
someone’s house, whatever. User interface groups and
test groups and Linux groups and U.X. groups and Python groups
and dotnet groups, and I mean, this is really
happening, and this is Boise. And you can look at any
part of our country and find these people meeting. So, how do we use this? And so, that’s the
regional teammate. So, when you think about
TechHire, it’s, as I said, the employers who
are just — are here. The boot camp teammates. Who’s here from regional
or national teammates? Those who are sort of
organizing us, or meet up. We’re already
in this world. I know we’re going to talk
a little bit more about tech up, who’s here and
doing — yes, so, we got people here from
those groups. And then, this third one,
our municipal leadership. Our incredible state,
local, federal government teammates and those —
yeah, who’s here from those groups? Yes. And sort of facilitating
and interconnecting and really — in some ways,
upgrading the budgets. Sometimes, I was coming
up from the New York Penn Station, and I looked
up at the post office building that’s building
there, and chiseled up there, it says — I think
it’s “Not heat, not snow, not rain, not gloom of
night shall stop the carrier,” right? It doesn’t say “Use
the Pony Express.” I’d like — we did
use the Pony Express. It’s awesome. It’s one of the my
favorite things we ever did. And guess what? How long do you think
the Pony Express lasted? Before the telegraph
disrupted it? Eighteen months. So, you know, we as a
government constantly upgrade, and we just have
to know that status quo is a policy decision, and
not upgrading is a policy decision. And we’ve got all this
money as a country, federal, state, local,
making sure that’s there. And that the leadership
that’s in this room from our municipal leaders are
extraordinary, and they’re accelerating their
communities in — there was a blog post yesterday,
I think, with Jeff Science and the Albuquerque team
— is anybody here from Albuquerque? One of the — the
Department of Labor was using some grants that were from the HOMBV’s fees. And so, Albuquerque is one
of the grant winners, and their four counties
represent half of the population in New Mexico. And they have facilitated
so that people are coming into TechHire,
like, trainings. And they’re hyper-focused
— not only anybody can come in, but a lot of work
with veterans, with those who’ve recently come out
of prison, foster youth, those disabled, and others
who often aren’t tracking into tech. Pulling them straight. I just saw Rodney from
Atlanta — that Atlanta team has a council that
they’ve pulled together with such extraordinary,
you know, working group, which New York City really
innovated the idea of a regional TechHire council
that brings this group together all the time. And now, many of your
cities — if you don’t have one, you should have
one because really, it takes a network to do
this, nationally and regionally. And so, the leadership
that’s coming there is really great. And I also know that
Albuquerque took up the Coffman groups — a
million cups of coffee. And so, in the same way as
sort of this meet up idea, they — every Tuesday
and Wednesday, companies present — no, every
Wednesday and Thursday, companies present — they
do English on Wednesday, Spanish on Thursday, and
non-profits on Tuesdays. Just, have a cup of
coffee, hear from two organization — companies,
non-profits, whatever it is, and they’re really
mixing up the city in a really great way
that really works. And so, we have all that
we need in our regions. We just need to kind of a take our neighbors to work day. We need to like, think a
little bit of a potluck of all the resources. It’s a barn racing. Like, these are things
that we know how to do. We’ve done them for
hundreds of years as an American community, and
now that’s this time. And it really does relate
to me noting the A.I. report because we really
are transitioning — none of us have oxen and plows. But we’ve been through
transitions before. We are in a transition
to a much more digitally enhanced world. So, we wanted everybody in
on participating, and have the confidence that Ryan
really started with. So, I’m just going to run
through a couple fast slides of other things. These are these incredible
kids — you know, the Mark Zuckerbergs of
this moment. The 13 year olds. They’re doing a hackathon
with black girl’s code. Olivia had done this great
little app game that’s up on the app store. Kimara did this. She was working on
domestic violence, and she made an app that lets her
phone listen to the room, and if it hears things
that shouldn’t be going on, it asks you if you
would like to call the police. What an amazing
idea, right? Or other resources. You know, the kids, if
they can do this stuff, we all know, you know, to
Ryan’s point, if you get to do, practice
makes permanent. You know, we need to teach
math and science like we’re doing art
and music and P.E. And people are starting to do that across the country. We got computer
science of all. And this could be
at all age levels. That’s where the new maker
space is in libraries and in rec centers and around
the world that are really exciting. Because it’s not
so much the tech. It’s about curiosity and
grit and teamwork and critical thinking. Joy and play,
empathy, purpose. These things that we
learn by teaming up. And it isn’t just tech. It will be art. User interface design. Communications. Digital. All of this stuff that
works together because the universe doesn’t separate
the subjects even though our classes have — our
schools have bells. That’s not really true. So, one of the greatest
things that a community can involved in is this national day of civic hacking. And people really do get
together in all these cities every June, and
they do it more than that. Some of them
are promisones. It was really great to see
— I think it was Wichita, was on TV several days
before the hackathon, inviting the community. And hackathon is
just a sprint, right? It’s just people who know
different parts as Dennis, the chief of staff, the
President says, we still different parts of the
elephant come together and say I think we can solve
this problem in this interesting way. Why don’t we
sprint in this way? Why don’t we make a dashboard of this, of that? Whatever it is that you
think might solve a problem, do a quick
sprint, and then from that, people may carry
that forward in really interesting ways. The President hosted the
Frontiers Conference, and was the editor of
Wired Magazine. Really, the future is
incredibly exciting on so many frontiers. He focused on five
— personal, like personalized medicine,
and brain initiative, and cancer moonshot, you know,
things like personalized learning. Local — not really
smart cities, but smart communities. Here’s (inaudible) and
Sandra Moore on stage, talking about local data. And the things you could
know to really solve problems together around justice and economic inclusion. National frontier,
President, chief of staff and many of our artificial
intelligence leaders talking about using
machine learning on all of the problems, really
digital dividends that we could get by doing that. Global frontiers around
climate and mapping data — other things that we
might to do to understand energy, that world. And then, interplanetary,
as we work on commercialization space
in the journey of mars. So, really, this stuff
is so interesting and it applies to anything
anyone’s interested in. How do we pull
everyone into this? This was (inaudible)
Secretary Pritzker, from commerce leader — put up
with some presidential innovation fellows, and
many of the data service that’s at the Department
of Commerce pulled together the APIs for a
new thing called MIDAS, and now there’s hackathons
going on on top of this data to try to
hack the pig app. These are hard, hard,
entrenched problems that we have that come from
lots of cultural bias of the past. Can we use data science
to solve these harder problems together? TechHire can
help us do that. More people who are
interested in those problems who are using
their tools can add this capability into their
teams, into themselves, so they can use those tools
to solve the problem they’re trying to solve. This is the
opportunity project — opportunity.census.gov. The census team working
with the Department of Ed, Labor, Housing and Urban
Development on the hardest problems outlining
economic mobility, housing mobility, access. Can you design for 100
percent of the Americans with the cool apps
that we’ve got? President went to South by
Southwest and he said, you know, how do I get you
to do a tour of duty in service in the government? State, local, federal? And how do I get you guys
working on the hardest problems with your
colleagues, using these new methods? Kind of teasing, like, I
love all the restaurant delivery, and maybe
we could help with opportunity housing, for
those who are going to take the bus or
walk to work. Where’s Head Start? You know, not only is it a
— you know, a block score or an opportunity score
interesting to know for like, where’s
the coffee shop? But also, what is the
opportunity for my economic future if I
live in this place? What a useful
mapping tool. That was from Redfin. Of course, we have
extraordinary challenges in the country, with policing, justice, equality. Work that we’re
working together. President led the 21st
century task force. So much amazing work is going on across the country. You know, these are all
hands on deck efforts where police leadership,
community leadership, everybody’s working
together, and there’s a data opportunity here. And so, police data
initiative is an open-data engagement. Grace here is teaching the
police of chief — police chief in New
Orleans how to code. There’s an amazing
conversation going on in New Orleans with the
opening on data sets, and the youth and others are
involved in the project, hands on, teaming on. And then, data-driven
justices of municipal data play — more operational,
enterprise data. How do we get more
people who have mental health/substance abuse
challenges out of prison, and into other options? And across the country,
people are doing really interesting things, and we
can scout and scale, and use the internet
to do this. And this is the amount of
people — the dark green means half of this
state is already in the data-driven justice and
police data initiative communities. And so, this is not
a tech solution. This is a community
teamwork solution that includes team, right? T.Q., as we call it —
tech quotient, like I.Q. and E.Q. And so, not leaving
this stuff out. And so, if you join
TechHire, you can one of the employees, one the
leaders, one of the entrepreneurs working on
these kinds of problems as much as you might work on
robotics or other things. The thing I wanted to just
make sure we touch on is the extraordinary stereotypes that threaten us. So, there’s an idea in
our culture that there’s technical people, and there’s no technical people. And we have to
get rid of that. Everybody is capable. Suzuki, the the Suzuki
method — I don’t know if people are familiar
Suzuki method — yeah. So, this amazing teacher
— I got to see him when he was 92; he was
still teaching. He used to teach this
violin program that really showed how everyone, just
through practice made permanent, especially
youth — started to play the violin. And he adapted
tot he child. One time, he took that
same method — because his theory was all of us learn
our own mother tongue to such a detailed level that
that’s proof point that we can learn anything if the
teacher is adapting to us, which is what parents and
the family communities are doing as children are
learning to speak. And so, one day he had
fourth grade — he said — he had fourth grade math;
he said, “Every child in my class will get 100
percent on every test.” And he did it. He adapted himself
as their teacher. He set the expectation
that everyone was awesome in his class, and they
could do this, and they were capable, and it was
his job to figure out how to get them there. And so, I think that’s
such an opportunity. And so, what we know about
diversity is that our country has one of the
broadest, most incredible strategic advantages
because we come from everywhere. Whether it was the Native
Americans, who’ve been here, or those who just
stepped off a plane. We won six Nobel prizes
this year — all of them immigrants. So, we have the
opportunity, if we can get over our stereotypes of
each other, to drive an incredible economic agenda
together, which will be extraordinary for ourselves and for the world. So, the data shows that
the more diverse a team, just the better the
product, the better the economic output, the
better the performance of the company. But it’s hard work
because we have all these stereotypes — bad
behaviors, style compliance, all this
stuff we live with. You know, this is a such
a good example in media. When we watch TV, this is
a children’s television — this is boys’ lines to girls’ lines in children’s TV. So, if your child — when
you watch that media, you learn boys talk,
girls don’t. We have to stop doing
that, but we don’t even know it’s there unless we count it and use data science. So, let’s use artificial
intelligence, data science, machine
learning, vision. Who’s talking on screen? What’s going on? When we grow up, we make
this media landscape. This is 2000 films. Men’s lines to
women’s lines. You’ve been in
this meeting. I’ve been in this meeting. You say something; people
don’t hear what you said. A guy says it;
they hear him. We have to help
ourselves debug this. None of us created this,
but we do inherit it, and it hurts us. It slows us down
as a country. It slows us
down as a team. It slows down
your start up. It slows down
your company. It slows down
your classroom. There’s also another
challenge in how we tell each other stories. We miss out people —
we drop people from the narrative. This is the Macintosh team
from Incredibly Steve Jobs, right? So, I was lucky to be
mentored by them later, when we worked
on smart phones. And so, I met this team,
and when the movie started coming out, I was like,
“What happened to some of the people I know?” They just weren’t
in the film. So, this is the Mac team. It has seven men,
four women, a baby. I was talking to Joanna at
the Maker’s Conference, and I was asking her about
some of the names of the people who signed the
product — so they really were there. And there’s lots of
women’s names there. And yet, when the movie
started coming out, the men on these photos had
speaking roles in the Mac section, and the
women were missing. They weren’t in the cast. It’s weird. Because we
worked with them. They were our mentors. And Joanna recently was
in the most recent one — Kate Winslet’s won the Golden Globe for playing her. But there’s
micro-aggression or micro things in there
that are off. Because Joanna is
from eastern Europe. She’s a physics
grad from MIT. She’s totally intense. She’s the product leader. She used to spar with
Steve, and they’d invent and they’d do
things together. She came out of the film
and her son said, “Mom, did you really iron
Steve Job’s shirt?” And she’s like, “Jeremy,
I’ve never ironed a shirt in my life except once for
you, when we were late.” So, like, we just write these stereotype narratives. They’re wrong. It’s debilitating for
everybody because it teaches us to treat each
other in ways that aren’t real — aren’t necessary. And so, you know, our
country really does have founding mothers and
fathers, and it has everybody who
did it together. This is Susan Kare. She is the graphic
design — Chicago font. Everything that we see on
our phones today really roots back to these
amazing things that she was able to accomplish. And Joanna told me when
the xerox part team came tot he see the Mac for
the first time, they’re staring at the screen and
saying, “How did you do this? How much memory —
how did you do this?” And that was Susan and
Bill, working together, back and front end
who made that happen. But the line in the movie? So and so did this. So and so did this. Susan did the bags. Did Susan do the bag, or is her work in the Whitney? And so, our girls and boys
need to know all of these things so that we can move
forward because there really were four
women in space. And so, we don’t have to
have just one woman in the cast all the time. Catherine Johnson won the
presidential medal of freedom. I hope you’ll go see the
movie Hidden Figures. It’s about this story
— it’s extraordinary. She calculated
trajectories for Alan Shepard, John
Glenn, in Apollo. No one knows that an
African American woman is the mathematician behind
that, and now they will. So, it’s exciting, and
we’re changing, and we’re adapting, and we’re doing
this work, and it’s happening. And we’re telling these untold stories of everybody. The President is doing the
same work that I’m talking about tech in our own
government, whether it’s getting kids data about
college loans and those things, and that work
that’s starting to peer out through APIs
and cool apps. This is happening
all over the world. We were just in Paris
for the Open Government Summit. The Open Government
Partnership was started by President Obama and several other countries now. It’s now actually 75
countries — Pakistan, Afghanistan, Jamaica. A bunch of others
just joined. It’s civil society and techies all working together. I wanted to — you know,
it’s people working on sustainable development goals, doing solution summits. And this is some images —
these are images from this world we’re moving into. The beginning of digital,
open, data-driven collaborative government. This was really a
hackathon at the palace in Paris. The President of France
came back, and he walked the tables. It was cool to be in the
palace, a couple hundred years after the civil code
was written that is the roots of much of our
democracy with the civil code code. And the coders were
together with all kinds of people. There’s a Romania team on
a pitch platform on things they were working on
in this government. This is the
Indonesia team. They have very
complicated elections. Usually, they have to
vote for about 150 items. And so, they’ve made an
API to really help people in the voting booth
be much more capable. So, that’s very
interesting. Ukrainian leadership, as
they were challenged, they — many of the business
folks came into the government. This is the guy called
the hipster minister from Ukraine. But people now, we have an
app store-like thing up in the government toolbox
full of stuff from different countries — us,
we have an open source of policy. We’re starting to see that
at state and local cities. So, TechHire is about
getting people into the open job, but it’s really
about confidence, right? It’s really about coming
into this world where you have coding, just like
the President’s computer science for all
initiatives. And it’s coding and
computational fluency. And you may choose not to
be a coder, even if you do TechHire. You may choose to be a
product manager, to be an artist. There’s many pieces, but
we don’t take freshman biology because we
have biologists. I love biology, but we
need to know that because we need to understand
ecosystems. We need to understand
our body in order to be healthy, to understand
for our family, for our children, for our parents. For our community, we need
to understand how the environment works. And the microbiome
and these things. We can’t have these
concepts be unknown by us. And so, in the same way,
the President was at the Pittsburgh frontier’s
conference. He was saying, we want
that critical thinking and that computational
thinking. We want that to be a
21st century basic that everybody has. And so, that’s really
what’s happening as we have this incredible
internet that’s wiring us to be able to work
quicker together. Have communities of
practice of peer to peer learning, like Girl
Develop It or whatever, and have it be fun
and extraordinary and confidence building, which
is really what TechHire is about — everybody in. So, I’ll end there, where
I started, which is far and away, the best prize
that life has to offer is the chance to work hard
at work worth doing. And each person will have
their own sense of what that is. And so, how do we use
TechHire in these incredible opportunities
to really empower each other, and bring it
everyday together, and really adapt our culture
so that the culture in tech and the culture of
techifying everything else are really more confident
and inclusive of everybody and what we would
bring together. So, thank you very much
for being here and for your leadership, and I
look forward to the rest of the summit. And I mean, it’s
extraordinary who’s here and what you will share
and what you will bring forward. The tech up team —
Leanne’s in the back, are organizing summits and a
road show — opportunity at work, where
are you guys? As a national teammate,
you know, who’s here. And so, this is really a
movement, and so, even though some of us are
going to transition to our next thing, this is not
— this is a bipartisan thing. It’s a thing that we got
to get done, and it’s taken root in over 70
cities and communities — San Diego just joined. We had 20 more just
joined this month. And so, I’d just encourage
you, keep that network effect going. One of my favorite people is George Washington Carver. And 100 years ago, he went
into the lab, and in the same kind of TechHire way,
figured out how to rotate crops in a way, and what
product would be in the money that — and would
nitrogen fix the soil, because we were
malnourished and people were going to start
starving, came up with some solutions and got
this Jessup wagon — someone in New
York funded him. And went corner to corner
and upgraded the ag-tech capabilities of Americans — 2,000 people a month. Right? And that began
the ag extension. So, we’ve seen
this movie before. It’s the same thing. This is the tech
extension; that’s you guys. And so, we can use those
spaces — there’s a office in every county. And the ag extension. There’s a library
everywhere, from Carnegie. There’s spaces in our
schools and rec centers — now tech centers and
maker’s spaces and all this stuff. So, we got plenty of
spaces we could upgrade. And so, we are tech
extension, just like ag extension. And above Secretary
Vilsack’s desk is Carver and Secretary Wall’s, who
did that in their day. So, they hand
the baton to you. So, thank you very much.

Stephen Childs

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