Technology   Wed, March 08, 2017 06:33 PM

Austin, TX — The Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) will present “Hacking a Career in Tech” (HACT), hosted by Charter Communications, for Austin students interested in pursuing a career in the tech industry.  HHF will be joined by local partners Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce (GACC), and Consulate General of Mexico.  HACT will take place Saturday, March 11, 12:30-2:30 p.m., as part of the Consulate’s Casa Mexico 3-day forum at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center, Black Box Theater, 600 River St., Austin, TX. 

The effort is part of HHF’s larger, national CSL (Code as a Second Language) initiative which includes semester-long Academies, day-long BootCamps, or half-day Jam Sessions.  All participants of CSL are asked to join the LOFT (Latinos On Fast Track) network for continued engagement including ops for internships, fellowships, mentorships and careers in industry.

HACT is completely interactive program as students work with experts – led by Charter volunteers and Tech Leader Kety Esquivel, Senior Vice President at Edelman – to deconstruct their careers and collaboratively work together to craft a career path for students based on new insights, reasonable action items, and goals. The students will continue to be engaged through the LOFT Network to measure outcomes and further support their paths.

"We are thrilled to partner with Charter in this important effort which will inform Latino youth about a career path in the tech industry, which is in great need of emerging talent,” said Antonio Tijerino, president & CEO of HHF. "Charter, along with our partners from the Chamber and the Consulate, share in the mission of preparing our community for today’s and tomorrow’s ever-changing workforce to move America forward."

Rhonda Crichlow, Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at Charter Communications said, “Charter believes in building its workforce from the communities it serves. We are honored to work with the Hispanic Heritage Foundation to ensure that the next generation has the skills and the training to fill the jobs needed at our company and in the industries of the future.”

There is a need to fill a million technology jobs by 2020 (currently 500,000 jobs are open), yet 90 percent of schools don't teach coding. Approximately 7 out of 10 new jobs over the next decade will be filled by a Latino, but a very low percentage will be in tech fields.  IT jobs will grow 22% through 2020. Of the nearly 250,000 employees working for the nation’s leading tech companies, just 4 percent are Hispanics. Approximately 7 percent of computer science grads are Latino and to the advocacy report by “Change the Equation,” Latinos are less likely to pursue careers in engineering or computer science today than they were at the beginning of this millennium.  The challenge to address the lack of a pipeline of tech workers for Latinos is keeping K-12 students who initially show interest in STEM fields to continue pursuing the careers.  The CSL program is designed to fill that gap.

About the Hispanic Heritage Foundation

The Hispanic Heritage Foundation inspires, prepares, positions and connects minority leaders in the classroom, community and workforce to meet America's priorities. HHF also promotes cultural pride, accomplishment and the great promise of the community through public awareness campaigns seen by millions. HHF's award-winning LOFT (Leaders on Fast Track) leadership and workforce development program focuses on key industries including tech. HHF is headquartered in Washington, DC, and Los Angeles, with satellite offices in Silicon Valley, Miami, New York and San Antonio (Visit www.HispanicHeritage.org)

For CSL programmatic information contact Innovation and Technology Program Manager Alberto Avalos, at Alberto@LOFTinstitute.org

Isla Martinez, 626-814-5006