In 2014, the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council reported that African Americans, Latinos, and women make up 3%, 5%, and 24% of workers in computer and math occupations in the state of Massachusetts. To improve on these numbers, Boston has introduced Hack.Diversity, a program that aims to create a pipeline for minority students in tech.

“Hack.Diversity is a public-private partnership designed to tackle the underrepresentation of high-skilled minority employees in Boston’s innovation economy. [Our company] recruits Black and Latino computer science and engineering students into the city’s fastest-growing companies, training, coaching and mentoring both employer and employee throughout the experience.”

UMass Boston and Bunker Hill Community College are partnering with Hack.Diversity to benefit students majoring in computer science, engineering and other technical fields.  Each student will receive training, a paid internship and a mentor of color at one of four local tech companies.  The overall goal of the initiative is for students to get full-time jobs by the end of their internship. Bill Brah, director of the venture development center at UMass Boston stated the following, “Instead of us going to the tech companies and knocking on their doors, the tech companies are going to learn how to come here. This is a real undiscovered gem and treasure trove of talent just waiting to be nurtured and discovered.“

-Ray Hayes

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