Raymond Bell, Jr. Elected BDPA-DC President and Executive Committee Chair

WASHINGTON — Raymond Bell, Jr. has been elected to fill the vacancy of Vice President Business Management and President Elect for BDPA of Greater Washington, D.C. (BDPA-DC). Bell will assume President of BDPA-DC and Chair the Chapter’s Executive Committee on January 1, 2022.

Raymond Bell, Jr.He will succeed outgoing President and Chair, Perry Carter,

who supports Federal and DOD/IC portfolios for National BDPA.  Carter will expand his role in direct support of the Association’s Golden Anniversary Events in 2025, and National BDPA Local Chapter engagements in CONUS with JROTC Units, HBCU/MIs, and CBC (Congressional Black Caucus) Tech 2025 FED/SLED (state and local government and education) initiatives.

Bell is the founder of R. Emmanuel Bell Consulting, a training and facilitation company. Mr. Bell is a social entrepreneur, keynote speaker and facilitator. He is devoted to teaching and coaching young adults how to become I.T. professionals. Through his workshops, courses and coaching programs Bell shows young adults how to get out of  unemployment lines and onto rewarding career paths.

H.O.P.E. Project IT Summit 2019
H.O.P.E. Project IT Summit 2019

Bell’s passion is to empower young people to take ownership and control of their own destiny. In 2009 Bell founded The H.O.P.E. Project, also known as the “Harvard of the Hood”, an I.T. career training program. The H.O.P.E. Project has been called one of the best I.T. career training programs in the country by the President of the Help Desk Institute (HDI). Graduates earn an average annual salary of $62,500, working on major government contracts with prime contractors such as Lockheed Martin, World Bank, and CACI to name a few. To date, nearly forty H.O.P.E. Project graduates have accepted annual salaries at and north of $100,000.

Raymond Bell, Jr. is considered one of the leading experts in I.T. career training and workforce development in the United States. Mr. Bell has received numerous awards for his work including the a HDI Top 25 Thought Leader, BDPA-DC Member of the Year, National Black Caucus of State Legislators, and Nation Builder Award Recipient, for his outstanding work developing world class I.T. professionals.

HOPE Project DMV IT Summits and Community Info-Sessions

Bell launched hopeprojectonline in 2021 to help over 1,000 people launch new careers in Information Technology. Bell has been seen on and/or featured in Ebony, ABC, CBS, WHUR, NewOne Now, Bloomberg News, Washington Post, National Public Radio, National Journal, BET and many other media outlets. Bell will lead his new board alongside Sedley Randolph, who transitioned to the Chapter’s new Chief of Staff role. Randolph is a 2019 BDPA-DC President’s Community Technology Award recipient.

With BDPA-DC Chapter’s latest rounds of new impact funding from Microsoft and OCTO, Bell is recruiting more Veterans, professionals, students, and interns from the National Capital Region (DMV) to join and actively participate in new committees. He wants to offer more technical coaching, mentorship, training, and certification programs to meet and exceed emerging cybersecurity and “Smart City” requirements. Adjacent to BDPA-DC, National BDPA also seeks immediate growth and new members in Annapolis, MD; Baltimore, MD; Northern Virginia; Richmond, VA; and new BDPA Chapters collocated with regional HBCUs and MSIs.

Annual IT Summit
H.O.P.E. Project DC Annual IT Summit in Washington, D.C.

Nominations are now open to current or new BDPA-DC Members for the election of new officers and committee chairs for BDPA-DC’s FY22/FY23 board.  New BDPA-DC Members may apply for and join as full or student memberships through the Association’s portal at BDPA.org.  Current BDPA-DC Members may renew or update membership profiles for current NBDPA career opporiutntiies, industry news, and local events.

Annual Community Technology Awards with America’s 2019 National High School Computer Coding Competition team from Washington, D.C.

About BDPA

BDPA, formerly known as Black Data Processing Associates, was founded in Philadelphia, PA in 1975. Today, BDPA is an international organization with a remarkably diverse membership of professionals and students in the fields of information and communications technology (ICT), computer science, data science, and related S.T.E.M. fields. Local BDPA Chapters and BDPA Members are actively engaged in serving their respective communities through outreach engagements while charting the future of ICT industries.

BDPA Memphis Chapter with Bryce Ellis, Naim Hakeem, Kareem Dasilva, Judy Lane, Melaati Jayah, Jada Thorium and Mykaila Johnson.

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Association U.S., Canada, and Local Reference Links

BDPA – bdpa.org and BDPA-DC – BDPAdc.org

Youth Tech Programs and High School Coding Competitions – DCHSCC.org

Tablets For Teens – tabletsforteens.org

bdpatoday – bdpatoday.com

PTTV – populartechnology.tv

LinkedIn – linkedin.com/in/bdpatoday

Archives – pinterest.com/bdpatoday

H.O.P.E. Project DMV and BDPA-DC earn $300K Microsoft Community Skills Grant

HOPE Project DMV alumni present workshops during H.O.P.E’s annual IT Summit in 2019 ― Photo credit HOPE Project

WASHINGTON―The HOPE Project DMV (hopeprojectonline.com) in partnership with National BDPA’s Greater Washington, D.C. Chapter (bdpadc.org) was awarded a Microsoft community skills grant. Through this grant, they will receive funding, leadership development and tech enablement to support their work in providing digital skills and workforce development opportunities within their community. Each are very thrilled to fuel local tech talent and work together to expand their programs, rebuild from the current COVID-19 crisis, and prepare members and alumni for an increasingly digital “Future Of Work.”

BDPA-DC is extending the HOPE Project’s new online I.T. training and certification services to HBCU students and alumni through its “Industry 4.0” Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES-IV) programs. For immediate I.T. training and certification scholarship opportunities, see related article on bdpatoday linked here from December 6, 2020.

About H.O.P.E. Project DMV

The H.O.P.E. Project (HOPE) mission is to empower students to reach their potential by providing a comprehensive information technology training program, designed for students out of high school and at least 18 years old. Since 2009 HOPE Project  has trained, coached, and mentored nearly 2,000 IT students that have an average salary of nearly $65,000 a year.  HOPE has helped students earn over 2,200 CompTIA A+, Network+ and Security+ certifications.  These credentials have helped HOPE alumni build IT careers working as Cyber Security Engineers, Systems Administrators, Mobile Device Engineers, and IT Project Managers.  Visit: hopeprojectonline.com.

About BDPA-DC

The association’s global mission as outlined by National BDPA is to bridge digital divides across cyber security, information technology (IT) and telecommunications competency gaps while broadening outreach and awareness campaigns for computer, data science, and technical careers. Since 1978, BDPA of Greater Washington, D.C. (BDPA-DC) has successfully presented Student Information Technology Education and Scholarship (SITES) projects across the National Capital Region support career development and economic development through well blended and tailored series of student programs, industry outreach, community relations, and legislative affairs primarily for urban and underserved communities.   Visit: bdpadc.org.

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BDPA-DC Welcomes new Training Scholarships for HBCU Seniors and Graduates Earning Industry Certifications with HOPE Project Online

WASHINGTON—The H.O.P.E. Project DMV (HOPE) is accepting applications for next semester’s online STEM certification offering of its renowned and award winning community information technology (IT) training and workforce development  program. Since 2009, HOPE has successfully launched exciting technology careers through programs uniquely designed to prepare students from ages 16-24 for mission-critical entry-level positions such as Helpdesk, Desktop, Service Management,  and Application support.

BDPA of Greater Washington, D.C. (BDPA-DC) in direct support of National BDPA’s mission and the association’s HBCU student member objectives, is partnering with HOPE to provide training and certification scholarships directly to HBCU students or recent HBCU graduates who are accepted into HOPE’s online training programs.  

BDPA-DC extends its “Industry 4.0” Student Information Technology Education and Scholarship  (SITES IV) portfolio to include HOPE’s CompTIA A+, Network+, and Security+ training, certification test preparation to compliment next summer’s STEM internship applications or college degrees for immediate entry-level opportunities across the (ICT) industry with BDPA’s mission-partners

BDPA-DC extends its “Industry 4.0” Student Information Technology Education and Scholarship  (SITES IV) portfolio to include HOPE’s CompTIA A+, Network+, and Security+ training, certification test preparation to compliment next summer’s STEM internship applications or college degrees for immediate entry-level opportunities across the (ICT) industry with BDPA’s mission-partners

About H.O.P.E. Project DMV

The H.O.P.E. Project (HOPE) mission is to empower students to reach their potential by providing a comprehensive information technology training program, designed for students out of high school and at least 18 years old. Since 2009 HOPE Project  has trained, coached, and mentored nearly 2,000 IT students that have an average salary of nearly $65,000 a year.  HOPE has helped students earn over 2,200 CompTIA A+, Network+ and Security+ certifications.  These credentials have helped HOPE alumni build IT careers working as Cyber Security Engineers, Systems Administrators, Mobile Device Engineers, and IT Project Managers.  Visit: hopeprojectonline.com.

About BDPA-DC

The association’s global mission as outlined by National BDPA is to bridge digital divides across cyber security, information technology (IT) and telecommunications competency gaps while broadening outreach and awareness campaigns for computer, data science, and technical careers. Since 1978, BDPA of Greater Washington, D.C. (BDPA-DC) has successfully presented Student Information Technology Education and Scholarship (SITES) projects across the National Capital Region support career development and economic development through well blended and tailored series of student programs, industry outreach, community relations, and legislative affairs primarily for urban and underserved communities.   Visit: bdpadc.org.

— Photo courtesy: HOPE Project DMV

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U.S. Navy graduates its first Black female fighter pilot

NAS KINGSVILLE, TX — The U.S. Navy’s first Black female fighter pilot has earned her wings, according to the service. The Chief of Naval Air Training (CNATRA), Rear Admiral Robert D. Westendorff, USN, celebrated LTJG Swegle for her achievement writing:

BZ to Lt. j.g. Madeline Swegle on completing the Tactical Air (Strike) aviator syllabus. Swegle is the U.S. Navy’s first known Black female TACAIR pilot and will receive her Wings of Gold later this month. HOOYAH!”      — CNATRA via Twitter

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CNATRA trains and qualifies more than 1,000 naval aviators and naval flight officers each year for the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard, and international partners. CNATRA is also responsible for the Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels.

Student Naval Aviator LTJG Madeline Swegle, USN, is assigned to the Redhawks of Training Squadron (VT) 21 at Naval Air Station (NAS) Kingsville, Texas. In our cover photo, she is shown after exiting her T-45C Goshawk training aircraft following her final flight completing undergraduate Tactical Air (Strike) pilot training syllabus on 07 July 2020.

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Upon graduating from the TACAIR training program on 31 July 2020,  LTJG Swegle will move on from training aircraft to Navy tactical planes, like the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet or the F-35C Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter ( shown above).

LTJG Swegle,  a 2017 graduate of the United States Naval Academy (USNA), follows a path forged by the late pioneering Navy Captain Rosemary Mariner, who became the Navy’s first female tactical pilot in 1974. Mariner went on to become the first woman to command a naval aviation squadron.  Earnng her wings in 2001, United States Marine Corps Captain Vernice Armour was the first African-American female naval aviator in the Marine Corps and the first African American female combat pilot in the U.S. Armed Forces with two tours in the Gulf.  bt

— Sources and photos: U.S. Navy and DoD

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Select here to register for BDPA2020!

Free and Low Cost Online Cybersecurity Learning Content — Get Started Now

Data Science Opportunities
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GAITHERSBURG, MD — During this unusual time in our lives, many of us find we want to improve our knowledge, skills or even prepare for new career opportunities. If you are interested in cybersecurity careers, need to change careers or close technical gaps in your current resume, there are numerous online education providers to choose from. Many online courses are available from your local community college, four-year universities, even the prestigious Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE) programs – please review all options.

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The National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) is a partnership between government, academia, and the private sector focused supporting the country’s ability to address current and future cybersecurity education and workforce challenges through standards and best practices. The following links from NICE’s site are not endorsements, but list free and low-cost online educational content on topics such as information technology and cybersecurity. Some, not all, may contribute towards professional learning objectives or lead to industry certifications and online degrees. Please note that their site will continue to be updated as new information is gathered and edited for clarity and accuracy for your family, school, or business.

Name and Hyperlink to your Materials*Description**
CompTIAFree online training for CompTIA IT Fundamentals and other resources.
CLARK Center Plan CFree cybersecurity curriculum that is primarily video-based or provide online assignments that can be easily integrated into a virtual learning environments.
Culture of CybersecurityFree, downloadable kids activities to help your family learn basic cybersecurity concepts and defense strategies.
CybraryFree information technology and cybersecurity training portal.
EC-CouncilFree resources for the information security community in the form of webinars, blogs, online video training, and much more.
ElasticFree on-demand Elastic Stack, observability, and security courses.
Federal Virtual Training Environment (FedVTE)Free online cybersecurity training for federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government employees, federal contractors, and US military veterans.
FortinetFree access to the FortiGate Essentials Training Course and Network Security Expert courses 1 and 2.
IBM (hosted by Coursera)Free (7-day trial) suite of courses on IT Fundamentals for Cybersecurity Specialization.
IBM Security Learning AcademyFree technical training for IBM Security products.
(ISC)2 Webinars and CoursesFree technical webinars and courses to earn Continuing Professional Education (CPEs).
(ISC)2 Utilizing Big DataFree course for (ISC)2 members (low cost for non-members) that provides an overview of Big Data components, architectures and applications.
NICCS Education and Training CatalogDatabase of free and for pay, online and in person courses.
Open P-TECHFree digital learning on the tech skills of tomorrow.
PluralsightFree access to 7,000+ expert-led video courses and more during the month of April.
SANSFree cybersecurity community resources and programs.
SANS Cyber Aces OnlineFree online course that teaches the core concepts needed to assess and protect information security systems.
TestOut’s 2020 K12 GrantFree TestOut courses for K12 teachers. Application process required.
UdemyHeavily discounted online courses for various certifications.

*Materials are related to coding, product training, certification preparation or general IT and cybersecurity skills development, and teacher training and curriculum.
**Some of these materials may only be free or low cost (less than $100) for a limited time.

Cyber Keyboard

For more information on how to add additional information or to correct an error, please email NICE.
   →  nice.nist@nist.gov.

Source:
NICE Program Office
nist.nice@nist.gov
(301) 975-5048
100 Bureau Dr.
Gaithersburg, MD 20899

National BDPA and local BDPA Chapters have broadened outreach to Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Serving Institutions (HBCU/MSI) to include establishing BDPA chapters with HBCU/MSIs, CAE schools, and community colleges already certified by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in research (CAE-R), cyber defense (CAE-CD), or cyber operations (CAE-CO).

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BDPA-DC/HOPE Project Tech Partnership initiative is to assist HBCU students and graduates with earning CompTIA technical certifications.  In addition to assisting with technical certification HOPE Project will assist HBCU grads with career coaching and access to our employer network. 

The program is open to any HBCU STEM Major or recent HBCU Stem Graduate.  We anticipate awarding 40 scholarships in 2021.  Candidates can select from any one of the three CompTIA certifications, A+, Network+ or Security+ • Apply now and before January 7th, 2022 with your latest resume by visiting: https://www.hopeprojectonline.com/hbcu

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To launch a new BDPA Chapter on campus, email: info@bdpa.org  today and partner with us during #BDPACon22 in Atlanta, GA August 18-20, 2022.  Visit BDPA.org to discover more . . .

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Start-Ups. Small Businesses. HBCU/MIs.
Take flight from “Grants-to-Contracts!” The United States Air Force plans to grow its venture investment substantially this year. To that end, Air Force, in partnership with National BDPA is providing step by step technology transfer workshops for start-ups, small businesses, and research institutions during this year’s Air Force STTR HBCU Virtual Collider.

Next Generation Digerati are no strangers to ‘Hidden Figure$​’​

Annual IT Summit in D.C. Broadens Tech-Inclusion and Community Outreach

WASHINGTON — Helping Other People Excel.

Now in its tenth year, H.O.P.E. Project DMV (HOPE) has successfully developed a proven approach to broaden community engagements within the tech industry and the Defense Industrial Base (DIB). HOPE’s program sources untapped talent from traditionally underserved communities for classified and unclassified entry level technology roles. Starting salaries for GED credentialed candidates, high school graduates, and returning citizens with newly minted tech industry certifications approach $35,000 for tens of thousands of unfilled entry level and junior level technology positions. Several alumni already have reached HOPE’s “six-figure” club — some with Top Secret security clearances; A+, Network+, and Security+ certifications.

H.O.P.E. Project IT Summit 2019Opening these exciting new career pathways to a better way of life for families not only provides peace of mind, but significantly impacts economic growth for communities in the National Capital Region. Moreover, according to Defense One, technology is drastically altering what makes our nation strong, prosperous, and secure. The DIB is not only becoming a strategic innovation base, but a military artificial intelligence (AI) complex.

Founded by Raymond Bell, Jr., HOPE knows this all too well and has always recognized an urgent need to upskill local communities since inception. Over 25 cohorts later and owning unique relationships with industry trade associations such as CompTIA, HDI, and BDPA, HOPE continues to prepare HOPE alumni for advanced pursuits, and certifies cybersecurity professionals for trans-generational sustainment. Moreover, HOPE alumni are industry’s new project managers and hiring managers.

hopeIT19j.jpgSean G. Conner (left) of 22nd Century Technologies, Inc. was this year’s keynote presenter and one of HOPE’s panelists from industry. He listed career opportunities in Defense and Health IT. His firm has successfully captured new defense contracts in the Pentagon, in Maryland, and in Florida.

This year’s panel featured Richard Honesty from the U.S. Census Bureau, Bea Braxton, CEO of BeaKen Systems & Technology Solutions Inc., and Perry Carter, President of National BDPA’s Greater Washington D.C. Chapter. Panelists stated today’s leading digital companies have disrupted every industry they have touched, from publishing to automotive. Digital transformations determine how industry identifies and sources raw talent from every community. Yet far too often, future workforces are left out of groundbreaking innovations and economic development opportunities, especially those 18 to 24 years of age.

H.O.P.E. Project IT Summit 2019Sergeant First Class Warren Martinez (above) highlights current training opportunities in cyber, telecommunications, and information technology with the United States Army. For those entering technical fields or seeking security clearances with additional income as a reservist, access to the Army’s specialized training, high-tech equipment, and cyber operations are unavailable in most civilian jobs and becomes extremely invaluable on technical resumes when presented across growth industries.

New technologies notwithstanding, emerging success stories with industry and the DIB from suppliers and local communities hardly ever are deemed newsworthy. HOPE has changed this narrative. This year’s I.T. Summit was an annual value-packed information technology conference with Industry offered at no cost to District Residents, HOPE students and alumni, BDPA Members, and the public. Participants were able to discover new concepts while discussing industry’s requirements with HOPE alumni and Industry panelists. Government contracting with related start-up opportunities, acquiring security and facilities clearances, and pursuing degrees while entering technology fields were H.O.P.E. Project IT Summit 2019discussed.

The following workshops were offered this year:

  • Interviewing for I.T. Jobs, Building I.T. Resumes, Working with Recruiters and Job Boards
  • HOT Technical Certifications and Cybersecurity Tools
  • “Must-Have” Technical Skills for Entry and Mid-level I.T. Jobs
  • A Day in the Life” of a HOPE Project’s World Class IT Help Desk Professional

Rocking her new ‘HOPE Hoodie’, Ms. Alaisha Etheredge (inset photo), shares dashboard and analytical reporting requirements during her session. Attendees discussed using the latest security information and event management (SIEM) tools such as Splunk and related certification tracks from novice to expert.

Conference and tech summit attendees met with IT professionals, small business executives, and workshop presenters, some of whom “walked in the same shoes” and recently launched their careers with HOPE.

H.O.P.E. Project IT Summit 2019During this year’s sessions, participants discovered how to prepare for an IT career within any vertical industry segment such as defense, healthcare, or transportation while acquiring practice skills that helps one succeed with certification testing toward any assignment.

For additional information, visit HOPE’s landing page at http://www.hopeprojectdc.org. HOPE is real.

Photo credits: H.O.P.E. Project DMV (top) and BDPA-DC . Raymond Bell, Jr. and Theresa Caldwell contributed to this article for bdpatoday.

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Discover new cybersecurity and technical civilian careers with the Department of the United States Air Force.

BDPA Huntsville Helps Students Get Wired Up!

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HUNTSVILLE, AL — National BDPA’s Huntsville Chapter was given the opportunity to train students about STEM at Mae Jemison High School. BDPA Members Bernard Nealy, Brandon Fields, Pat King and Jason Bradshaw were the instructors for this training session.

The training session included high school seniors from Mae Jemison, one high school senior and two elementary students from Birmingham who were guests of the instructors. During the session the students had the opportunity experience electrical engineering by connecting a Raspberry Pi microcomputer to a CAMJam Kit breadboard by wiring the two devices together. While also installing resistors, and red, green, & yellow lights to the breadboard.

Once the students completed wiring the two devices together they connected the Raspberry Pi to a monitor, keyboard, and mouse. After it was safely connected the students then were able to connect power to the Pi and proceed to use Python programming to complete the project. Once they completed the code which dictates how the Pi provides power to the breadboard, to each light, and when to halt from sending electrical current, then their results would either be red, yellow, or the green lights to power on.

Participating students really enjoyed the training and asked when the next training sessions would be held. These students are our inspiration to do what we do.

Source and photo creditbdpahsv.org

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Commemorate Baltimore’s Innovation Week, Hispanic Heritage month, and Cybersecurity Awareness Month next weekend in Baltimore with Regional SHPE, NSBE, and BDPA Chapters!

October 12-13, 2019  |  University of Baltimore |  Media Sponsor: bdpatoday

Minority Innovation Weekend | October 12-13, 2019 in Baltimore

Cyber Students attend Youth Conference of Network Defenders

COLUMBIA, MD — Student Members from National BDPA’s Baltimore, MD and Washington, D.C. Chapters attended a regional Youth Conference of Network Defenders (Y-CND) with other area students at DreamPort, a cyber innovation and mission accelerator near Ft. George Meade, Maryland.

The annual Youth Conference of Network Defenders (Y-CND) is a charter of events giving area teens and young adults an opportunity to network and submerge themselves with in the information technology and cyber communities. ​ The goal is to foster communication and collaboration while increasing the level of conversations impacting youth and tomorrow’s workforce.

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Powered by Defender Academy, Y-CND events explore the safety, standardization, tools, and diversity and inclusion of the information technology and cybersecurity community. This is their opportunity to ask questions, participate, and figure out their place in cybersecurity.

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According to their mission statement, Defender Academy inspires middle school and high school students to be a part of the team closing the gap in cyber security professionals. Founded on integrity, critical thinking and problem solving, the academy also ensures participating students are prepared and ready to protect and defend the Internet and assets that lie within.

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DreamPort, as a cyber innovation and mission accelerator, is a rapid prototyping facility  supporting United States Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) and other Department of Defense DOD, Intelligence Community (IC), and Federal agencies. DreamPort was launched by USCYBERCOM through a Partnership Intermediary Agreement (PIA) awarded to the Maryland Innovation and Security Institute (MISI).

BDPA photos ©2019 bdpatoday

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#BDPACon19 | Atlanta, Georgia | August 1-3, 2019 | bdpa2019.com

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Since 1986 — an annual “Coding Combine” featuring collegiate, voc-tech, and high school IT Showcases

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Experts: Collaboration Needed to Diversify Tech Workforce

by Dr. LaMont Jones

WASHINGTON – America’s tech industry needs greater diversity, equity and inclusion, and achieving those goals depends in large part on the ability of educational institutions, governments, and philanthropies to work collaboratively and consistently.

That was a key point made during panels and keynote speeches Tuesday at “Building a Diverse and Skilled Tech Workforce,” an event presented by Verizon Foundation and the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE).

There’s a need to diversify not just corporate offices, but the ranks of venture capitalists and other tech entrepreneurs who contribute to job creation, wealth development and upward social mobility, speakers said.

And, they added, pipelines must be expanded and multiplied to educate, hire and retain minority and other underrepresented students from community colleges, historically Black colleges and universities, Hispanic serving institutions, tribal colleges and other minority serving institutions who are talented but face opportunity barriers.

Congresswoman Alma Adams (D-NC)“Diversity and inclusion are more than just buzzwords,” U.S. Rep. Alma Adams, D-NC, (left) said in keynote remarks. “They are crucial to our economic progress and should be a way of life for the workforce.”

A former professor at Bennett College – a private all-women’s HBCU in her state – and a founder and co-chair of the Congressional Bipartisan HBCU Caucus, Adams noted a long history of HBCUs producing a large proportion of Black STEM graduates and said support for their viability must be part of any serious discussion about diversifying the tech industry.

“HBCU sustainability and a diverse workforce go hand in hand,” said Adams. “If diversity is a priority, strengthening HBCU’s should be a priority. Diversity and inclusion are not possible without the input of HBCU’s. Talent is universal but opportunity is not. It’s time to recognize the undertapped potential of HBCU’s and make up for a century of under-investment.”

She called for greater equity in the allocation of federal funds and urged the private sector to back up talk with action.

“Starting the dialogue is not enough,” she said.

Adams said diversity and equity are important not just for upward social mobility and building generational wealth on a personal level, but to maintain the nation‘s global competitiveness, a theme echoed by U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-AZ, (right) in his keynote remarks.

The nation is culturally diversifying, a reality that will not change, so it makes sense to focus on investing more in adequately preparing the generations that will lead the nation into a different future, said Grijalva, a member of the House Education and Labor Committee.

“This is not a time to divert funding from education,” he said, citing the value of postsecondary education and disparities in degree-attainment in areas from race to students of foster care. “Education is an opportunity-equalizer.”

Debt-free college and robust investment in community colleges and MSIs of all kinds can help eliminate disparities and ensure that students from underrepresented groups access, persist in, and advance after college in tech and other fields, Grijalva said.

“A diverse workforce is critical to our country,” he said. “It begins to close the gap between the haves and have-nots. Diversity fosters innovation and creativity and brings workers together from all walks of life. It improves the sustainability of our country. To close disparities and turn equality into equity, then we must make investments. And the dividends will pay off for all.”

Verizon NACCE Diversity Summit Capitol Hill | 04.02.19

— BDPA-DC photo © 2019 bdpatoday

Community colleges are playing an increasingly pivotal role in expanding the pipeline toward tech industry diversity, NACCE president and CEO Dr. Rebecca Corbin (above, left) said in a fireside chat with Rose Stuckey Kirk, Verizon’s chief corporate social responsibility officer.

Although some find it challenging, particularly engaging students at rural community colleges and HBCUs, “it’s never been more important to think about diversity” and the positive impact it can have on the workplace, Corbin said.

She recommended strategies such as engaging girls and other underrepresented students in middle school, bolstering their critical-thinking skills, providing mentoring and wrap-around services, creating public and private partnerships and helping students visualize themselves in tech roles to pique their interest.

Verizon NACCE Diversity Summit Capitol Hill | 04.02.19

— BDPA-DC photo © 2019 bdpatoday

Tech companies must be committed to going beyond their conventional recruiting practices at predominantly White institutions, said Morgan State University president Dr. David Wilson (second from left) during a panel discussion about HBCUs.

“We can’t have a genuine conversation about diversifying tech if HBCUs and Hispanic serving institutions and Native American serving institutions and all the minority serving institutions are not driving this conversation,” he said.

Those institutions, he added, know how to find, educate and motivate underrepresented students “and don’t need a research study to tell us how to do it.”

Raquel Tamez, CEO of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, said the systemic problem of minorities being underrepresented in the tech industry requires systemwide solutions, and one of them is to hold accountable managers who make hiring decisions.

And that goes beyond bias training and tokenism, Tamez said during a panel discussion about recruiting, developing and supporting diverse workers, innovators and entrepreneurs. She said the tech industry has received a diversity “wake-up call,” and more companies should follow the lead of companies such as Intel in achieving employment equity. Fractured efforts involving institutions, business, government and other stakeholders need to become more cooperative, she said.

“And we need to diversify diversity,” she added. “We need to make diversity more inclusive. Because there are the haves and the have-nots in diversity. Organizations should be more intentional about inclusiveness. If we’re not intentionally including, we’re unintentionally excluding.”

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Select here for original article | Diverse Issues in Higher Education

LaMont Jones can be reached at ljones@diverseeducation.com. You can follow him on Twitter @DrLaMontJones.  National BDPA High School Computer Competition (HSCC) top-cover photo courtesy National BDPA. 


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GLF19

Byte Back wins $1 million from TD to expand operations in Baltimore

Toronto, ON and Washington, D.C. (BDPA-DC) – TD announced this week Byte Back is one of 10 recipients to receive their inaugural TD Ready Challenge grants. Each recipient organization will receive CDN $1 million (USD $775,000) to help them scale innovative solutions aimed at preparing North Americans for the economy of the future.

With a focus on financial security, the recipients of this year’s Challenge will apply the grants to solutions they have designed to help workers transform their existing skills and build new ones and help reduce barriers to STEM training for underrepresented groups to open doors for individuals who have the greatest risk of falling behind due to rapid technological advancement.

Byte Back is an award-winning Washington, DC-based nonprofit that connects communities with inclusive tech training and pathways into living-wage careers. With this CDN $1 million investment, Byte Back will expand into Baltimore in 2019 and begin to fully explore its national expansion. This is the first time in 21 years that the nonprofit has expanded outside the National Capital  region.

2017awardeesByte Back is the 2017 Community Award recipient for National BDPA’s Washington, D.C. Chapter (BDPADC.org).  Ms. Elizabeth Lindsey (second from right), is Byte Back‘s Executive Director.

The technology skills gap Byte Back addresses is not unique to its home region. In the U.S., 28 million adults are living in poverty. Since 2002, the U.S. economy has lost 28 million low tech jobs that have disappeared or now require medium and high tech skills. Byte Back provides a unique solution for adults who have not had access  nor opportunities to use technology in their careers.

“The changing workplace presents new opportunities for a prosperous economy, but we must grow in ways that allow everyone a chance to succeed,” says Bharat Masrani, Group President and Chief Executive Officer, TD Bank Group. “Fortunately, there is no shortage of innovative ideas to support greater income stability – ideas that can open doors and help people feel more confident in the future.”

With this investment from TD, Byte Back will train at least 72 people in Baltimore in the first year, setting the stage for the organization’s national expansion.

“Thousands of adults are still struggling to succeed in the digital economy, and we cannot leave them behind. They deserve education opportunities, they deserve to fully participate in a digital world, and they deserve living-wage careers,” said Ms. Lindsey. “We’re really dreaming now about what it looks like for our impact to expand to hundreds and thousands more people across the country.”


Source: Video content and news provided by Byte Back DC
Keywords:
#ByteBack #Baltimore #Washington #TD #Canada #TechInclusion

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