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New Report Defines Opportunity Gap in New York City’s Tech Workforce

November 6, 2019

NEW YORK, Nov. 6, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- A new report commissioned by Civic Hall, funded by the Cognizant U.S. Foundation and prepared by HR&A Advisors, reveals the rapid growth of jobs that require high-tech skills and how the NYC workforce development system can better prepare New Yorkers to realize the economic opportunities associated with technology occupations.

The report, ‘NYC’s Tech Opportunity Gap,’ combines an analysis of labor market and economic data with interviews of approximately 100 employers, community organizations, and tech workforce training providers. The data and analysis provide a current snapshot of the NYC tech ecosystem and will help generate an evidence-based roadmap for future training programs, better connecting training to current and future jobs.

High-tech jobs focusing on the creation and management of digital tools, products, systems and support services, and encompassing roles such as developer, data and system analyst and network professional, comprise nearly half of the NYC tech jobs ecosystem, according to the report. Since 2008, NYC has added 46,000 high-tech jobs, growing this job category by 45% (more than double the growth rate for the citywide economy). The report also states that these NYC high-tech jobs are well-paid, providing New Yorkers with a median hourly wage 80% higher than the overall NYC median hourly wage.

While the tech sector is robust, the study found that NYC’s workforce in occupations requiring technology skills is less diverse than the city’s workforce overall. Black and Latinx workers make up only 18% of the high-tech workforce and women only comprise 24%, compared to 37% (Black and Latinx) and 50% (women) across the entire NYC workforce.

“All New Yorkers must have equitable access to 21st century tech skills to ensure NYC’s competitiveness and close the tech opportunity gap,” said Andrew Rasiej, Co-founder and CEO, Civic Hall, a non-profit organization that fosters collaboration and builds community to advance technology for the public good. “The report findings support and inform the planning of Civic Hall @ Union Square, the first-of-its-kind center focused on advancing and diversifying the city’s technology workforce. It will serve as a universal entry point for New Yorkers seeking technology job training and as an incubator for comprehensive programs that will focus on closing the equity gap.”

These gaps are especially alarming as high-tech skills, including data management and analysis, are becoming increasingly core to jobs across industries, with high-tech skills making up more than 70% of growing skills requirements for “non-tech” jobs over the last two years, according to job postings data analyzed in the study. High-tech training and reskilling are becoming even more important for all workers as up to 1.4 million jobs currently in NYC alone are somewhat or highly susceptible to automation - comprising 31% of total employment.

“As the labor market continues to evolve, these findings demonstrate the unparalleled opportunity at hand - and help to define a path forward for our communities, our businesses, and our people,” said Kristen Titus, Executive Director, Cognizant U.S. Foundation. “Together with Civic Hall and the City’s myriad programs and partners, we look forward to architecting a way forward, and building robust, diverse technology opportunities for all New Yorkers.”

“As the pace of innovative tech is rapidly advancing, this report confirms that too many New Yorkers lack access to economic opportunities in this high-wage, high growth sector,” said NYCEDC President and CEO James Patchett. “That is why EDC is making crucial investments in projects like Civic Hall @ Union Square, which is poised to be a nexus for advancing the city’s tech workforce and preparing New Yorkers for jobs of the future. Thank you to our partners who helped bring this report to life, which will serve as a valuable benchmark as we strive to build a more dynamic and diverse tech sector for our city.”

Civic Hall @ Union Square will include a three-story, 40,000-square-foot Learning Center, which will advance New York City’s high-tech workforce and provide any citizen access to 21st century high-tech and technology education. The space is scheduled to be completed in 2021. For more information about Civic Hall @ Union Square please visit: www.civichall.org/unionsquare.

Access the full report here: https://civichall.org/about-civic-hall/civic-hall-union-square/

Civic Hall
Civic Hall is the nation’s leading center for learning and collaboration focused on advancing civic tech and problem-solving for the public good. Civic Hall’s mission is to embed civic values wherever technology and society meet, and to help people discover new ways of embodying those values in their work and life. Civic Hall serves as a dynamic and uniquely inclusive hub for ideas, tools, learning, relationships and ventures—both old and new—that can bring about a more just society.

Cognizant U.S. Foundation
The Cognizant U.S. Foundation is a 501(c)(3) private foundation supporting STEM education and skills training. Launched in 2018 with an initial $100 million investment from Cognizant, the Foundation has since awarded $12 million to organizations working to educate and train the next generation of workers in communities throughout the U.S.

HR&A Advisors, Inc.
HR&A Advisors has over 40 years of experience advising on complex economic development and real estate projects in cities across the world. HR&A’s Urban Tech & Innovation Practice works with governments, technology companies, institutions, advocates, and developers to leverage technology and the innovation economy to foster creativity, increase economic competitiveness, improve quality of life, and broaden economic opportunity in cities. Firm clients include Sidewalk Labs, Google, Airbnb, WeWork, Industry City, CUNY, and the City of New York, as well as innovation districts and research parks across the U.S.

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SOURCE Civic Hall