SF Gives Hosts Workforce Development Series

Young women from First Place for Youth made their own custom “Must Have” boxes during a Workforce Development Series hosted by POPSUGAR.

Earlier this week, Tipping Point Community CEO + Founder, Daniel Lurie sat down with tech journalist, Kara Swisher as a guest on her ReCode DeCode podcast. As the one of the most respected reporters in the industry, it’s no surprise that the conversation led to the topic of the tech sector’s philanthropic efforts.

“People can just get in the car and they can drive down the 101, they can go from here down to Silicon Valley and work at one of these great companies and not see it,” Daniel said about issues of poverty in the Bay Area. “I understand that. But what we need to do is educate people and get people engaged.”

For the last three years, 23 companies, largely in the tech industry, have done just that by participating in Tipping Point’s SF Gives, our corporate engagement program designed to bring companies together to fight poverty in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Since 2014, these companies have raised over $11 million to support and fund our grantees, the most promising poverty fighting non-profits in our region. Representatives from each SF Gives company also sit on the Kitchen Cabinet, a coalition that meets bimonthly to hear from experts in the fields of education, employment, housing and family wellness. They also share best practices and develop joint philanthropic engagement opportunities.

This week, SF Gives kicked off its latest effort, a series of workforce development events to shed light on an important and timely issue in the Bay Area: diversifying and developing the talent pipeline in our region.

As a poverty-fighting organization we recognize the promise that the tech sector holds for our community. The average salary of a tech worker is more than the median household income of a black and Latinx family combined. Yet, there are few on ramps for people from non-traditional backgrounds to access these jobs.

At the same time, we know that diversity in tech isn’t just a “nice to have” for companies — The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that 1.4 million tech jobs will be waiting for STEM graduates by 2020, but that there will be a shortfall of nearly 1 million, or 70% of graduates with corresponding STEM degrees. It’s crucial that we begin to create new talent pathways that bolster both our community and long term viability of our economy.

Over the next two months, Workday, POPSUGAR, Dropbox, Supercell, JP Morgan, Okta and Box will partner with seven Tipping Point employment and education grantees to host activities such as job shadow days, career panels, resumé reviews and mock interviews. The goal of these partnerships are not only to give students and adults who are working to break into the tech industry a window into the sector, but also to highlight the important role Bay Area companies can play in developing our local employee base.

Our Manager of SF Gives, Milicent Johnson, will be reporting from each of these events, showcasing some of the most engaged and involved tech companies in the Bay alongside our a few of our most effective direct service organizations. We hope you follow along and are inspired to host similar events at your own organization.

Interested in learning how your company can have more impact? Check out our SF Gives Corporate Philanthropy Playbook, or contact mjohnson@tippingpoint.org and let’s start a conversation!