Three persons smiling.

Training beyond tech skills in Silicon Valley

For more than five decades, the nonprofit JobTrain has helped residents build successful, sustainable careers

The global economy is constantly shifting to account for changes in industries as diverse as healthcare, manufacturing and transportation. As a result, workers must constantly assess and adjust their skills to keep pace. Nowhere is that reality more obvious than in Silicon Valley —where technology, agriculture and housing innovations have dramatically transformed business over the past 30 years.

Local nonprofit JobTrain gives people from low-income communities across Silicon Valley the education, skills and real-world experience they need to create long successful careers. While this part of California is one of the wealthiest enclaves in the world, that wealth is not enjoyed by all. “Talent is evenly distributed throughout communities and socioeconomic landscapes, but opportunity is not,” says Barrie Hathaway, JobTrain president and CEO. “We offer career training that provides economic mobility to strengthen communities and bridge the economic divide.”

JobTrain provides no-cost courses and job placement services in high-demand fields ranging from carpentry and the culinary arts to IT and healthcare, plus life-skills classes covering interview skills, digital literacy and more. Students include single parents, new immigrants and people who have experienced homelessness. More than half of participants are unemployed, and 21% have been incarcerated. The organization’s track record is impressive: 87% of students complete the career training, and nearly three-quarters of graduates obtain a job that pays significantly more than minimum wage.

Funding from Bank of America is helping to expand JobTrain’s career training programs and skills upgrade and job placement services — serving more than 1,000 trainees in 2021. The support for JobTrain is an example of Bank of America’s commitment to help advance equality and economic opportunity in local neighborhoods around the country. From entrepreneur funding and expanding home ownership to professional skills training and healthcare access, Bank of America continues to partner with innovative leaders to help communities implement solutions to society’s biggest challenges.


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