Bitwise Industries announced Wednesday it will use $50 million in public and private funding to build facilities and expand job training for tech workers in the Valley.
Much of the money will go towards the company’s Digital New Deal, an initiative to grow its tech apprenticeship program, by including people from diverse backgrounds. Thilani Grubel, vice president of Bitwise Fresno, says she wants to open up the tech field to underserved communities and people who may have never considered it as a career.
“Veterans, formerly incarcerated and long term unhoused people have these opportunities that normally wouldn’t be afforded to them,” she says.
Grubel says tech is the fastest growing job sector in the nation’s economy and employers need more people who are trained to do the work.
“The skills that we’re teaching are exactly what people are looking for. That’s why 80 percent of our students have gone on to find tech placements or jobs in the tech industry,” she say.
The apprenticeship program has trained 5,000 apprentices throughout California. The company also has locations in Bakersfield, Merced and Oakland. It’s also developing a location in Toledo, Ohio.
In addition to workforce training, Bitwise will use the funds to expand its footprint in Fresno, renovating a vacant downtown building on R street for office and event space. It’s called State Center Warehouse and it’s expected to open later this year. It will be the fourth Bitwise location in Fresno.
Public and private partnerships helped to raise the $50 million in series B financing. Partnerships include JPMorgan Chase, Motley Fool Ventures and ProMedica.