Obama Calls for Youth Jobs, and Tech Firms Listen

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By Joshua R. Weaver, The Root

SummerQAmp is an initiative designed to connect young adults to tech jobs

When a proposed bill that would have allocated $1.5 billion to summer and year-round jobs for low-income and underprivileged youths failed in Congress earlier this year, President Obama urged the private sector to create around 250,000 positions for students and youths by this summer.

Thirty-five companies pledged commitment to the initiative on Jan. 5, when President Obama announced the White House’s Summer Jobs+ program, and more companies are following suit — including many in the technology industry.

Tech companies GroupMe, Gilt Groupe, Onswipe and others have joined forces with rock musician Jon Bon Jovi and the White House to create SummerQAmp, an initiative to provide an outlet into the booming world of tech jobs for 16- to 24-year-olds, a group whose employment level has dropped by almost 15 percent in the last decade, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Led by former White House Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra, GroupMe co-founder Steve Martocci, Gilt Groupe’s Quality Engineering Vice President Kevin Haggard and Onswipe CEO Jason Baptiste, SummerQAmp seeks to introduce low-income and underprivileged youths to the technology sector through entry-level quality-assurance and quality-engineering jobs.

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