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Kapor Foundation Makes Tech Workforce Development Commitments to Advance Communities of Color

Equitable access to tech career pathways is urgently needed following affirmative action’s dismantlement, the decline of four-year college enrollment, and the growing demand for rapid reskilling as automation and artificial intelligence shift the future of work. 

Based on extensive labor market demand analysis, the Kapor Foundation seeks to increase Black, Latine, and Native job placements in durable, emerging tech career paths such as cyber security and software engineering with an eye towards intersections with artificial intelligence. 

In response to this, today, the Kapor Foundation’s Tech Pathways Initiative is announcing funding commitments across an innovative set of partner organizations advancing Black, Latine, Native, and other underrepresented talent across our focal ecosystems of Oakland, California, Atlanta, Georgia, and Detroit, Michigan.

Read more below about funding recipients NPower,, the National Skills Coalition, and the programming and policy change work they are undertaking to address today’s most pressing equitable tech workforce challenges.

1. Accelerating Cybersecurity Job Entry among Women of Color (Oakland, Detroit)

Partner: NPower

A significant talent gap exists in the US cybersecurity job market with an estimated 750K roles unfilled and demand growing exponentially as systems become automated. The field’s median salary of $117,058 is largely earned among white males, with only 24% of cyber workers identifying as women, 9% as Black, and 4% as Latine.  Since entry-level cybersecurity roles are accessible to talent without a bachelor’s degree, alternative education programs are uniquely positioned to help quickly bridge this gap.

NPower creates free, accelerated pathways to digital careers for underserved young adults (ages 18–26) and military veterans. NPower and the Kapor Foundation will partner on a Cyber Career Accelerator that will upskill and elevate women of color in Oakland and Detroit through hands-on lab work, wraparound support, career coaching, mentoring, and job placement services. NPower programs have a proven 80% job placement rate into roles such as cybersecurity analyst, info security risk analyst, and network administrator.

2) Boosting CS Job Based Learning and Continuing Education Opportunities for Black, Latine, and Native Community College Students (Atlanta)


Currently, 35% of all Black students obtaining an undergrad computer science degree do so through two-year community colleges, which receive $8,800 less in per-student revenue than four-year colleges. As a result, community college teaching capacity is often limited, the curriculum outdated, technical job-based learning opportunities sparse, and student motivation to continue into four-year computer science and career paths low. is launching a new model in Atlanta to boost Black, Latine, and Native computer science student continuation from community college into university via transfer credits, clubs, and ambassadorship, while also increasing community college readiness for technical employment. In addition, CodePath will boost teaching capacity, assess community college student skills, embed its remote courses into core CS course sequences, and offer hands-on curriculum vetted by leaders in tech and centered on the needs of low-income students of color, including content on AI and cybersecurity skills.  

3) Advancing Racially Inclusive Tech Workforce Policy (California, Georgia, Michigan)

Partner: National Skills Coalition

In 2022, the Kapor Foundation launched its Equitable Tech Policy Initiative to explore how actionable policy change across nine key issue areas, including workforce development, can advance racial equity in tech. 

The National Skills Coalition (NSC) is a nonprofit, bipartisan coalition of workforce and education advocates changing state and federal skills policies via broad coalition building, targeted advocacy, expert analysis, and technical assistance. Through collaboration with NSC, the Foundation seeks to help shape national and state workforce policies with a tech & racial justice lens across potential areas such as apprenticeship development, financial aid for community college classes, defining non-degree credentials, updating the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA), and shaping workforce policy around AI.

The Kapor Foundation calls on aligned members of the funding community to join us in building a more equitable tech workforce ecosystem.  In 2024, we will make additional commitments to help develop new models in inclusive AI upskilling, apprenticeship, and employment. For more info: