02.08.16

Oakland to Lead in Emerging “Computer Science for All” Initiative

Congresswoman Lee Welcomes U.S. Chief Technology Officer to Oakland

Oakland, CA – Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee released this statement welcoming U.S. Chief Technology Officer, Megan Smith, to Oakland’s Skyline High School:

“I am so pleased to welcome U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith to Oakland for this important conversation on advancing computer science skills for all. I am proud that Ms. Smith chose Oakland as the first city to visit following the White House’s bold announcement of the “Computer Science for All” Initiative. In the East Bay, she will see the amazing work we’re doing to provide our students with the computer skills they need to succeed in the 21st century global economy.

According to the Level the Playing Field Institute, seventy percent of the 1.4 million new tech jobs created by 2020 will go unfilled, given the current rates that U.S. schools and universities are producing qualified graduates. It is clear that we must act boldly to ensure our young people have the skills necessary for the jobs of today and tomorrow.

As a member of the House Budget and Appropriations Committees, I will fight to ensure that President Obama’s “Computer Science for All” initiative is fully funded. Our children deserve these critical investments in their future.

However, providing computer science skills is not enough.

For far too long, diversity has been an afterthought in the tech sector. Many qualified African American applicants and other applicants of color have been unable to access the job opportunities created by the tech sector. In Congress, I am proud to co-chair the Congressional Black Caucus’s TECH 2020 Initiative, which is designed to increase the number of African Americans and other people of color working in the tech sector.

I am proud to be partnering with our federal, local and non-profit leaders to expand quality computer science education for all East Bay students. We must continue to lead as a model for accessible computer science education for the entire nation.”

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Congresswoman Lee is a member of the Appropriations and Budget Committees, the Steering and Policy Committee, is a Senior Democratic Whip, former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and co-chair of the Progressive Caucus. She serves as chair of the Whip’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity.