NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today marks the launch of SummerQAmp, a nationwide initiative to train a new workforce in high-tech skills and help create tech jobs for American youth. It was developed as a commitment to the White House’s Summer Jobs+ initiative, a call to action for businesses, non-profits and government to work together to provide pathways to employment for low-income and disconnected youth this summer. SummerQAmp is being led by former CTO of the White House Aneesh Chopra, musician Jon Bon Jovi, GroupMe co-founder Steve Martocci, Gilt Groupe’s Vice President of Quality Engineering Kevin Haggard and Onswipe's CEO Jason Baptiste.
SummerQAmp’s mission is to help keep the U.S. at the forefront of innovation by creating tech jobs in America. Specifically, it will promote awareness for Quality Assurance (QA) as a career opportunity by inviting leading U.S. software companies to offer QA internships this summer to those without formal technical training. SummerQAmp’s goal is to help create at least 1,000 QA internships this summer alone.
“For many people, QA isn't necessarily a job you go to school for. It’s something you learn on the job,” said Steve Martocci. “I started working closely with the QA team at Gilt and went on to found GroupMe, where our QA team is a critical part of our success. Now I want to inspire others to explore QA as a career, so I’m inviting entrepreneurs and other technology companies to sign our pledge and commit to offering QA internships this summer.”
"Quality Assurance is an important role to ensure your favorite mobile apps and software programs work properly. While there is demand to find Quality Engineers in the U.S., it is difficult to find individuals with experience since it is not taught in school or recognized as a career opportunity,” said Kevin Haggard, Vice President of Quality Engineering at Gilt Groupe. “I am very excited about SummerQAmp because it gives us an opportunity to introduce QA to those students who will be entering the workforce over the next few years. This initiative will help us fill these QA position in the U.S. instead of sending them abroad.”
“SummerJobs+ and SummerQAmp educate and train young people who might not ordinarily consider a career in technology,” said Jon Bon Jovi, who is known for his efforts to help empower at-risk youth. “On behalf of the White House Council for Community Solutions, I support SummerJobs+ and their mission to empower youth who are presently disconnected from education, jobs, and career opportunities. The kind of on-the-job training that SummerQAmp aims to provide can create pathways to career opportunities in technology and a brighter future.”
In addition to creating internships, SummerQAmp is partnering with the CK-12 Foundation to develop and launch an online educational resource later this year where youth can learn more about the role of QA in the development of the hundreds of thousands of smartphone apps available today. This site will include a career guide and listings of the QA internship roles available at tech companies across the country. There will also be an online course that introduces SummerQAmp participants to software development, in addition to an educational genome that can help direct students down the right path to learn more about different software careers (e.g., IT, engineering, QA, etc).
“Learning to code is intimidating and foreign to many and may not be the best first step with regards to software development careers for some people, especially the youth being targeted with Summer Jobs+,” said Neeru Khosla, founder of the CK-12 Foundation. “On the other hand, a Web-based educational component to reach the hundreds of thousands of people who are interested in QA and software development is a very powerful initial step towards learning programming. What can bring more clarity to learning than being able to critique it?”
The leaders of the SummerQAmp movement have already reached out to their network in the tech world to invite them to participate by opening up QA internships this summer. To date, some of the notable tech companies that have taken the pledge to participate include Boxee, the CK-12 Foundation, eBay, GroupMe, Gilt Groupe and Onswipe. In addition, a number of other tech companies, investors and non-profits, such as JIBE, Knewton, SV Angel and Fiver Children’s Foundation, are helping to develop and guide the growth of the SummerQAmp movement.
To be counted among the companies that are committing to create tech jobs in America this summer, visit http://www.summerqamp.org. There, you’ll be able to learn more about the SummerQAmp movement and to take the pledge committing to create a QA internship within your organization.
Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=50195853&lang=en