Industry Veterans Launch First Black-Owned Emerging Talent Business
HTD Talent has secured $5 million in private funding to launch the first Black-Owned business in the Hire, Train, Deploy (HTD) industry. Co-Founders Robert Rolle and Christopher Wascak are focused on closing the skills gap and diversifying the technology workforce.
HTD Talent, a new minority-owned emerging talent startup, has secured $5 million in private funding to launch its vision of closing the IT skills gap and improving the representation of minorities in technology roles.
This business launch comes at a time when the industry’s need for qualified diverse talent has never been greater. While the technology skills gap continues to grow, the competition for diverse technology talent is also increasing. Some companies now use the phrase “War for Talent” to describe recruiting in current market conditions. Diversity reports still show less than 20% of IT engineers are Black or Hispanic, and female representation remains at just 25%. HTD Talent hires diverse college graduates and upskills them on the hands-on technology they need to fill high-paying tech jobs across the industry.
“We are the first Black-Owned Hire-Train-Deploy company in the U.S.,” said the talent startup’s Co-Founder Robert Rolle. “Higher Education simply can’t keep up with the pace of technology innovation,” explaining that HTD Talent hires recent computer science and STEM graduates and then spends eight weeks training them to develop the hands-on skills not taught as part of their education. After training, engineers are ready to join enterprise companies and make an immediate impact with their newfound skills. “Black computer science graduates in particular have struggled to find work in an industry that requires both an education and hands-on experience,” said Rolle.
Industry expert and Co-Founder Chris Wascak have also watched the widening gap between education and entry-level IT job requirements. “We train on the relevant technologies for large companies going through a digital transformation — software engineering, data, site reliability engineering, and cloud engineering,” he said. Once proven, HTD Talent engineers begin project work with Fortune 500 companies across the financial services, technology, and retail sectors. “After the initial contract, these companies typically offer full-time employment to our diverse engineers and build their internal diversity from the ground up.
It's no secret that the industry is still struggling to increase diverse representation. “A lot of companies make statements about improving minority hiring, but many haven’t figured out how to bring these strategies to life,” said Rolle. “Partnering with a Black-owned company with our expertise in diversity recruiting is a step in the right direction. As a black professional myself, I understand many of the underlying reasons these strategies fail; we have a solution that can start to affect change very quickly.”
HTD Talent (www.HTDTalent.com) is headquartered in Charlotte, NC, and will begin training cohorts of technology talent on a quarterly basis with a large emphasis on minority recruiting and advancement.