HHF LOFT Coder Summits Launch in 5 Nat’ Markets!

Alberto Avalos

Innovation and Technology Program Manager

HISPANIC HERITAGE FOUNDATION TO HOST LOFT CODER SUMMITS IN SILICON VALLEY, LOS ANGELES, AUSTIN, NEW YORK AND MIAMI IN 2016 

Hundreds of Latin@ Programmers – Students, Professionals and Entrepreneurs –  to Attend Free, One-Day Workshops, Networking, and Cultural Pride

PALO ALTO, CA – The Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) will once again host a series of LOFT (Latinos On Fast Track) Coder Summit (LCS) for hundreds of Latin@ developers including professionals, students and entrepreneurs in five regions: Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, Austin, Miami and New York.  The LCS in Silicon Valley, which started the effort at Stanford University last year by attracting more than 400 registered programmers (40 percent Latina), will be back in Palo Alto on May 14th for another summit of workshops, discussions and networking to expand access to Latino coder community hosted by Infosys. This year’s LCS effort got started in Austin for South by Southwest (SXSW) with a partnership with Dell, Univision and PwC.  Surveys of participants of past LCS said the top reason to attend was “to be around other Latino programmers.” The LCS effort is part of HHF’s Code as a Second Language (CSL) initiative. RSVP for the LOFT Coder Summit on May 14th by visiting lcsrsvp.com.

“The thought that the tech industry can’t find Latino programmers leads to the notion that there aren’t any Latino programmers and the next thought will be that Latinos aren’t capable, which is absolutely not true – and we want to prove it,” said Jose Antonio Tijerino, President and CEO of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation.  “Seeing a Latino programmer shouldn’t be akin to seeing a unicorn … We want to continue to shatter stereotypes and redefine the landscape of computer technology in Silicon Valley and across America while building a stronger community of innovators to move forward with greater unity, purpose and vision.  The Summit is the first step then the CSL Initiative and other programs throughout the year we have developed to ensure Latinos have a strong presence in the tech industry.”

The larger CSL initiative features HHF mobilizing their developer network to introduce computer programming to students across the country.  Grade, middle and high school students in up to 20 markets are now being taught how to code this year through eight-session course, which includes certifications and also engages private sector volunteers. (Although there are over 2 million vacant jobs in the tech fields over the next five years, 90 percent of schools don’t teach coding – CSL is designed to fill that gap).  A CSL effort focused on introducing coding to immigrants at the Mexican consulates is being rolled out after a successful pilot in San Jose through a partnership between HHF, the Mexican Consulate, and Saber es Poder.  “We want to help the Latino community, including immigrants, provide America with a value proposition in the workforce because there is no other option for growth in the tech and innovation space,” added Tijerino. The overall CSL concept is that in order to thrive in America’s workforce, Latinos need to learn yet another language – code. To learn more about CSL, become a sponsor or to request CSL come to a school or community, visit www.loftcsl.org.

HHF’s award-winning LOFT leadership and workforce development program is divided into 10 priorities or Tracks including Innovation & Technology, Engineering, Science, Healthcare, Finance, Entrepreneurship, Education, Public Service, Media & Entertainment, and Latinas.  Tens of thousands of students and young professionals (ages 15-35) in the LOFT Network are connected to each other, mentors and resources; attend over 75 trainings, workshops, and informal Charlas hosted across the country and online; creative initiatives are developed and executed; and hundreds are placed into internships, mentorships, fellowships and full-time positions with Fortune 500 companies and government agencies. LOFT has been recognized by The White House, Congress, the government of Mexico, Fortune 500 companies, and other nonprofits.  Southwest Airlines is the Official Airline of the LOFT program.

About HHF

The Hispanic Heritage Foundation, which was originally established by the White House in 1988, inspires, prepares, positions and connects Latino leaders in the classroom, community and workforce to meet America’s priorities. HHF also promotes cultural pride, accomplishment, and the great promise of the community through public awareness campaigns seen by millions.  HHF is headquartered in Washington, DC, and has offices in Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Silicon Valley, and the LOFT Institute is housed at Michigan State University (Visit www.HispanicHeritage.org.)

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Contact:  Alberto Avalos, Alberto@loftinstitute.org, 323.397.9862