CompTIA Acquires Middle School-Focused TechGirlz to Broaden Outreach

One technology workforce-development non-profit has absorbed another. Recently, Creating IT Futures, a charity within CompTIA, the IT industry association, has acquired TechGirlz, which focuses on helping middle school girls gain a love for technology and consider jobs in robotics, digital media and other areas through volunteer-led workshops. Creating IT Futures does research and program development to encourage people — especially those in non-traditional groups — to pursue IT careers.

The idea is that the combination will help the smaller organization scale its impact and help the larger organization create a "continuous path of technology prep " that begins in middle school and proceeds into the work years. Research by Creating IT Futures has led it to target middle school as a "prime age" to spur interest in tech jobs.

TechGirlz said its workshops have reached some 15,000 female students and succeed because coverage of the subjects is designed specifically to appeal to this age group and then refined with feedback from participants. Creating IT Futures said it intends to use TechGirlz’s best practices for technology curriculum development and engaging middle schoolers into other programs.

As part of the deal, TechGirlz's team and operations will be integrated into Creating IT Futures as a separate entity running from its current location in Philadelphia. Creating IT Futures will also take over and continue management of the current TechGirlz capital campaign, which hopes to fund outreach to an additional 5,000 girls by 2020.

"As the technology industry continues to search for ways to teach tech and fill open jobs, we are committed to launching a bottom up effort that will create a swell of talent," said Charles Eaton, CEO of Creating IT Futures, in a statement. "More than any other organization, TechGirlz has repeatedly demonstrated its ability to inspire and teach middle school girls to do more than just code. We are thrilled to apply our institutional knowledge to help rapidly scale this proven model and grow even larger pools of future technologists."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.