LATech.org Launches 1000 Internships Initiative

Kiara Rodriguez
Kiara is an editorial intern at dot.LA. She has interned in communications at KCRW, assisted with economics research at Brookings Institution,and reported for local publications in New Jersey. Before joining dot.LA, she was a Yenching Scholar at Beijing University, researching the politics of international communications and leading the Yenching Academy’s podcast. She graduated from Princeton University in 2019 with a B.A. from the School of Public and International Affairs.
LATech.org Launches 1000 Internships Initiative

Internships can open many doors, but those in tech can be especially tough to land and not always the most welcoming environment for women and people of color.


The nonprofit LATech.org launched an initiative with county supervisor Holly Mitchell this week to provide 1,000 students of color paid tech internships with companies like Snap Inc, ride sharing service HopSkipDrive and Cornerstone OnDemand.

The idea is not only to make the process more accessible for students, but also to encourage a pipeline of talent in a lucrative industry traditionally dominated by white men.

After the murder of George Floyd, LATech.org founder and former co-chair and founder of talent management system Cornerstone OnDemand Adam Miller thought it was "necessary" for him to use all his resources to help the most vulnerable in his community.

So far, fifty companies are participating, with each taking at least two interns at a time.

In the long run, it aims to open up a path to prosperity and chip away at deep-seated inequities.

"The average person who enters work in tech, relative to most in other fields, will, over the course of their lifetime, earn $2 million more," said Miller.

Entering an internship can be intimidating for anyone, and even more so when you are the only person of your race or ethnicity. Miller believes that by pairing interns up, this will provide a community and lessen the sense of being "the diverse intern." He also hopes that initiatives like this can help students realize that you don't need to be an engineer to work in tech in Los Angeles -- internships offered will span: design, marketing, product development and sales in addition to engineering.

The cost of the fellowship for the first 100 interns from South LA will be split between Mitchell's office and the companies.

Kristen Mae Hernandez, a senior at California State University Long Beach who is participating in the program said that as a woman of color she felt like an "other" in the predominantly white field of STEM.

"Even when I was accepted into [California State University] Long Beach, I faced a lot of prejudice. I had a lot of impostor syndrome," said Hernandez.

LATech.org will supplement the learning experience with multiple networking events as well as career counseling sessions. There will be six sessions over the span of the next two years. Every two weeks, a separate cohort will come in with around 20-30 students, all of whom range from 16 to 24.

Miller sees this as an opportunity for tech companies to diversify their ranks.

"Talent comes in all shapes and sizes, and the tech industry has a very tight labor market. The reality is that they're only looking at a portion of the pool. There is tremendous opportunity," said Miller.

The company aims to expand its roster of participants, and eventually have up to 100 companies involved.

"This is the largest such initiative in any city," said Miller. "So, if this works we hope to inspire other tech hubs to do the same."

kiara@dot.la

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.

Why Women’s Purchasing Power Is a Huge Advantage for Female-Led Leagues

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

Why Women’s Purchasing Power Is a Huge Advantage for Female-Led Leagues
Samson Amore

According to a Forbes report last April, both the viewership and dollars behind women’s sports at a collegiate and professional level are growing.

Read moreShow less
https://twitter.com/samsonamore
samsonamore@dot.la
LA Tech Week Day 5: Social Highlights
Evan Xie

L.A. Tech Week has brought venture capitalists, founders and entrepreneurs from around the world to the California coast. With so many tech nerds in one place, it's easy to laugh, joke and reminisce about the future of tech in SoCal.

Here's what people are saying about the fifth day of L.A. Tech Week on social:

Read moreShow less

LA Tech Week: Six LA-Based Greentech Startups to Know

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

LA Tech Week: Six LA-Based Greentech Startups to Know
Samson Amore

At Lowercarbon Capital’s LA Tech Week event Thursday, the synergy between the region’s aerospace industry and greentech startups was clear.

The event sponsored by Lowercarbon, Climate Draft (and the defunct Silicon Valley Bank’s Climate Technology & Sustainability team) brought together a handful of local startups in Hawthorne not far from LAX, and many of the companies shared DNA with arguably the region’s most famous tech resident: SpaceX.

Read moreShow less
https://twitter.com/samsonamore
samsonamore@dot.la
RELATEDEDITOR'S PICKS
Trending