What Happened in March in TechTown

This monthly report highlights the latest updates in TechTown news and our progress in our top areas of focus: Recruitment, Retention and Measurement.

In an effort to keep pledge members safe and healthy amid the COVID-19 concerns, TechTown followed state and Prosper Portland guidelines early in March and postponed all planned in-person events as well as suspended the coordination of upcoming events for the time being.  This temporary pause on TechTown programming provided our community the space to talk about inclusion within these new challenges and experiences. We have seen our community come together, build stronger relationships and bring attention to inequitable behaviors that need policy and governance to address it now more than ever.

While we use this time to focus on building community and a safe space to address shared challenges, we did want to share some of the milestones we accomplished this month: 

1. Morning Session goes Virtual: TechTown hosted its first virtual Morning Session on March 17th to create an opportunity for our community to connect given social distancing restrictions. Participants addressed curated questions in small groups during the ZOOM call.

2. TechTown members respond to COVID-19: 

  • New Relic created a COVID-19 Relief Program and is offering free access to the entire New Relic One platform, for 90 days, to any new customer organization. They are also supporting the communities in which their employees live and work by launching a $100,000 charitable giving campaign that will match employee donations to the COVID-19 relief nonprofits in their local communities.
  • Catalyte, with over 100 local software development resources in the Portland area, they can help bridge any disruption felt by the loss of resources from India or other offshore locations.
  • Open Sesame is offering a list of 15 free courses about coronavirus preparedness,
    infection control, and illness prevention, and remote working for organizations
    to use to educate their employees: https://go.opensesame.com/free-offer
  • Shannon Rasimas of Alchemy Code Lab shared her personal experience and advice to help facilitate support within the community.

3. Building a Framework for Teleworking Policies training on April 8th: TechTown partnered with Portland Means Progress to provide a free virtual training for HR professionals, CEOs, and managers, to create a clear framework support your racial equity goals by providing a transparent and consistent work environment.


About TechTown Portland

A movement. A commitment. A community.

TechTownPDX is a collection of Portland tech companies who have come together to commit to a Diversity Pledge – a shared commitment and action plan to collectively advance workplace diversity and inclusion in order to grow the industry while broadening prosperity.

Our mission is to expand diversity, equity, and inclusion within pledge companies. We do this by taking collective action with the local tech companies who have taken our Diversity & Inclusion Pledge that is focused around Partnerships, Hiring Strategies, Career Development, Training & Education and Measuring Progress.

About Prosper Portland

TechTown is powered by Prosper Portland. Prosper Portland creates economic growth and opportunity for Portland. Prosper Portland’s vision is to make Portland one of the most globally competitive, healthy, and equitable cities in the world by investing in job creation, encouraging broad economic prosperity, and fostering great places throughout the city. We aspire to be a workplace of choice with passionate staff excelling in an open and empowering environment and sharing a commitment to our collective success.

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Portland tech companies have joined the Diversity & Inclusion Pledge since its initial launch in 2015.

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