Treehouse News#BlackLivesMatter

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Ryan Carson
writes on June 9, 2020

Actions > words. What we’re doing to support #BlackLivesMatter

As of today, June 9th at 9am Pacific, any company in the world can use our Treehouse Apprenticeship Program for free – it is now open source for all.

Here’s why:

At Treehouse we’ve been thinking deeply about what we can do to actively tear down White Supremacy in the United States of America.

We know that systemic racism was built into the foundations of our nation, going all the way back from when the first slave ship arrived on the coast of Virginia in 1619.

Part of that system is education and hiring practices in corporate America, which perpetuate the generational racial wealth gap.

For the past three years, we’ve partnered with amazing organizations like the Boys & Girls Clubs, Dress for Success, AnitaB, Kapor Center, Urban League, ChickTech, Edison Job Corps, Goodwill, Salvation Army and companies like NPower, Verizon, Mailchimp, Niantic, Nike and more, to disrupt that racist system as much as possible.

We invested over $1.4m in building a repeatable, scalable, diverse talent pipeline that empowered underrepresented families to get high-paying engineering and design jobs. 

We saw …

  • Family incomes triple in less than 12 months
  • 100% of families get covered with high-quality healthcare
  • 401(k) annual contributions increase by 870%. 

All with $0 of student debt.

47 apprentices in Atlanta, Dallas, New Jersey, Portland and more, went through the program and successfully converted to full-time employees. Here is one of those amazing groups – they worked hard to start careers at companies like Mailchimp. They’re still successfully employed today.

However, a lot of companies could not afford the apprenticeship program. We needed to charge companies $230k so we could support a full-time team at Treehouse who could install and manage the program to make it successful.

We want to remove that cost barrier completely.

By open sourcing the Treehouse Apprenticeship Program, any company in the world can use it for free. Any company can now reliably, repeatedly and affordably hire amazing talent from the underrepresented community in their town or city. Any company can do it. 

Here’s an overview of how the program works:

CEOs, it’s over to you

  • There’s now no excuse for having a lack of diversity on your team. 
  • CEOs, you can hire amazing talent from the Black community. 
  • We’re calling on you to act

We will be launching a simple site soon to explain how the program works, including a training video, and providing free access to the project management tools and methods.

What about Treehouse?

Treehouse is a small team of 45 people. Although we are a small company, we understand the impact of our privileges. We are committed to continue and improve our fight against these injustices.

We are not perfect and I, personally, have made many mistakes in my on-going journey to become an educated ally to the Black community. Posting on social media or putting a #BlackLivesMatter sign in my yard will not change the underlying system.

However, empowering the Black community to build generational wealth for their families and children will begin to change the system. Money = Power.

In addition to open-sourcing our Apprenticeship program, we are doing the following …

  1. Training 100% of all Treehouse Employees on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.
  2. Committing to use apprenticeship to diversify our team and ensure non-biased hiring practices.
  3. Amplifying the voices of Black individuals across Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn by re-sharing posts every week.
  4. Giving all of our employees $100 gift cards to support Black-owned businesses.
  5. Instituting a flexible-work policy to ensure that everyone has the time and mental space to support their loved ones during these scary times.
  6. Donating $6,000 to joincampaignzero.org.

Resources

The list below includes resources so you can support the #BlackLivesMatter movement that is happening in our country right now.

Donate

Shop

Act

Listen

Learn

Read

 Watch

Follow

13 Responses to “#BlackLivesMatter”

  1. Thanks for Sharing

  2. Ebunola Akinbiyi on June 11, 2020 at 8:46 am said:

    This warms my heart , Thank you

  3. Marie Umfleet on June 9, 2020 at 3:38 pm said:

    Hi team treehouse!

    As a (beginner) student of yours and an ex Silicon Valley tech auditor, I am thrilled to learn about this initiative. I am wondering if you have a program where current students (or anyone) can donate funds to go towards the student costs so that the pool of treehouse students in the black community grows.

    If you can arrange this, count on a donation from me! =)
    Marie Umfleet

  4. Vanessa Knight on June 9, 2020 at 12:30 pm said:

    I haven’t used your service in ages because…kids and chaos and sadness.

    And even though I’m not an active subscriber (although I think your service is amazing) I have to say that this just… well it’s amazing.

    Sorry for all the ellipsis but it’s been a very hard few weeks and seeing the outpouring of love and dialogue has been beautiful.

    Sadly, I haven’t seen any company step up the way that you have here. Not just throwing money at the problem but offering this apprenticeship service to companies, the gift cards, the time off, and even the training. It’s wonderful to see and it sounds like you really are listening to both your black and POC employees as well as the communities that you serve.

    So, from this one random, overworked, stressed out, sad black lady: thank you!

    • Katie-Wojciechowski on June 10, 2020 at 3:42 pm said:

      Thank you so much for sharing. We’re here for you in any way we can be.

  5. Supporting with action is most appreciated Treehouse!!

  6. Partnering

    Hi

    My name is Carl Varnado and I am the chair of the Blacks in Games SIG for IGDA. Let’s talk about working together. We would love to be part of this process.

    Thanks

    Carl Varnado

  7. Tirelle Roberts on June 9, 2020 at 10:24 am said:

    Good afternoon,

    I hope this message finds you well. My name is Tirelle Roberts, I am a young African American male living in Miami FL. I am currently in the process of switching careers to become a Back End Engineer. I have always followed Team Treehouse and I am very intrigued in becoming apart of the apprenticeship program. Please feel free to contact me at (305) 810-7407 or by email at tirellejroberts@gmail.com.

    Sincerely,
    Tirelle

    • Katie-Wojciechowski on June 10, 2020 at 3:41 pm said:

      Thank you so much for this. We’d love to directly offer apprenticeships but that’s not up to us at the moment. What we’re doing is offering companies the blueprint so that they can do so. We hope this empowers them to hire awesome folks like you quickly.

  8. Carrie Whitson on June 9, 2020 at 9:33 am said:

    I was previously in the Full Stack techdegree but had to stop due to losing my job for a while because of COVID-19. How would a student who wants to learn go about getting into this apprenticeship program? I only see information for companies who can join, but I haven’t seen a list of companies that use the apprenticeship program or how a student would go forward to apply for this program.

    • Katie-Wojciechowski on June 10, 2020 at 3:40 pm said:

      We wish we could offer an apprenticeship directly, but that’s not up to us at this moment. We’ll keep advocating for companies to create apprenticeship programs, and we hope that our resources will empower them to do so quickly.

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