KeyBank Foundation Invests $300,000 in Bitwise Industries Toledo to Promote Social and Fiscal Mobility Through Technical Training

May 24, 2022 9:00 AM ET
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The KeyBank Foundation announced it is investing $300,000 in Bitwise Industries Toledo to help its mission of creating 21st century economic opportunities for the overlooked and underprivileged in America’s most underestimated cities. This transformative grant is part of KeyBank’s $40 billion National Community Benefits Plan and is symbolic of the bank’s longstanding commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

“Bitwise takes an innovative approach to revitalization by bringing innovative opportunities in technology that ignite human potential in every community they serve,” said James Hoffman, KeyBank Northwest Ohio Market President. “We are proud to stand with and assist them as they support workforce development, facilitate technology innovation and work to bring more prosperity and lasting impact to Toledo and Northwest Ohio.”

“KeyBank’s commitment will only accelerate and strengthen the work we are currently undertaking in the Toledo area to create accessible pathways to high-wage, high-growth jobs in tech,” said Jake Soberal, CEO and co-founder of Bitwise Industries. “It’s important that the community comes together to uplift some of the most vulnerable, as we have seen how transformative this can be for a city.”

Based in Fresno, California, Bitwise Industries is one of the largest tech apprenticeship providers in the nation. Bitwise has three components: its Workforce Training programs, Enterprise Tech Consulting, and Real Estate. It leverages the enterprise consulting to pair senior and junior level developers where apprentices can acquire a portfolio of work and earn while they learn. In each city Bitwise serves, they acquire and rehabilitate historical buildings in overlooked areas, which are then converted into a regional center of operation and innovation, helping to rejuvenate a community.

Bitwise is currently developing the Toledo Innovation Center in The Jefferson Building, located at 1300 Jefferson Avenue. It will serve as a center of innovation and entrepreneurship. The facility will offer state of the art coworking office spaces, and will serve as a hub for the work of Bitwise Industries. Bitwise leverages public-private partnerships to provide paid training to students who learn tech skills and are connected with meaningful tech opportunities. At the core of the facility's mission will be racial, ethnic, socio-economic, and gender diversity.

The three-year goal of the program is to produce 800 quality jobs in the tech industry, while positively affecting and revitalizing the surrounding area and community, both directly and by creating nearly 3,500 ancillary jobs in the surrounding region.