Coalition Led by Bitwise Industries Launches OnwardCO, Colorado’s COVID-19 Support Platform

For immediate release

Date: April 20, 2020
Contact: Office of Government, Policy and Public Relations
cdle_pr@state.co.us
Web: colorado.gov/cdle


Denver, Colorado. April 20, 2020 - Today, Bitwise Industries (www.bitwiseindustries.com), in direct coordination with Colorado Governor Jared Polis, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE), and the Kapor Center, launched an online resource for Colorado’s workers impacted by the COVID-19 virus, onwardco.org

The new platform, powered by Shift3 Technologies, Salesforce, and Mastercard, is a one-stop resource providing support to Coloradans impacted by job loss in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Displaced workers looking for help can use the platform to: 
  • Connect to emergency resources, like food, shelter, childcare, and money
  • Find training programs to upskill for a new career
  • Find job opportunities

“As we work to ensure the health and safety of Coloradans during these unprecedented times, it’s critical that we also help the economy recover. OnwardCO is a key tool in that effort,” said Governor Polis. 

OnwardCO is not just another list of resources for workers. By connecting existing resources like 2-1-1IndeedLinkedInMyColoradoJourney, among others, the site brings together all of the COVID-19 resources and organizations in Colorado and dynamically matches users based on their location and preferences to the information they need most. Instead of going to multiple sites to look for resources or work, Coloradans looking for work can now go to OnwardCO.org on their computer or phone and find what they need.

“Colorado has been deeply impacted by the pandemic. Individuals have lost jobs, are unable to access necessities and don’t know where to go for help,” said Jake Soberal, CEO and co-founder, Bitwise Industries. “This is the time to act and Bitwise saw an opportunity to serve our community by bringing together the resources people need most into one place. With the help of the Governor’s team and multiple other critical partners, we created a centralized online source of information to help workers suffering from job loss amidst COVID-19 get back on their feet.”

"We immediately saw how this virus affected people’s lives, especially small business owners and workers," remarked Freada Kapor Klein, Co-Chair, Kapor Center. “We’ve always supported and mobilized entrepreneurs, focusing on those whose lived experience helps them solve real problems in their communities. Our support of OnwardCO is meant to get the gears of the economy going again.”  

While the stay-at-home orders remain in effect, there are critical businesses in desperate need of workers, companies hiring for roles you can do from home, and online training and career exploration tools to help prepare you for your next career step. While not everyone is able to work, OnwardCO can meet the needs of those who could benefit from finding employment during the pandemic.

“We know people are feeling the economic impact of the pandemic and we want to do everything we can to make sure they have the resources and information they need to weather the storm,” said Joe Barela, Executive Director of CDLE.

CDLE encourages all Coloradans to visit OnwardCO.org today and share it with someone who may benefit from its resources. By providing these connections, the people of Colorado can get back to work and know that, despite social distancing, they are not alone. 

About Bitwise Industries
Bitwise Industries is using an ecosystem solution to fix the way the world sources tech talent. Its ecosystem operates in three parts: (1) Workforce, (2) Industry and (3) Infrastructure.

  • Workforce is branded as Geekwise Academy, a coding bootcamp that removes the hurdles that block individuals living in poverty from entering the technology industry (i.e., transportation, childcare, counseling, food security, mental health services, etc.). 
  • Industry is branded as Shift3 Technologies, an enterprise software consulting firm composed almost exclusively of Geekwise Academy graduates. Shift3 serves as proof positive that you can build world-class tech teams of non-traditional talent. 
  • Infrastructure takes the form of a real estate business in which Bitwise partners with real estate developers to change blighted locations into technology hubs. 

This ecosystem combines to lift cities while opening new, and deep tech talent pipelines to the world. Bitwise was founded in Fresno, CA, in 2013 and has since expanded to Bakersfield, CA, and Merced, CA. www.bitwiseindustries.com

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