Join this community forum on the future of technology jobs in communities like Fresno and Bakersfield, following the collapse of Bitwise Industries. This event will be hosted by 1A's Jenn White and will take place Tuesday, November 14 at 6:30 p.m. in the Fresno City College Old Administration Building Auditorium.* The event will be recorded for a future national broadcast on 1A. Admission is free and open to the public. The event is part of 1A's Remaking America initiative, which is supported by the Corporation For Public Broadcasting.
Panelists will include:
Will Dyck, Fresno real estate developer and former Bitwise board member
Dr. Carole Goldmith, Chancellor of the colleges at State Center Community College District
Fresno-based Bitwise Industries was selling a big dream to smaller cities in California’s San Joaquin Valley and across the country. The company promised to teach tech industry job skills, like coding and web design, to anyone hoping to make the leap into the tech workforce. Bitwise Industries even drew the attention (and taxpayer funding) of the U.S. Department of Labor for their apprenticeship program. Bitwise expanded from communities in the shadow of Silicon Valley, like Bakersfield and Merced, to El Paso and even rust belt cities like Toledo and Buffalo. But the Bitwise dream didn’t last long.
The company experienced financial trouble and furloughed its 900 employees. A May 2023 lawsuit out of Texas alleges Bitwise improperly sought out loans and listed unauthorized properties for sale. About 400 people in the Fresno area lost their jobs. Bitwise’s fate raises questions about the tech industry's relationship with the rest of America, and what it means to “reskill” workers in America today.
*Free parking in lot K behind the OAB, AFTER 5PM