4 Min Read • November 29, 2023

Cal Poly Humboldt Joins SkillStorm's Nationwide Initiative to Bridge Tech Skills Gaps; Support California’s Booming Innovation Economy

The California State University system’s northernmost campus partners with SkillStorm to build affordable, accessible pathways to tech careers; close skill gaps in the state’s tech industry

ARCATA, CA; November 29, 2023 — Cal Poly Humboldt today announced a new partnership designed to help businesses close tech talent gaps in the state’s fast-growing tech sector. 

The initiative, developed in collaboration with tech talent accelerator SkillStorm, will provide employers across California with a robust pipeline of home-grown tech talent, including Cal Poly Humboldt students, as well as a means to upskill their existing workforce through career-aligned training programs that lead to industry-recognized credentials.

"At Cal Poly Humboldt, we believe everyone should be able to access the skills training needed to take advantage of the many career opportunities presented by the state’s high-tech industry," said Cindy Bumgarner, dean for the College of Extended Education & Global Engagement. "Together with SkillStorm, we’re working to ensure that tech careers are within reach for every Californian — including Cal Poly Humboldt students —while also meeting the accelerating talent needs of our state’s most innovative employers."

California is the tech capital of the world, with 1.88 million workers and nearly 50,000 tech employers strong. According to CompTIA’s 2023 “State of the Tech Workforce” report, the Golden State is ranked #1 in the nation for net tech employment, #1 in growth in employer job postings for tech roles, and #2 for year-over-year job gains.

The state of California is also home to global high-tech innovation hub Silicon Valley, where Big Tech giants like Alphabet, Apple, Meta, Intel, and NVIDIA have planted roots alongside tech startups working on artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and Big Data. Major cities including Los Angeles, Sacramento, and San Diego are also among the top metropolitan areas for tech industry job growth, particularly for roles in software development, systems engineering, and network architecture.

This is no accident; California not only hosts the top ten AI investors in the world but also the nation’s largest and most diverse four-year public university system: California State University. This creates the right conditions for revolutionary technological advancement, high-wage tech industry employment, and persistent employer demand for qualified talent with bleeding-edge tech skills.

To address this demand, Cal Poly Humboldt is launching several new IT certification training programs. Using SkillStorm’s unique training platform, the program will offer a range of courses that equip students with the most in-demand tech skills including AWS, CompTIA and Salesforce. These certifications will enable employers to keep pace with the ever-evolving tech industry by providing training to their current workforce, while also preparing the next generation of qualified tech professionals.

“As California’s tech industry continues to advance, it is critical that employers, higher ed institutions, and training providers band together to ensure that today’s workforce doesn’t fall behind,” said Joe Mitchell, COO at SkillStorm. “Our work is about not just addressing immediate tech skill needs, but building a resilient and future-proof talent pool that enables businesses across the state to prepare for tomorrow’s world of work.”


About SkillStorm

SkillStorm is bringing together Fortune 500 employers, universities, and government agencies to build tomorrow’s highly skilled tech workforce. Through partnerships with platforms like Pega, Salesforce, and ServiceNow, we help working learners and aspiring tech experts build in-demand skills and earn industry-recognized certifications to compete in an increasingly dynamic economy. Our work is rooted in the belief that closing skill gaps and boosting economic mobility are two sides of the same coin, and that new approaches to training can help to both expand the pool of skilled tech talent and create new pathways to opportunity. 

About Cal Poly Humboldt

Surrounded by world-famous redwoods and minutes from the Pacific Ocean, Cal Poly Humboldt is the northernmost campus in the 23 campus California State University system. Founded as a teachers college in 1913, Cal Poly Humboldt has become a leader in natural resources and sciences and has developed a solid foundation in liberal arts. Today, Cal Poly Humboldt is building on its historic strengths in STEM programs and experiential learning as the first polytechnic in Northern California and only the third in the state. With its long-standing commitment to sustainability and social justice, Cal Poly Humboldt is teaching students to tackle today’s most pressing issues, developing specialized programs related to climate resiliency, wildfire management, natural resources, renewable energy, marine sciences, and more.

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