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TechStart and TAO Form Alliance to Advance Computer Science Education

TAO TechStart

Oregon Non-Profits Will Connect Tech Industry Resources with Educators and Students


PORTLAND, ORE. – September 30, 2020 –
TechStart, an Oregon non-profit supporting computer science education, and the Technology Association of Oregon (TAO) today announced the formation of an alliance to improve and expand K-12 computer science education in Oregon and Southwest Washington.

“For almost twenty years, TechStart has been a bridge between the tech industry and K-12 education. We have supported computer science learning through hands-on programs and great partnerships. The need to better connect the area’s thriving tech sector with students and educators hasn’t slowed and, in fact, has grown. Our alliance with the Technology Association of Oregon will help make this critical connection,” said TechStart Board Chair and tech industry veteran John Tortorici.

“I’m excited about our alliance with TechStart,” said TAO President and CEO Skip Newberry. “Our region’s technology industry needs a strong local pipeline of future computer scientists, developers and innovators—and this alliance will help further develop that pipeline. Our members are also eager to support tech education programs, and this alliance will help connect the dots.”

As part of the alliance, TAO and its members will provide operational support to TechStart in the form of volunteers, host company tours and funding. This support will enable TechStart to ensure the ongoing viability of key computer science education programs, including:

  • SuperQuest—An Oregon Computer Science Teachers Association (OCSTA) program that provides intensive, hands-on workshops to K-12 educators statewide.
  • The Oregon Game Project Challenge (OGPC)—This statewide game programming competition introduces students to computer programming basics while also educating them in science, art and current events.
  • George Fox Programming Contest—This annual statewide high school competition requires teams to solve challenging programming problems in a tight time frame.

“The TechStart-TAO alliance will help TechStart with volunteers from the tech industry who will be able to relate firsthand experience and educate young people about careers in technology,” said John Tortorici. 

TAO forecasts a continuing shortage of workers with advanced computing skills who are needed to drive growth in the region’s tech sector. Addressing this gap begins in K-12 classrooms.

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About TechStart
TechStart is an all-volunteer Oregon-based 501(c)3 non-profit committed to expanding access to computer science education for K-12 students in Oregon. For more information, visit www.techstart.org

About Technology Association of Oregon
The Technology Association of Oregon seeks to create a world-class and inclusive innovation economy in Oregon and SW Washington. TAO helps the region’s technology and tech-enabled industries grow through programs and initiatives that focus on advocacy, community, visibility and resources. For more information, visit www.techoregon.org.

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