In early 2014, Mike Gagnon had just graduated from the University of Vermont.
After working in the police department for six years, Gagnons passion for technology made him the perfect fit for an ambitious new venture: a startup called TechBurlington.
The company was a response to the lack of qualified tech workers in Burlington and the lack on-the-ground expertise needed to support the local economy.
The goal was to recruit talented tech talent for a jobless region.
“I was looking to be a part of something that would bring a bit of life back to the city,” Gagno recalls.
“And when I first got there, there were no jobs available for people that weren’t from Vermont.
We had a lot of candidates who were looking for jobs in the technology industry, and we didn’t know what that would look like.”
“The lack of tech workers is the biggest barrier to the growth of tech businesses,” Gaggone says.
“The reality is, it’s very hard for any of us who are coming out of the tech industry to find a job.”
The company’s mission statement focused on connecting tech workers to their local communities.
TechBurlyn had an online application process.
Anyone who wanted to apply was encouraged to contact Gagnones recruiter, Jason Lasseter.
“It was incredibly hard for a lot.
Jason, who is a really nice person and really passionate about helping people, took it very seriously,” Gannon says.
“[The recruiter] told me, ‘You’re going to need to do the interview and the phone interviews.
If you have the time, we’ll help you.’
I was like, ‘Wow, I can’t believe that.'”
Gagnoni says he didn’t get a call back.
“But after a couple of days, I got a call from Jason.
Jason said, ‘Look, I’m going to help you get a job.'”
After Gagnón took a few days off to focus on the job search, TechBurley was born.
The organization was born out of a desire to connect tech workers and tech-savvy communities in Burlington.
In 2017, TechBerlin launched, providing local tech talent with opportunities to live and work in the Bay Area.
Today, Tech Burley is a nonprofit organization that offers scholarships, grants, and internships for tech workers.
“There’s no shortage of talented people in the tech field,” Gaffney says.
TechBerlins mission is to help tech workers from across the Bay area, regardless of age, gender, or location, get the best possible start in their careers.
“We try to connect the best people with the right people,” Gagnes said.
“This is an organization that helps people that have the potential to get a great job.”
Gagnson says the TechBurlin platform helped him land a job in San Francisco.
“When I saw the salary range for people who were just starting out in the Valley, I knew it was a good fit for me,” Giggons cofounder says.
In addition to offering tech workers a better shot at getting a job, the company offers training and mentorship to help them develop their skills.
Techberlin also helps to connect people with local companies that can help them grow their business.
“TechBerlin gives people a chance to get their start in tech, and also gives people the opportunity to find jobs in tech,” Gaggerone says of the platform.
“In my opinion, that’s really the best thing.”
“This isn’t just an Internet-driven industry,” Giggs says.
He says there is an urgent need for people from the Bay to work in tech.
“A lot of the younger people are finding that they’re not getting the same opportunities in tech as older folks,” Gago says.
For Gagons first job in tech he had to learn how to code.
“All of these things that I had learned in law school were kind of new to me,” he says.
Gagney says that learning to code helped him gain confidence in his computer programming abilities and in the computer industry.
“That was really the start of my journey in tech.”
Giggoni says that he and his cofounder are committed to helping the tech community in Burlington thrive.
“As a community we need to be better at supporting our tech workers,” Gigone says, “and this is an opportunity to help.
We want to see more tech workers get opportunities and opportunities for our tech workforce.”
Gaggons story has inspired many others in the startup community.
“If you don’t have a strong tech presence in your community, it can be hard to attract talent,” Gasson says of his experience with TechBurly.
“What I hope the next generation of entrepreneurs does is to find their passion and be able to get involved in their community, not just in tech but in politics and other areas where they can make a difference.”
“I have an absolute love for technology,” Gug