Company / division: Yelp
Leslie Miley, who has been director of engineering at Slack, is working with Venture for America to start a program that will take employees of coastal tech companies and place them for one year at a time in new locations in the US, especially in minority communities, with salaries paid by their employers. Yelp and LinkedIn have signed up already. The initiative aims to break down a couple of facets of the tech industry’s lack of diversity, opening up opportunities for those in the communities served who may come from underrepresented groups, but also hopefully exposing the Silicon Valley types who participate in the program to new ways of thinking and lifestyles. This seems like a great initiative which should benefit both groups, and we should also see more from coastal tech companies investing in non-traditional locations in the US by putting offices and employees there. There are already several smaller tech hubs outside the traditional ones (including where I live in Utah), and they’re often able to attract great employees who don’t want to put up with the cost and other downsides of a Silicon Valley lifestyle.