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Bakersfield Looks to Fresno’s Bitwise with $750,000 Job-Training Contract



Aerial photo of the Bitwise Buiding in downtown Fresno, CaliforniawwP
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Bakersfield officials hope to accomplish dual goals — train local tech workers and help people who lost income during the pandemic — with a contract now under negotiation with Fresno-based software hub Bitwise Industries.

On Wednesday the City Council voted 6-0 to authorize City Manager Christian Clegg to finalize an agreement not to exceed $750,000 exposing 400 career prospects to the tech industry, training 100 of them and then finding 50 of them paid apprenticeships.

Bitwise has provided similar services elsewhere in the state using its Geekwise Academy model, which was pioneered in Fresno. The company is in the process of expanding to downtown Bakersfield, where it hopes to begin operation after the pandemic subsides; that project predates the city contract talks.

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