About CoLAB         


The region, from Baltimore to Richmond, is one of the nation’s leading tech employment hubs. Employers across all industries—from government and healthcare to the arts and energy—hire workers from an array of educational backgrounds to succeed in today’s increasingly digital economy.

However, regional employers risk 60,000 digital tech jobs going unfilled annually through 2025 unless they expand how they source talent. To keep pace with the region’s demand for digital skillsets and do so in a way that enables inclusive economic growth, employers must clearly signal their talent needs and proactively invest in their workforce pipeline.

Mission & Vision


Build the region’s diverse digital tech ecosystem by partnering with employers and educators to build industry-aligned digital tech pathways that ensure inclusive growth. 


The region will have the most diverse digital tech workforce in the country. 

2025 Goals

1. Engagement

Engage more than 45,000 students and adult learners in digital tech pathways

2. Diversity

Ensure at least 50% of the people we engage are from underrepresented populations

3. Industry

Double the number of partner organizations working to scale CoLAB initiatives and access tech talent

About the Employer Signaling System


The CoLAB’s Employer Signaling System (ESS) combines labor market information with employer insights and educator feedback to develop and refresh the knowledge, skills, abilities, and credentials (KSACs) needed for entry level IT roles in the region. The ESS is designed to provide educators with a snapshot of the KSACs and professional development opportunities that will prime students—starting in high school and continuing through post-secondary education—for some of the most in-demand jobs in our region.



About TalentReady


It is projected that 60,000 digital tech and tech-adjacent roles will go unfilled annually in the region through 2025.

TalentReady program aims to address this demand for tech talent by exposing thousands of high school students, primarily from diverse backgrounds, to the competencies that employers are seeking.

This initiative brings together K-12 and higher education leaders from five communities—Baltimore City, MD; Fairfax County, VA; Montgomery County, MD; Prince George’s County, MD; and the District of Columbia—to partner with each other and employers on designing pathways that connect high school curricula, postsecondary degrees, certifications, and real-world work experiences to in-demand IT careers.

Beginning in high school, students enrolled in TalentReady IT pathways will take a series of courses embedded with the competencies that employers in the region prioritize for entry-level jobs. At the same time, CoLAB will leverage its employer network to explore new ways of advancing project-based and work-based learning opportunities to students enrolled in IT pathways. The partnerships developed through this initiative will connect more young people from diverse backgrounds to economic opportunities, provide employers with the talent they need to thrive and strengthen the broader regional economy.

By providing students with meaningful training and workplace exposure, CoLAB aims to broaden the aperture of students gaining the skills and industry experience needed to successfully start a career in the digital tech economy. Check out CoLAB’s Digital Tech College & Career Readiness Series, a free video collection for students looking to launch their careers in digital tech.

TalentReady Goals

  1. Increasing student enrollment in demand-driven IT pathways that extend from high school through postsecondary education
  2. Ensuring more regional employers hire youth with credentials from key K-12 jurisdictions and higher educational institutions in the region
  3. Providing more information for the Employer Signaling System to empower educators to design and scale career pathways aligned to current, regional workforce needs
  4. Connecting learners, educators, and employers across the work-based learning spectrum and coordinating efforts.

TalentReady Jurisdictions:


TalentReady is funded by:


Are you a college or university representative interested in learning more? Are you an employer who wants access to a pipeline of talented students?

Contact [email protected] today to get involved.

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