LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville is one 21 communities across the country that could get millions of federal dollars to operate short-term training programs for “tech” jobs as part of

Louisville and the other localities will be eligible to compete for awards from a new grant pool of $100 million, said Jeff Zients, director of the National Economic Council, on a conference call with reporters.

Zients said the initiative is meant to spur intense, job-focused programs of 3 to 6 months instead of two-year or four-year degrees – though community colleges and universities could be involved.

He said about 500,000 “IT” (information technology) jobs are unfilled across the country in sectors from healthcare to manufacturing to retail.

The goal is to make the United States the “world leader in innovative models to train and place the next generation of tech workers our economy needs,” Zients said. 

, the software coding bootcamp led by the regional workforce investment board KentuckianaWorks, is the kind of program Obama administration officials want to see more of nationwide, said Megan Smith, chief technology officer at the White House.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer joined Zients and Smith on the media call.

“The world technology needs are just moving a lot faster than traditional education solutions – that's the fundamental problem here (and) that's why these unconventional methods are needed right now,” Fischer said.

It wasn't immediately clear how much money Louisville could get from the new grant pool. Fischer noted that Code Louisville recently received $2.9 million from the U.S. Department of Labor.

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