Google is taking the first steps toward building a new type of web developer service that can help companies with low salaries hire developers in the country’s most populous city.
The search giant is building a developer program in Houston that will help companies hire software developers in a region where more than half of the workforce is made up of immigrants.
Google’s efforts in Houston come as the tech industry struggles to find qualified workers.
Companies like Apple, Facebook and Microsoft have recently started hiring workers in the region, hoping to fill positions with software engineers who can work on new projects.
But Google isn’t making any overt moves to hire workers in Houston or other parts of Texas that have low salaries, even though the company’s Houston offices are more than 100 miles away.
Instead, the search giant will hire local companies that will take a small percentage of the salary they can bring in through Google’s developer program, and that company will then send them to Google for work.
Google will then offer the developers job opportunities on its own website.
“We are actively recruiting developers from across the United States, and we’re seeing a big increase in the number of qualified applicants who are looking for new work in Houston,” said Andrew Blum, a Google software engineer in Houston.
“As a result, we’re looking at expanding the Google Developer Program to a new region,” Blum said.
The company says the program will allow companies to hire developers from anywhere in the U.S. and around the world.
Companies will be able to apply for jobs through the Google developer portal, which will be accessible to anyone in the world with a Google account.
“The opportunity to work in a city like Houston, the city that we’re building the program in, and to be a part of something that will be truly local is something that is really exciting for us,” said Eric Grosse, vice president of engineering and product management at Google.
Grosse said the company is working with local companies to make sure the program works in the right ways, so that local people get a fair shot.
He said that a handful of companies are working on the program and Google is looking to partner with them to ensure the program is fair.
Google has been hiring developers in Houston since 2014 and Blum is optimistic that the program can help the company grow.
“There’s definitely been a push in the last couple of years by Google, particularly since the rise of artificial intelligence and cloud computing, to be more globally competitive and that’s really where we are right now,” he said.
But Blum says he thinks Google will need more talent to fill the program.
“If you look at how the workforce has changed in the past two decades, the growth of the tech workforce, the demand for software engineers has gone up substantially,” he told The Wall St. Journal.
The Google program is a pilot program that will launch in January 2018 and will be rolled out over the next several months.
Google is hoping to hire 100 developers over the course of the pilot, and the company expects to hire about 200 developers over that time.
But hiring is going to be key to the success of the program, said Blum.
“Our hope is that our program will lead to the hiring of more and more developers, so we can eventually expand to a much larger number of developers,” he explained.
Blum said that Google’s focus is to help local companies with their software development needs, so it isn’t looking to recruit developers from out of state.
The program is being funded through a $20 million federal grant and a $10 million grant from the State of Texas.
Google hopes that other states will join Texas in using the money to help more companies get started.
The Houston tech scene has been hit hard by the recession and tech companies have been reluctant to invest in Houston because of its low wage and high unemployment.
But Blum and Google hope that the Google program will help local startups.
“In terms of attracting talent, it’s definitely the right way to go,” Blume said.