Silicon Valley Rising

While tech companies make massive profits, the workers who keep them running smoothly have been left behind.

Silicon Valley Rising is here to fix that by raising wages, creating affordable housing, and growing our middle-class.

We're building a tech economy that works for everyone.

A Hidden Crisis: Underemployment in Silicon Valley’s Hourly Workforce

Despite being one of the wealthiest regions in the nation, Silicon Valley faces growing inequality. This report reveals a crisis of underemployment behind this trend, with a massive increase in part-time jobs with inadequate work hours that deny many the chance at a meaningful paycheck. This struggling workforce is comprised primarily of women, people of color and immigrants, with 77 percent earning under $15 an hour.

Endorse the Opportunity to Work Initiative

Why Silicon Valley Rising?

Low wage workers do their part to make Silicon Valley the most prosperous region in the world, yet they struggle every day to feed their families, pay their rent, and take care of themselves and their children when they are sick.

Although the region's top tech firms made a record $103 billion in profits in 2013, one in three Silicon Valley households do not make enough money to meet their most basic needs.

While their direct employees are often well compensated, high tech companies contract out most of their jobs to workers who are poorly paid and don't receive basic benefits.

And in a stark diversity gap, blacks and Latinos make up the majority of these janitors, food service workers, maintenance workers, security guards, and shuttle bus drivers who help build and sustain the tech economy — yet comprise just 3-4% of the core tech workforce.

Median Wages for Tech and Contract Workers

Santa Clara County, 2014

Graph showing how median wages for landscapers, janitors, and security officers is less than the self-sufficiency index, while software developers make much more.

Source: California Employment Development Department

Tech’s Diversity Problem: More Than Meets the Eye

Tech's Diversity Problem:
More Than Meets the Eye

Learn more about the tech industry's two-tier workforce in this Working Partnerships report.

We can do better

Silicon Valley Rising is taking on occupational segregation and severe income inequality with a comprehensive campaign to raise wages, create affordable housing and build a tech economy that works for everyone.

  • Quality Jobs

    A third of the population in the most prosperous region in America struggles to make ends meet. For every tech job created in the valley, 4 service jobs are needed to support it. Those jobs must pay workers enough to survive.

    Most low wage workers have no health benefits, paid sick leave or retirement options. Just as Silicon Valley is a leader in technological innovation, so too can it lead the way toward middle class self-sufficiency.

    Silicon Valley Rising will strive to engage employers and local government in public policies that will allow working families to earn enough to live in this region.

  • Affordable Housing

    The dismantling of the largest homeless encampment in America highlighted Silicon Valley's extreme housing crisis.

    The average rent in the region is $1800 a month for a one bedroom apartment — hardly affordable or adequate for a family of four earning below $40,000 a year.

    Through community, faith and labor partnerships, Silicon Valley Rising will pursue progressive public policy to enable working families to afford to live where they work.

  • Corporate Responsibility

    Contract workers are still tech workers. Tech companies that employ security contractors, food service contractors and shuttle contractors have a responsibility to make sure those workers are treated with the same dignity and respect as the employees whose paychecks say Apple or Google.

    Silicon Valley Rising will work to engage these corporations in seeking ways to ensure their contractors are allowing their workers to earn a living wage, have the chance to receive health and retirement benefits and can take advantage of policies like paid sick leave.

In the news

Get involved

Join the Silicon Valley Rising campaign!

Help us ensure all tech workers can make a decent living:

Follow Silicon Valley Rising

Facebook Icon  Twitter Icon

Who we are

Silicon Valley Rising is a coordinated campaign driven by an unprecedented coalition of labor, faith leaders, community-based organizations and workers.

We aspire to a new vision for Silicon Valley where all workers, their families and communities are valued. We have high expectations for this Valley and for our communities:

  • We want to be a part of creating a new economic model that rebuilds the middle class.
  • We want to raise wages and standards for all workers so they can live and thrive here.
  • And we want to build housing that is affordable and accessible so that our families don't have to live in garages, in their cars, or near a creekbed.

Our campaign is about bringing everyone in this Valley together to solve the biggest challenges of our time. Join us!

Coalition members

The campaign is led by Working Partnerships USA and the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council, along with:

  • Affordable Housing Network
  • Asian Americans for Community Involvement
  • Communication Workers of America
  • Interfaith Council on Economics and Justice
  • International Brotherhood of Teamsters
  • Latinos United for A New America
  • Minority Business Consortium
  • NAACP San Jose Chapter
  • Our Lady of Guadalupe
  • Rainbow PUSH Coalition
  • SEIU Local 521
  • Silicon Valley De-Bug
  • UNITE HERE Local 19

Silicon Valley Rising