Silicon Valley Rising

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

Silicon Valley Rising is addressing that by raising wages, creating affordable housing, and growing our middle class.

We're inspiring the tech industry to build an inclusive middle class.

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. In the past two decades, the number of Silicon Valley jobs in subcontracted industries has grown three times as fast as overall Silicon Valley employment.

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 10% 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 Invisible Workforce report

Tech's Invisible Workforce

Take a closer look at Silicon Valley's "invisible" subcontracting trend in this report from Silicon Valley Rising and Working Partnerships USA.

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.

  • Better Tech Jobs

    The tech industry relies on an army of subcontracted janitors, cafeteria workers, security officers, bus drivers, and other service workers. These workers, who are mostly black and Latino, work on the same campuses as direct tech employees, but on average are paid just one-sixth as much.

    We’re calling on tech companies to raise wages and ensure these workers have a voice on the job.

  • Inclusive Tech Economy

    For every tech job created in the Valley, four additional jobs are generated — teachers, nurses, waiters, retail clerks and more. Low wages at many of these jobs mean that a third of working households here struggle to make ends meet.

    We’re passing raise-the-floor policies, like higher minimum wages and protections from abusive schedules, so workers can survive on these jobs.

  • Affordable Housing

    As the tech boom drives up housing costs, working families are being priced out. People are forced to commute for hours, cram together in small apartments, or sleep on the streets.

    We’re fighting to protect renters’ rights, reduce homelessness, and expand access to affordable housing.

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, the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council, and Silicon Valley Rising Action, 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