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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — The White House is adding 15 new communities to its “TechHire” initiative for getting low-skilled workers jobs in the tech economy.

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The expansion comes a year after President Barack Obama announced the program and days before he’s scheduled to speak at the South by Southwest technology festival in Austin. President Obama will be the first sitting president to speak at the annual music, film and interactive media gathering, which drew more than 80,000 attendees last year.

The initiative pairs private employers with cities and states to create accelerated training programs such as coding boot camps.

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The newest communities include two states — Hawaii and Virginia — and 13 cities from Flint, Michigan, to Jackson, Mississippi. No federal money is tied to the distinction.

Federal officials point to Rhode Island’s 6-month-old program as a model.

Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo says her state is working with employers to train and place 2,000 people over the next four years.

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