Local tech industry employers and job seekers gathered last week for the Washington Technology Industry Association’s (WTIA’s) second annual Draft Day.

The event, held on June 22 at the Galvanize co-working space in downtown Seattle, aimed to level the industry’s playing field when it came to finding diverse talent from a range of under-represented schools and individuals.

Draft Day candidates were nominated by their technical instructors, and applications were reviewed by an advisory council. WTIA hosted a training camp at Pacific Science Center earlier this month to offer expert assistance in areas such as resume building and interview tactics. Finalists were selected a week before Draft Day.

In an effort to remove any biases, candidate names and their respective colleges or training programs were omitted from their applications before they were reviewed by the advisory council and prospective employers, according to WTIA officials.

This year, 96 nominations were submitted, and 19 finalists were selected to participate in the event to meet with company representatives from Limeade, Lyft, RealSelf, PeopleConnect, Skytap, and Tableau to discuss job opportunities. Last year, 86 nominations were submitted, and 16 finalists were selected to participate in Draft Day. Five of those finalists were hired by local tech companies.