jobs Vocate

White House funded partnership to train disadvantaged youth for tech jobs

A partnership funded by nearly $4M from the White House and U.S. Dept of Labor’s TechHire Initiative aims to connect underserved adults with software development education, job opportunities

The Software Guild is partnering with LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City, Queens to provide free, high-quality software development education to at-risk youth and underserved populations. The program, known as TechIMPACT, is funded by a $3.9 million grant awarded to LaGuardia by the White House and US Department of Labor‘s TechHire Initiative.

The Software Guild and select additional tech training providers will provide accelerated education for more than 300 low-income New Yorkers (ages 17-29) over the next three years, using tools created by industry experts at Google, Facebook, and other large tech companies.

The TechHire funding will help more than 18,000 displaced youth, veterans, individuals with disabilities and people striving to overcome former criminal records learn the skills they need to succeed in today’s high-tech job market. In total, $150 million in grant funding was announced by Vice President Joe Biden and Labor Secretary Tom Perez. The funds will be dispersed among 39 education and business partnerships across 25 states.

“It’s an honor to be recognized as one of the nation’s most successful software development bootcamps. This grant funding speaks to the work of our teaching staff and our hundreds of successful alumni,” Eric Wise, Chief Academic Officer of The Software Guild said. “Coding skills are an integral part of today’s job market. We’re looking forward to further building a partnership in New York to help students who have the drive to succeed but not always the necessary economic support to learn these valuable skills.”

In an industry where the talent pool is not keeping pace with the speed at which technology jobs become available, The Software Guild has graduated more than 300 students across its three locations in Akron, Minneapolis and Louisville. All three cities are formally recognized as TechHire communities under President Barack Obama’s initiative and have rapidly growing technology industries.

Ninety-five percent of The Software Guild’s graduates from its on-the-ground programs have found employment following the end of their programs. A sampling of graduates are employed across the cyber security, health, development, and government sectors and hold titles as developers, consultants, analysts and software engineers.

“We’re extremely pleased to have been selected by the White House and the US Department of Labor for this highly competitive TechHire grant, which we believe reflects our understanding of the fast-evolving needs of the tech industry, and our dedication to helping people get out of poverty and into the middle class through education,” said LaGuardia Community College President Gail O. Mellow.

According to the TechHire initiative, America has more jobs available today than any point since 2001 and more than half a million are well-paying jobs in information technology, more than any other industry. As the industry is expected to grow by more than 20 percent through the year 2022, demand for The Software Guild’s coding bootcamp is increasing to fill the skills gap.

In addition to affordable skills training, the TechIMPACT partnership will help identify paid internships and employment opportunities with leading employers including, but not limited to, IBM, Walmart and Xerox. LinkedIn will also work to connect employers with the more than 3 million people in the New York tech talent pipeline.

Laura Ascione