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WDCEP and Byte Back have launched a new tech inclusion scholarship

It's called the Pathways Scholarship, and it's targeted at under- and unemployed D.C. residents.

Deputy Mayor Brian Kenner speaks at the finished In3 space. (Photo by Tajha Chappellet-Lanier)

In announcement coinciding with InnoMAYtion 2017, the Washington DC Economic Partnership (WDCEP) has teamed up with a bunch of local companies to offer a new tech inclusion scholarship called The Pathways Scholarship.

The initiative will “create tech opportunities for under- and unemployed communities in D.C.” by providing tech training, mentorship and employment services. WDCEP has already partnered with Byte Back, Thinkful, In3 and the MEANS Database as collaborators in this initiative — each will have a distinct role.

Byte Back, the local nonprofit that teaches computer skills to underserved D.C. residents, will “identify potential applicants and support on-going technology and workforce training.”

  • Thinkful, the online coding bootcamp that recently set up shop in D.C., will give five scholarships for technical training in web development and data science (one full scholarship and four partial scholarships).
  • In3, the new inclusive innovation incubator, will provide a space for local mentors to meet with scholarship recipients.
  • MEANS Database will be an employment partner, “providing job opportunities to graduates of this program.”

The group is looking for additional partners in hiring, funding and housing.

This new program fits within the zeitgeist of Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Pathways to Inclusion report, which set the goal of creating 5,000 new tech jobs for underrepresented workers. Five scholarships is certainly only a small chunk of this 5,000, but it’s also a concrete step in the right direction.

“By offering these scholarships, WDCEP, Thinkful, and In3 intend to demonstrate inclusion in action,” Kevin Morgan, WDCEP’s director of tech-sector attraction and retention, said in a statement. “We see this as an opportunity both to provide training that would otherwise be inaccessible and to learn what works — and what doesn’t — with respect to inclusive training programs in the tech sector.”

Companies: Byte Back / Washington, DC Economic Partnership
People: Muriel Bowser
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