The City of Baltimore is launching a fellowship that aims to serve as a pipeline to software development jobs with local government.
The Technology and Software Development Fellowship program will train Baltimore residents for software development positions in the Baltimore City Office of Information & Technology (BCIT) and the Baltimore City Health Department.
The city agencies are partnering with a pair of local orgs on the effort. One is Catalyte, the Otterbein-based company that uses predictive analytics to identify people with the potential to be great software developer regardless of background, and create more diverse tech teams. The other is Baltimore Corps, a nonprofit which seeks to create a more equitable city that has also been part of a wider city government fellowship program.
“Fundamentally, this partnership strengthens Baltimore’s technical infrastructure by enlisting local and area residents in software development,” Todd Carter, Baltimore City’s Chief Information Officer said in statement. “Given the realities of COVID-19, technology has never been more important to the health and wellbeing of our city,”
Catalyte already has teams of employees working with the Baltimore City Health Department and Baltimore City Mayor’s Office of Information & Technology that have completed their software development training program.
“As the fellowship progresses, it will utilize Catalyte’s technology platform to find, train, mentor and continue to develop software engineers from the local community,” said Jacob Hsu, CEO of Catalyte “It gives more city residents opportunities to enter the technology industry and land in-demand, family-sustaining careers.”
Catalyte, the city government and Baltimore Corps are already members of Retrain America, an initiative launched earlier this that seeks to bring together government, nonprofits and business to provide retraining for in-demand roles amid the pandemic and economic downturn.
The fellowship at the city shows a living example of those three sectors coming together. Its goal is to provide jobs for those left unemployed in the wake of the pandemic and fills the skills gap in tech positions for the government.
“The Technology and Software Development Fellowship is exciting because it allows us to create a pipeline for emerging talent within the City while giving them exposure to some of our most complex problems,” Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa said in a statement.
The fellowship’s launch arrives on the same week as a new Greater Baltimore Committee report calling for expanded inclusive workforce development efforts around a group of jobs that includes IT roles, and a greater role from the business community.
Donte Kirby is a 2020-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation.