Local computer science education nonprofit Code in the Schools is partnering with Otterbein-based tech workforce company Catalyte to fill 10 spots in an apprenticeship program for recent Baltimore city high school grads.
Called Code Career Cataylst, the initiative is offering a free six-month training program in software development. Participants will be chosen for the training program upon taking an assessment after two weeks of free classes with Code in the Schools, which are tailored to the student’s level.
As Technical.ly has reported, Catalyte seeks to train people from all backgrounds as software engineers, using the online assessment as a tool to gauge an applicant’s aptitude for an engineering career.
“Catalyte’s initial screening process is not skills-based. Anyone, with or without technical knowledge, education or experience is on equal footing when taking the screening,” said Dana Ledyard, regional managing director at Catalyte and the company’s lead on the partnership. “What we look for is how someone thinks, their problem solving abilities and if they can adapt throughout the process.”
The partnership is providing a tech focus for the third cycle of the Grads2Careers program, a partnership between Baltimore City Public Schools, the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development, and the nonprofit Baltimore’s Promise. It aims to provide job training recent high school grands and provide connections to professional paths. In this case, there’s an immediate job opportunity: Those who successfully complete the six-month training are hired into Catalyte’s two-year apprenticeship program at a salary of $35,000 per year, with benefits.
Typically unpaid until the last six weeks of the program, Code in the Schools has secured a stipend for the 10 apprentices for the full six months, thanks to contributions from Baltimore digital services agency Fearless and the Motorola Solutions Foundation.
If chosen for the six-month program, a trainee will be paired with an instructor and a teaching assistant. Trainees learn the fundamentals of full-stack development, agile methodologies and team/workplace dynamics. The curriculum is designed to teach concepts applicable across all technical stacks, including: front-end languages and frameworks, relational databases, logic layer/unit testing and exposure to design patterns and containers.
The only qualifications are graduation from a Baltimore city high school within the last two years, and the dedication to study for six months to become a software developer. Applications are available at Code in the Schools’ site. The program will be accepting students on a rolling admission until they fill the 10 seats.
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. -30-