Diversity & Inclusion
COVID-19 / Municipal government / Workplace culture

Here’s what Tech Impact is doing with $2M in CARES Act Funding

The IT nonprofit will lead a rapid workforce training program, along with partners like Code Differently.

Free IT workforce training is available. (Photo by Pexels user Lukas, used under a Creative Commons license)

Tech Impact will lead IT training and certification programs under Forward Delaware, the state’s rapid workforce training and redeployment training initiative — and $2 million of Delaware’s $10 million in federal CARES Act funds will go toward making the programs free to unemployed and underemployed residents.

Through the nonprofit’s Tech Hire program, Tech Impact will act as an intermediary with Delaware’s workforce system and will be responsible for recruiting more than a hundred people into free certificate training programs, helping recruits build soft skills while they learn their new trade and then connecting them to employers.

One of the organizations that will lead training programs is Code Differently, which began offering free coding camps for unemployed Delawareans in early October.

“Code Differently is going to be putting at least 50 folks through training through this grant,” Patrick Callihan, executive director of Tech Impact, told Technical.ly. “The reason we partnered with them was really because they are hyper-focused on getting under-rerpresented folks into technology — specifically into application development, coding, and web development.”

“The research is clear that diversity unlocks innovation; however, technology development representation does not nearly mirror the customers that use technology,” said Stephanie Eldridge, CEO of Code Differently. “We focus on increasing diversity in technology. The Forward Delaware initiative will allow us to remove barriers associated with technology career awareness, access, and education by providing flexible training schedules, technology equipment, and a community of instructors and supporters. Looking forward to early 2021, we hope to see an immediate increase in underrepresented people in technology being employed in our local market.”

Other partners will include Zip Code Wilmington, Tech Elevator and The Precisionists, a Wilmington organization that works to bridge the disability employment divide. In addition, Tech Impact’s own free workforce development program, ITWorks, which trains underemployed people ages 18 to 26 with no college degree, will have a cohort funded.

“[Tech Impact] will be an intermediary and a training provider,” Callihan said. Interested jobseekers should fill out a form at techhiredelaware.org, after which they will be contacted by a Tech Hire coordinator who will assess their goals and connect them with the best options for a training program. Students who complete the training will also receive help crafting their resumes and interview training.”

This is the first time Tech Impact has served as an intermediary on this scale, sitting between the Delaware Department of Labor and smaller providers, the executive director said.

Interested job seekers should apply as soon as possible — it’s required that the $2 million has to be spent by the end of they year, with training programs completing by the end of March.

Companies: Code Differently / Tech Elevator / Zip Code Wilmington / Tech Impact

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