Diversity & Inclusion
Career development / COVID-19 / Software / Workplace culture

Zip Code Wilmington reports success — and doubled salaries — with its state-backed coding cohort

Thirty-eight students were trained under the tech training org via the Rapid Workforce Training and Redeployment Initiative. So far, the graduates' new jobs represent a combined $2.8 million in earned wages.

Zip Code Wilmington's office at The Mill. (Photo by Holly Quinn)

Through Forward Delaware, part of the Rapid Workforce Training and Redeployment Initiative (aka the governor’s Executive Order 43), the State of Delaware invested $474,000 in Zip Code Wilmington alone.

The goal was to get Delawareans trained and placed into jobs quickly in response to the plummet in employment caused by COVID-19 — and, while it’s just one of many organizations involved with the initiative, Zip Code reports that its part in it has been a success. Thirty-five of the 38 students (92%) who received tuition through Forward Delaware have already been placed in full-time positions, while the remaining three graduates are actively interviewing with local businesses.

These jobs, according to Zip Code, represent a combined $2.8 million in earned wages, an increase of $1.5 million from their combined total earnings before attending the program. Prior to entering Zip Code, the students’ annual salaries collectively averaged $32,200. The hired graduates are now earning an annual average salary of $79,700.

“It is remarkable to see 38 students enter our coding cohorts with funding from the Governor’s EO43, reskill as software engineers within a mere 12 weeks, and then more than double their pre-Zip Code Wilmington salaries,” said Ben du Pont, cofounder of Zip Code and managing partner of Chartline Capital Partners, in a statement. “This was an invaluable initiative created by Gov. John Carney, and ably executed by Secretary of Labor Karryl Hubbard and Deputy Cabinet Secretary Rachel Turney. We could not be more grateful to them on behalf of our graduates and the Delaware business community, and we commend the Governor and his team for supporting workforce development during this uncertain time when so many people need new skills to reenter the workforce.”

Some of the companies that have hired graduates of the cohort include CSC, Epic Research, JPMorgan Chase, Vanguard and WSFS. Thirty-two percent of the graduates identify as people of color and 37% are women.

“This is what Zip Code Wilmington does best — as a nonprofit, our mission is to support the economy of the region,” said Desa Burton, Zip Code’s executive director. “We welcome the opportunity to work with the Delaware Department of Labor on any future initiatives that will support workforce development during the current state of economic recession.”

Companies: State of Delaware / Zip Code Wilmington

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