Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Delaware grants Zip Code Wilmington $4.5M to train low-income residents

The Break Into Tech Scholarship will support more than 200 Delaware residents training to be Java software developers, data analysts and data engineers.

Zip Code Wilmington students in January 2020.

(Courtesy photo)

Over the next three years, more than 200 low income Delawareans most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic will receive full tuition and living stipends to attend Zip Code Wilmington’s 12-week bootcamp with a Break Into Tech Scholarship.

The scholarship, which will train residents to be highly sought-after Java software developers, data analysts and data engineers, is made possible by a commitment from the Sate of Delaware in the form of $4.5 million over the next three years.

“We need to make sure that Delawareans have the skills needed to compete for good-paying jobs of the future,” Gov. John Carney said in a statement. “That’s why we’re targeting these workforce development investments in industries like technology and engineering that are in-demand today, and growing. Zip Code Wilmington is a perfect example of the kind of program that works. These investments will help low-income Delawareans who were most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, by getting them the skills they need to start a career that can support their families over the long run. That’s a big deal.”

The creation of the Break Into Tech Scholarship is a testament to the success of  Zip Code Wilmington’s efforts under the 2020 Forward Delaware program which provided scholarship recipients with a stipend while attending the rigorous full-time bootcamp. Tuition to be paid in full by the State of Delaware amounts to $15,000, plus a living expenses stipend of more than $1,000 each month — a necessity to attend for low-income students, since the intensity of the program makes having a job at the same time not feasible.

“This grant will make it possible for unemployed or underemployed Delawareans, including those working at minimum wage jobs, to transition into salaried tech careers and transform their lives forever,” Executive Director Desa Burton said. “This generous grant will make access to high-quality tech training a reality for many Delaware residents living in poverty and impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and thereby help lift residents into good paying, high-demand, financially stable tech careers.”

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Claire DeMatteis, special assistant to the governor, noted that many low-income residents fall within the financial assistance gap, forcing them to find funding for education and reskilling programs like Zip Code Wilmington on their own. Now, she said, “we are proud to fund such an esteemed and well-respected program like Zip Code Wilmington, and we have confidence they will not only provide top notch tech training, but will also be a partner in helping to place graduates in long-term careers.”

Applications are being accepted now through March 10 for the summer session, which runs from June 20 to Sept. 9. Low- to middle-income Delaware residents can submit a request for the Break Into Tech Scholarship during the application process. Approximately 25 Break Into Tech Scholarship students will be selected for each of the three cohorts per year for the next three years.

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