If you’ve been wondering what WeWork would do with the acquisition of the Flatiron School, here’s an early answer.
WeWork tells Technical.ly exclusively that it will open a new program this spring at its WeWork Dumbo Heights location called Access Labs, to be run by the Flatiron School, the coding school WeWork acquired in October.
“Part of WeWork bringing Flatiron School into the fold was to think about the future of work and the future of learning and thinking about how it can make education more accessible and more relevant to people in their careers,” Flatiron cofounder Adam Enbar told Technical.ly by phone Wednesday.
Access Labs will occupy a full floor of the WeWork Dumbo Heights building on Prospect Street, giving the program its own “campus,” Enbar said. The curriculum will be more or less the same full-time, 15-week software engineering program Flatiron School offered previously. The program will only be available for low-income New Yorkers, those making $35,000 a year or less.
The coding bootcamp, which had come with a $15,000 price tag, will have no upfront cost, in an effort to make it more doable for people whose financing wouldn’t otherwise let them participate.
It’s not free, though, students begin paying back the tuition after six months, but only if they’ve found a job in the field. If a student doesn’t find employment after six months, they don’t owe any tuition payment.
Is Enbar expecting the program to be profitable?
“We’ll see. I hope so,” he said. “If it’s something we can do and break even then that means we can scale it and do it for a lot more people. It just so happens that this model of design is that the only way it can be profitable is if it works. If the students don’t get jobs, then we shouldn’t be running it anyway.”
Access Labs’ first two classes will have 20 students in them and will begin in April and June of this year. If they go well, Enbar hopes to add classes and expand the program.
Following the Flatiron School acquisition in October, there was plenty of speculation as to how a coding bootcamp could fit into WeWork’s model. The idea of coding classes for WeWork members was floated as one avenue for adding value to the coworking spaces. Adding a labor pipeline of the always in-demand software developers might be an even better perk. For those Access Labs graduates looking for work after the program, many might only have to head upstairs.