A non-profit organization working to expand technology diversity through bootcamp

A diverse group of people gathered around a table looking at a laptop.

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Technology industry professionals work to expand diversity, equality, and inclusion through a newly founded nonprofit organization focused on software development training, coding, and professional community development.

The goal is to provide a path for underrepresented minorities to start a career in technology, regardless of whether a person is changing careers, unemployed or unemployed.

Recreate the skill of the AmericansThe first class of 130 graduated from the bootcamp in October 2021. They received mentorship from technology industry professionals, learned from 40 coaches, technical advisors, and project managers, and created 16 integrated projects.

first person perspective

Galen Harris, a black man in a dark blue business suit, standing with his hand on his chin

Galen Harris was part of the program’s initial group.

Technology “hasn’t always been of particular interest to me…but after knowing how much it is worth in terms of opportunity and potential growth, I became even more interested,” Harris said.

He had attended Bowling Green State University to study information technology but decided to take a break from school to focus on work. When things shut down due to the pandemic, Harris wanted to learn something new and got into coding.

At about the same time, he saw the inaugural US Reskill group’s invitation. He decided to apply and was accepted. Harris described the overall experience as a good one.

“You learn how to work as a team, collaborate, and learn to work through tough times,” Harris said. “…Sometimes things don’t make sense, so it takes self-discipline to do the research and get the answer you need.”

“But Riskel was also there as much as a helpful community,” he continued. “We had a lot of teachers, one-on-one sessions, one-on-one sessions. They did everything they could to help the people in the program succeed. It was basically like leaving no one behind.”

A sense of community and camaraderie developed within the group as well.

“Some people were already Learn to codeSome people were new to programming, but people with more experience helped those who didn’t. So, it was about getting people to the same page, which I honestly love.”

Harris now software engineer In the global technology department of McDonald’s. Harris applies new technologies to existing systems – things like kiosks and drive-through technology.

His experience with Reskill American and the opportunity with McDonald’s have inspired Harris to continue his professional growth and education. He is currently working to earn AWS Cloud Practitioner Certification.

How do you participate and what do you learn?

Reskill American is a 100% virtual program. Through the generosity and support of our donors and partner organizations, No tuition fees Initiative.

Content is presented asynchronously and synchronously over a seven-month program.

To apply for Reskill American, you must meet four eligibility requirements. you have to:

  • Be at least 18 years old and identify yourself as a historically underrepresented minority. The program focuses on people who identify as Black, Hispanic, Native American, Alaskan Native, Pacific Islander, or Southeast Asian
  • Be eligible to work in the United States
  • You have a computer connected to the Internet
  • You have a LinkedIn profile with a picture of yourself

Participants can focus on one of two educational tracks: Complete web development or UI/UX Product Designer.

In the full stack web course, you will learn HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

“By the end of the program, you will be able to develop websites and apps on your own,” Reskill American says on their website. Applications are submitted online.

People who take the Product UI/UX Designer track will learn how to gather user requirements, conduct customer research, and design product solutions.

You will also learn to use Figma, an industry standard tool, to share your designs with other technology professionals and project stakeholders.

In addition to developing technical skills and education, the program also offers a full list of support in the form of community and professional contacts.

This includes opportunities Meet with industry professionals Instructions for creating a file Active resume and LinkedIn profile. The job preparation part of the training also includes a simulation job interviews With experienced technology professionals.

Femi Akendi, a black man in glasses and a blue jacket, poses for a professional headshot photo.

In the tech world, timing is often everything, said show founder Femi Akendi. In 2020, the time was right. “He just saw that the tech industry was struggling to recruit diverse talent,” Akende said throughout his career.

He says he initially played a passive role in developing technological diversity. But when the social justice upheaval occurred in 2020, “I decided I wanted to be active,” Akendi said. So Reskill launched the Americans.

A nine-person advisory board, made up of technical professionals, helps guide the organization.

Akende said that during the pandemic, almost everyone has become more comfortable and familiar virtual education and work. Akendi felt the timing was right as virtual learning became natural.

Akindi said Reskill American American could be a great opportunity for people interested in entering technology who lack entry-level technical skills and are not in a position to leave their jobs.

achieve more Diversity, equality and inclusion In the world of professional technology it is a challenge. according to one report68% of Business leaders see a lack of diversity in their technical workforce. And 51% said they struggle to recruit diverse entry-level tech talent.

These difficulties may be inadvertently self-imposed due to the sometimes reclusive tech industry culture, Akende said.

“The tech industry usually has target companies and schools to recruit from,” Akende said.

If you have a degree from a reputable university or one that the hiring manager knows or works for a prominent company, you will likely have an advantage in attracting the attention of employers.

Harris said his experience at Reskill American inspired him to make continuous learning a part of him professional development to go forward.

“I highly recommend the people out there…Even when you get the job, or even if you finish a group, keep learning. [Employers] He pays you for what you know.”

The next priority, Akendi said, “is to get our second group off the ground.” For the first group, “We got participants from 42 states in the union. We’d like to reach every state in the union.”

Reskill American said it plans to announce registration information for the next group soon.

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