Our NVF full-stack coding bootcamp has just completed its first ever cohort. In 2023, NVF was awarded with American Rescue Plan Act funding from the City of Saint Paul and Ramsey County Workforce Solutions to support the new Learn & Earn initiative. We partnered with Software for Good (SfG) to teach and train young adults of color for the tech workforce. In the year-long program students split their time between NVF and SfG. The first 6 months of the program concluded last month with the students graduating from NVF’s full-stack coding bootcamp. Now the bootcamp graduates have begun their apprenticeship program at SfG.

Ten students were selected to participate in the Trailblazer cohort through a highly competitive application and interview process. The students come from diverse backgrounds – which was the intent of the program; to provide opportunities to underrepresented youth from Ramsey County. The course was taught by our NVF Instructor, who’s also a minority herself with extensive experience and knowledge in the tech field. The students were taught computer programming languages such as HTML, CSS, Ruby, Rails, JavaScript, and PostgreSQL. All of students completed their solo projects in which they developed their own full-stack web applications and presented them to their class. They also worked on group projects where they developed full-stack web applications for two Minnesota based companies and then presented their work to the companies.

The course agenda included teaching the students’ technical skills via programming languages as well as non-technical skills such as agile methodology, collaboration, remote work, pair programming and more. In our weekly Community Connections series, we provided the opportunity for our students to hear from individuals that work in tech and seek advice, network, and gain mentorship opportunities. The instructor also provided a bi-weekly Career Development series where students learned about preparing for their future tech careers. For example, one lesson was based on How to work in an Agile Team. In addition to these lessons, students presented their own speeches every Friday to develop their public speaking and presentation skills.

As the students move into their apprenticeship, we will provide ongoing support to them alongside SFG. Our first ever NVF full-stack coding bootcamp has been a success and we are excited to see our trailblazers enter the world of tech!

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