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New Program Seeks to Produce More Junior Web Developers

 

“Commonwealth Coders” a 16-week training course that prepares participants for  a career as a Junior Web Developer will debut across the state this fall as a collaborative effort between the  Bluegrass, Cumberlands, Northern Kentucky and South Central Workforce Boards. The course, led by BC Skills Development Academy, was initially piloted between the South Central and Cumberlands Workforce Development Boards as a hybrid effort this spring.

Citing the growing demand for web developers, the agencies are expanding the course.

The Northern Kentucky Workforce Investment Board is partnering with United Way of Greater Cincinnati to support local candidates who qualify with financial stipends, and a grant received by the local board will allow each student to use a new Macbook Pro laptop during their time in the program.

The course is set to be completely virtual for Bluegrass and Northern Kentucky students. While no previous computer/coding experience is required, solid algebra skills along with a strong determination to succeed are both highly recommended for participants.  

The training, valued at around $15,000 total, will be offered at little to no cost to those who are eligible, including many individuals who have lost their job due to the pandemic.

After a student completes the course, they will be  ready to enter the workforce as a junior web developer, a job with an average starting salary of over $60,000 in Kentucky. Lyndsey Brown, Economic Recovery Coordinator for both Cumberlands and South Central Workforce Development Board, describes the course as “life-changing.”

“I was able to see some participants go  from being unemployed to being full-time web developers and other participants go from being underemployed to  providing their family with a web developer income,” Brown said.

The course cap is currently set for fifty students total. W

With a combined 48 counties represented by the four boards, that equates to around one student per county, making student selection quite competitive; however, all  potential students are highly encouraged to complete an initial no-obligation interest survey.  

Justin Browning, project manager for BC Skills Development Academy, said that this type of program is unique in that it helps promote tech jobs in rural areas of the state. “We want to skill up our communities  and let them know that it’s possible for Kentucky to push out as many innovators as you have coming out of the  west coast. We can do it, we just have to build that culture,” he said.

For more information or to complete an interest  form for the Commonwealth Coders program, please visit www.commonwealthcoders.com.

-Staff report

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