Bank of America $30,000 Grant Strengthens Tech Workforce Development Opportunities for Underserved Groups

By on July 18, 2019
Bank Of America $30,000 grant

Accelerated job training offered through St. Louis Community College recently received a boost with a $30,000 grant from Bank of America, increasing the College’s ability to deliver fast-track education to under-served communities, thus equipping more individuals for jobs in high demand. In particular, these funds will help strengthen delivery of STLCC’s Immersive CodeCamp, a 14-week fast track training and tech career-prep program offered in partnership with LaunchCode at STLCC’s William J. Harrison Education Center.

Purposely positioned in the federally-designated, high-poverty St. Louis Promise Zone—an area where community partners and local leaders give communities proven tools to rebuild and put people back to work—STLCC’s Immersive CodeCamp at William J. Harrison Education Center combines proven coding curriculum with important wrap-around services including individualized career coaching, loaner computers, transportation resources and other support services. “This helps level the playing field, making this free training opportunity accessible to more ready learners in our St. Louis community,” explains Hart Nelson, associate vice chancellor for STLCC’s Workforce Solutions Group.

When announcing the grants, Bank of America explained, “St. Louis continues to be an area deeply affected by poverty, with 24% of the city’s population falling below the national poverty line.”

The College’s first cohort of 28 STLCC Immersive CodeCamp students will graduate on July 18. The graduates’ next steps: apprenticeship and employment.

“LaunchCode works with company partners across the region to match our graduates with entry-level tech jobs they’re struggling to fill,” explains LaunchCode Executive Director Jeff Mazur. “Companies have found that hiring a LaunchCoder means adding a highly-qualified and skilled individual to their team.” The average starting salary for a graduate is around $55,000.

STLCC’s 2018 State of the St. Louis Workforce Report reveals that 61 percent of St. Louis IT firms struggle to find qualified applicants and that, simultaneously, 50 percent of IT firms plan to add more jobs in 2019. According to LaunchCode, four out of five apprentices convert to permanent employment—a win-win for both employers and students.

Financial Support for Community Development

In all, Bank of America is donating $480,000 to 21 St. Louis nonprofits. In addition to St. Louis Community College, recipients include Paraquad, Aim High, American National Red Cross, Anti-Defamation League, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri, Boy Scouts of America, Connections to Success, Epworth Children & Family Services Inc., Fathers Support Center St. Louis, Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri Inc., Grace Hill Settlement House, Herbert Hoover Boys and Girls Club of St. Louis Inc., Interfaith Residence, Salvation Army National Corp, St. Louis Public Schools Foundation and Washington University.

“We appreciate Bank of America’s continuing support of STLCC programs,” explains Jo-Ann Digman, executive director of the STLCC Foundation. “Since 2014, Bank of America has donated $9 million to St. Louis area organizations addressing workforce developments and basic needs. We are thankful to be included in this group.”

To learn more about STLCC’s Immersive Codecamp, powered by LaunchCode, visit stlcc.edu/codecamp.

About Lysa Young-Bates

Lysa Young-Bates is Marketing Communications Manager of St. Louis Community College’s Workforce Solutions Group, which delivers non-credit continuing education opportunities, corporate training and community services to the St. Louis region.

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