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Cultivating Coders partners with Hispano Chamber on boot camps

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Cultivating Coders is taking its training boot camps for aspiring web developers to under-served communities in Albuquerque with help from the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce.

The two entities are partnering to help 21 disadvantaged individuals gain access to Cultivating Coders’ intensive eight-week training course, which prepares students for high-wage jobs in website and software development. The first class begins July 19, and will be primarily aimed at helping disabled individuals who qualify for government educational assistance through the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), said Charles Ashley III, co-founder and president of Cultivating Coders, an Albuquerque-based startup that launched in late 2015.

Assistance can pay for part or all of the standard $7,950 per student tuition. The company has Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act certification, allowing low-income students and people in under-served areas to receive federal aid for training.

“Students will come out able to build fully-functioning websites as junior developers,” Ashley said. “They’ll know all the front-end design and all the back-end stuff that makes it function. They will become full-stack developers.”

The Hispano Chamber hopes the partnership will help minorities and disadvantaged people obtain high-paying jobs in a growing, career-oriented field.

“It’s all about job creation,” said Synthia Jaramillo, the chamber’s chief operating officer. “There’s a growing need for coders everywhere, and there’s a lot of need to make this kind of training accessible in under-served communities all over the state.”

The chamber will do marketing and promotion for classes, to be held at its state-of-the-art computer labs at the chamber headquarters in Albuquerque’s Barelas neighborhood just south of Downtown. Those labs accommodate nearly two dozen people.

Apart from seating 16 students who qualify for DVR-backed assistance, Cultivating Coders is making five scholarships available through the chamber for select individuals who want to participate in the first class.

Students will get hands-on experience through a new Cultivating Coders project dubbed “ABQ 30 in 30” that aims at constructing websites for 30 local businesses for free. Students will assist Cultivating Coders staff in building them.

“We’ll build one website each day for 30 days in September for free,” Ashley said. “The businesses selected to participate will receive hosting and domain services, plus graphic design and photography services related to their websites for one year at no charge.”

The chamber hopes to convert future classes into bilingual Spanish-English training.

“That’s our long-term goal,” Jaramillo said. “There’s a huge need among limited English-language speakers from under-served communities who often don’t have funds to attend expensive coding boot camps.”

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