TechSquare Labs proposes the expansion of CodeStart, a Georgia based initiative to train low income youth from underserved communities and school districts to access high demand software engineering S.T.E.M jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities in the innovation economy. The initiative has four primary components.
The initiative is anchored by a 12-month innovative customized immersive training program, with a curriculum focused on coding (software development), career readiness, financial responsibility, authentic culture, corporate innovation and entrepreneurship. The young adult training serves young adults, ages 18-29, with at least a high school degree/GED that demonstrate barrier to long-term, in demand employment and entrepreneurial opportunities.
This full time immersive coding and entrepreneurship program requires participants to live in sponsored housing for the full length of the program as well as participate in counseling and therapy sessions with a licensed therapist. Both instructors and mentors will prepare students for a career as a professional junior-level programmer, software engineer, “intrepreneur” and entrepreneur. The program goes beyond tactical skills and teaches students how to think like a software engineer and innovator, where students also receive training in the areas of ideation, design thinking, business model generation, financial responsibility, diversity, inclusion and career readiness.
As a successful training program and via the support of corporate and foundation and workforce partners, TechSquare Labs is able to replicate the program going forward with additional cohorts, creating a steady stream of well-trained entry-level software developers who not only have the hard and soft skills to obtain high-paying jobs in the tech industry that will make them good employees and put them on a successful life and career pathway, but also the hard “innovative,” “intrepreneurial” and entrepreneurial skills to start a high growth businesses which may go on to provide services back to the companies they worked for or supply products and services they create and sell to government and business as minority suppliers.