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NBA Foundations partners with Memphis nonprofits to offer software engineer training

Kirstin Garriss | May 6, 2021

There is more than 45,000 opportunity youth in Memphis. Those are young people 17 to 24 who aren't in school and don't have a job.

Now a new partnership offers a different kind of opportunity for them.

"I went from having no computer science experience or anything to being a full-time front-end engineer in the course of two years," said Autumn Ragland, who graduate from a CodeCrew Code School.

Ragland is just 22 and she's already making a name for herself in the coding world. She's a software engineer for a company in New York and she didn't even finish college.

"The boot camp track is becoming much more legitimate in companies that's not just Google. My company is based in New York and they're actively trying to hire from nontraditional routes," said Ragland.

A new partnership with the NBA Foundation, CodeCrew and The Collective Blueprint is offering training for young people 17 to 30 to become certified software engineers in nine months. Organizers are targeting the thousands of opportunity youth who may be facing additional employment hurdles form the pandemic.

"We have so much potential, so much to offer Memphis and they just need that opportunity," said Sabrina Dawson with The Collective Blueprint.

Throughout the training, participants get a $400 monthly stipend, job placement assistance, mentorship and access to scholarships to help cover tuition costs.

"We want to make sure not only are you getting to, but you're getting through this training program so you can really be prepared for that next step," said Dawson.

After the program, starting salaries for these positions average at $50,000/yr. CodeCrew said these kinds of high-paying positions can have a ripple effect across the city.

"Any viable city today is producing tech workers and we need to do more of our fair share especially for underrepresented groups," said Meka Egwuekwe, CodeCrew executive director. "This is transformative from seeing ourselves differently to the dollars circulating in our community to address that number one problem in Memphis and that's poverty."

Egwuekwe said the only challenge they're facing is many people haven't applied yet.

He said a few dozen have submitted applications, but they would like to see at least 100 apply this month.

If you're still unsure about the program, CodeCrew is hosting a one-night boot camp to highlight what the full training would be like. This will be on May 17th at 6 p.m.

Click here to get registered.

Check out the Fox 13 article here


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