Code Fellows, a coding bootcamp headquartered in Seattle, is pledging $5 million to help women and minorities learn tech skills over the next five years.
The scholarships are part of the Tech Opportunity Fund, a partnership between Code Fellows, The Iron Yard, and Operation Hope designed to improve diversity in tech and fill the thousands of technology jobs currently open across the U.S.
The Iron Yard, another coding school, is pledging $40 million in full-tuition scholarships and Operation Hope will help participants with financial literacy and entrepreneurship training. The Tech Opportunity Fund is asking employers, other coding schools, and civic organizations to help meet its goal of granting $100 million in scholarships over the next five years.
Vice President Joe Biden announced the Tech Opportunity Fund and gave a shout-out to Code Fellows in a speech this morning at the St. Louis headquarters of LaunchCode, a non-profit dedicated to placing people in tech jobs. LaunchCode is expanding to Code Fellows’ hometown of Seattle in 2017, thanks to the TechHire Seattle-King County program.
In early 2015, the Obama administration introduced TechHire as a strategy to narrow the talent gap and help traditionally underrepresented groups get hired in tech.
Code Fellows has been offering scholarships to women, minorities, and veterans for the past year, thanks to partnerships with local tech companies.
“Over the last 12 months, we’ve provided over $600,000 in scholarships, from direct funds and from great partners like Expedia and Zillow Group. These funds have given over a hundred students the chance to learn relevant, highly desirable skills, and continue on to join great companies in the local tech markets,” Dave Parker, Code Fellows CEO, said in a press release. “This program helps us expand that impact.”