‘Commonwealth Coders’ is a 16 week training course preparing for the position of Junior Web Developer

“Commonwealth Coders,” a 16-week training course that prepares participants for a career as a junior web developer, will make its statewide debut this fall as part of a collaborative effort between the Bluegrass, Cumberlands, Northern Kentucky and South Central Workforce Boards.

The course, run by the BC Skills Development Academy, was initially piloted between the South Central and Cumberlands Workforce Development Councils as part of a hybrid effort this spring. The success of this initial endeavor and the growing demand for web developers, especially those who can work remotely, led to the expansion of the course.

In Northern Kentucky, a partnership with United Way of Greater Cincinnati will further support applicants who qualify with financial stipends and a grant received from the NKY Workforce Investment Board will allow each student to use a new Macbook Pro laptop during their stay in the program.

The course is expected to be in a hybrid format for South Central and Cumberlands attendees, while being fully virtual for Bluegrass and Northern Kentucky students. While no prior computer/coding experience is required, strong algebra skills as well as a strong determination to succeed are both highly recommended for participants.

The training, worth a total of approximately $15,000, will be offered at little or no cost to those who qualify, including many who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. Once a student completes the course, they will be ready to enter the workforce as a Junior Web Developer, a job with an average starting salary of over $60,000 in Kentucky.

Lyndsey Brown, economic recovery co-ordinator for Cumberlands and South Central Workforce Development Board, describes the course as “life-changing” explaining, “I have seen some participants go from unemployment to full-time web developers and other participants go from being underemployed to providing their families with an income as web developers.

The course cap is currently set at 50 students in total. With 48 combined counties represented by the four councils, this equates to approximately one student per county, making student selection quite competitive; however, all prospective students are strongly encouraged to complete a no-obligation initial survey of interest.

Justin Browning, project manager for the BC Skills Development Academy, said this type of program is unique in that it helps promote tech jobs in rural areas of the state. Browning explains, “We want to educate our communities and let them know that it’s possible for Kentucky to push as many innovators as you have on the West Coast. We can do it, we just have to build that culture.

For more information or to complete an interest form for the Commonwealth Coders program, please visit www.commonwealthcoders.com. Contact Tara Johnson-Noem, Director tara.noem@nkadd.org or call 859-609-1803.

The Northern Kentucky Workforce Investment Board leads innovative policy and directs workforce development funding through strong community partnerships to promote engaged employers, job seekers employment and collective impact in an eight county region serving Boone, Campbell, Carroll, Grant, Gallatin, Kenton, Owen and Pendleton Counties.