Flatiron School Tapped to Offer Web Dev Training to Immigrants in NYC

In yet another collaboration with the NYC Tech Talent Pipeline and Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration, a New York-based coding academy called the Flatiron School is inviting more folks to its classrooms.

The Flatiron School announced a new fellowship program Tuesday created specifically to help low-income, legal immigrants in New York get the skills they need for jobs in Web development.

A similar collaboration launched last fall and also paired resources from the city with the Flatiron School to train local people for work in mobile development. Adam Enbar, Flatiron School’s president, says the new program looks to meet a slightly different type of need than previous courses.

A recurring plight among immigrants in New York is that despite their training and education, it can be difficult to find jobs here that speak to their skills.

“People who are applying to this fellowship, some of them have advanced degrees but they’re Uber drivers or delivery people,” Enbar says. “They’re clearly capable of much more than what they’re doing today; they just need an opportunity.”

The free Web development program will run for five months, with 36 students. Applications will be accepted until June 1, and Enbar says the class will commence towards the end of that month. Prior knowledge of Web development or other coding skills are not required, he says, though the Flatiron School will recommend free resources to get folks started.

As with the mobile development fellowship, the intent is to create more pathways to economic mobility for more New Yorkers—which is one of Mayor de Blasio’s ongoing crusades. The NYC Tech Talent Pipeline, for example, is an initiative to give more locals a chance to pursue careers in the city’s growing technology ecosystem.

This year’s presidential election has also put the new fellowship into a special context.

“What gets lost in the shuffle is all of the legal immigrants that are here in the U.S. that need some extra help,” Enbar says.

The fellowship may also help further development of the New York innovation scene, he says, by nurturing local talent rather than recruiting engineers from elsewhere to relocate here. “The hope is that these people will graduate and accept jobs as engineers at New York-based companies,” Enbar says.

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