Cleveland Codes: Bringing Software Development to Low-Income Populations

With over 500 openings for software developers and coders, Cleveland desperately needs more tech talent. At the same time, for-profit software boot camps have become all the rage. On February 25, 2015, Matt Fieldman pitched his idea to address this issue: Cleveland Codes. Through philanthropy and social enterprise, he wanted to bring long-term careers in software coding to Cleveland’s underprivileged populations.

After winning Accelerate, Matt began moving his project forward and partnered with Cuyahoga Community College for what is now Cleveland Codes Tri-C Software Developers Academy – a 24-week immersive program provides students with skills to pursue a career in web development. The first class began in March 2016. Over 120 low-income adults throughout Northeast Ohio applied; 15 students were accepted (40% minority, 40% women). Many were unemployed or under-employed. The first class of 14 students graduated in June 2016. For their capstone projects, the students created an online app that is being used to fight infant mortality in Cleveland. Already 12 students have moved into paid internships ($15 per hour). The second cohort, which received 115 applications and accepted 22 students, launched on September 21, 2016.

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