First Ever South Texas Coding Bootcamp Launches in June

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MISSION, TX (May 5, 2016) – Code RGV an educational 501(c)(3) non-profit and the Mission Economic Development Corporation (EDC) have partnered to launch the Rio Grande Valley’s first coding bootcamp (school), aptly named (boot). (boot) is the catalyst for an adult to start, or restart, their careers into a high demand and high pay career in software engineering. This summer (boot) is launching with their first certification: Full Stack Web Development.

The goal is that 100% of graduates get hired. (boot), Code RGV, and the community partners will mentor and seek recruitment teams from the industry to review and consider the graduates for employment before and after the program. Moreover, the curriculum is based, developed, and will be taught by industry volunteers. “We believe in integrating the industry directly to the curriculum. Permitting industry input, and enabling the industry to come to Rio Grande Valley to teach and mentor locally is a compelling option for both the employer and the student,” said Olmo Maldonado, President of Code RGV and (boot) Director. “We have focused our efforts to putting all the resources and advantages to the students.”

Accepted students will receive their own laptop (that they’ll be able to keep upon graduation), $1,000 monthly living support, and a final $500 graduation bonus. During classes (Monday through Friday), students will also be provided with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Thanks to the funding support of Mission EDC and our community partners, the school is one-of-a-kind since it pays the student to learn. “We believe in our local talent. We want to ensure their success. We want to echo the ‘No Excuses’ core value of IDEA Academy because we believe that anyone, and everyone, can be a software engineer,” said Maldonado. He continues, “becoming a software engineer, however, will take hard work. (boot) assumes the student will spend a minimum of 12 hours a day (including weekends) learning the curriculum. We will work with our students on an individual basis to ensure they have the tools and support to ensure their success.”

This summer students will learn from the curriculum developed in collaboration with our industry partners. The curriculum includes, but is not limited to: designing responsive web applications, incorporating git/Github, building secure applications, mastering SQL and NoSQL databases, learning JavaScript ES16 and React, and creating and consuming third-party APIs. Code RGV will make the curriculum available to the public, as well as the recorded sessions for those unable to attend, or those not selected for the program.

As a non-profit, Code RGV seeks to provide the region and the community with resources to inspire, engage, and create more talent for the workforce. Opening the curriculum allows local school districts and teachers to adopt all, or portions, of the curriculum for use within their classrooms. Mission EDC has been a leader in educating K-12 with their Code the Town program, and Code RGV follows suit by providing priceless curriculum and resources for the teachers. “Many assume that with the rapid evolution and increased use of technology, raising the level of digital literacy in a community is effortless,” said Alex Meade, Mission EDC CEO. “It only seems that way when a community takes the time to plan, stays focused and invests in the appropriate resources.” In the future, Code RGV plans to provide a (boot) curriculum to train high school teachers on how to develop software and to teach students aligning to state requirements and standards.

The first (boot) Full Stack Web Development cohort of 10 students will begin on June 20th, 2016. Applications close on May 20th, and soon thereafter, the team will begin to select and interview applicants. September 9th is graduation day for the alpha class. Along the way (boot) and staff will adapt and tackle challenges, because on September 19th, 2016, the second (beta) class of (boot) will begin. Applications for the beta class will close on  August 19th. Once again, we will provide students with a laptop, living expenses, and graduation bonus among other amenities. Before the conclusion of the beta class, Code RGV and its partners will continue to seek funding sources to extend the offering beyond these two quarters. Code RGV’s vision is to provide a steady flow of qualified workforce into the Valley as well as to the rest of state. These highly skilled professionals are expected to earn more than $50,000 a year and will have a profound impact in our region and in their family’s welfare. (boot)’s goal is to graduate at least 100 new software developers to the region and the state. This increase of labor will attract tech companies to the region and improve our current standings which show that only 0.7% of jobs in the Edinburg-McAllen-Mission MSA are in computers and mathematics, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Compared to the rest of the United States, the Bureau, indicates that the rest of the nation outpaces us with 2.8% of all jobs are in computers and mathematics.

Mission EDC’s support has been instrumental. (boot) will be hosted at the Center of Education and Economic Development (CEED) building in Mission, TX, currently in the last construction stages. With a high tech facility and ample room to grow, Code RGV hopes to offer this and many other programs to serve the region. “Technology permeates our everyday lives, at home and in business. If we are to remain competitive, we must better understand the language and skills to master this technology,” Meade said. “In the future, learning how to code will be as necessary as knowing how to read and write.”

Applications are now open and available at: www.codergv.org/boot. While applying does not guarantee a position, we will keep those not selected for our first two cohorts on a waiting list. As (boot) develops and offering can improve, students on the waiting list will be given preference.

Code RGV is a community organization with a mission to create tech entrepreneurs and skilled professionals for local jobs by educating, promoting, and certifying professionals. We strive to promote community participation and collaboration to invigorate creativity, innovation, and the local economy. Code RGV was founded April of 2014 by community members Olmo Maldonado, Drew Lentz, Rene Ramirez, and Justin Lynch. Find out more and become a member at www.codergv.org or contact Olmo Maldonado at (956) 230-6743 or pr@codergv.com

Mission EDC is a component of the City of Mission and is tasked with creating jobs, attracting capital investment, improving the quality of life and strengthening the workforce in Mission, Texas. In 2011, the organization went through a major overhaul that allowed it to re-invent itself and create a new strategic plan. Through this process, the board agreed that education is the foundation to economic development and without it makes the other areas of focus difficult to achieve. Thus, the board decided to make Entrepreneurship and Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) Education its main priority. For more information, visit www.missionedc.com or contact Alex Meade at (956) 585-0040 or ameade@missionedc.com