On April 19, 2017 Venture Hall, Thomas College and Project>Login announced a plan to partner with Code Fellows out of Seattle, to launch a pilot project to teach software development classes in Maine. Code Fellows is a unique program focused not just on technical coding skills, but also on helping graduates understand and learn the nuances needed for successful employment. Graduates of the Code Fellows program have diverse backgrounds from education, fine art, social sciences and everything in between - a full 77 percent of all graduates had no professional coding background at all. Moreover, more than 750 people have completed the full CF course, after which their average starting salary was more than $72,000.
"Code Fellows passionately believes in the power of people working and learning together. Which is why we are incredibly excited to partner with Venture Hall and other Maine organizations to offer access to software development education. By offering industry-leading curriculum to create professional developers in a matter of months—not years—there's an enormous opportunity to support the success of Maine employers and Maine workers for many years to come." Mitchell Robertson VP, Code Fellows
Dr. Jason Judd, Executive Director of Project Login, is excited about the potential additive nature of the program. “Code Fellows is a national program with experience providing relevant training for employers and technology related companies,” Judd stated. “Moreover, we believe that a program like this is complementary to the prestigious computer science programs that we have across the state.”
Over the next few months, the pilot project will consist of the following. First, the partners will continue conversations to hear from employers state-wide about how the program fits with their workforce needs. Second, on June 10th & 11th, Venture Hall will hold Code 101 classes in Portland and Waterville to test community interest in the program. These one-day classes will provide Mainers with the opportunity to get an introduction to the program and see if computer programming is a skill they want to work to acquire.
The partners also believe that moving the program beyond just the urban center of Portland provides an opportunity for more Mainers to build their skills and increase their own opportunity for prosperity. “We believe in the power of a coding education and what it means for the future of Maine’s workforce and Maine’s innovation ecosystem,” said President of Thomas College Laurie Lachance. “This type of program, we believe, could be a critical tool for workers to develop new skills and for employers to offer employees new ways to get the training and skills they need to advance and be a part of their company’s success.”
The partners will work to link the many employers across the state looking for workers to the program. "Launching this pilot program with Code Fellows to determine whether there is product-market fit with Maine and Maine employers is key to its success,” said Mike Sobol, CEO of Venture Hall. “Fitting the demand of workers and the interests of employers together will make the launch of the full Code Fellows program to Maine successful and sustainable.” Companies interested in talking more with the partners about the program can contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Individuals interested in signing up or to learn more about the program can visit
Thomas College: Founded in 1894, Thomas College is at the forefront of affordability, access to college education, and providing students with a good return on investment. The private, career-oriented college is committed to preparing its undergraduates for careers in all forms of business, technology, criminal justice, psychology, and education. On average, 94 percent of Thomas graduates are employed within 90 days of graduation. The college is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and awards a Master of Business Administration (with concentrations in Accounting, Health Care Management, Human Resources, and Project Management); a Master of Science in Education, Educational Leadership, and Literacy Education; a Bachelor of Science, a Bachelor of Arts; an Associate in Science, and an Associate in Arts. For more information, visit www.thomas.edu
Project>Login: A program of Educate Maine (www.educatemaine.org), Project>Login strives to increase the number of individuals in Maine interested in technology careers through K-12 computer science initiatives, collaboration with higher education providers, and by working with Maine’s employers and workforce development partners.
Venture Hall: An educational not-for-profit, Venture Hall supports the development and success of innovators and entrepreneurs building high-growth, high-aspiration companies. Through a range of programs, training, and events, Venture Hall convenes the necessary talent, insights, connections and capital innovators and entrepreneurs need to prepare themselves, their teams and their companies to create valuable new products and services.