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Written by Kara Kavensky, PR Director for Eleven Fifty Academy

Eleven Fifty Academy is transforming lives with the help of state and local organizations, as well as our federal government.

In the midst of a pandemic, Eleven Fifty found opportunity. With Indiana’s unemployment rate of 6.2% hovering below the national average of 7.9%, the Career Services team at Eleven Fifty Academy is placing its graduates into sustainable careers in tech.

Credit goes to those companies that are hiring graduates of the Academy programs, the historically supportive state and local government infrastructure, and community partnerships. Additionally, within recent months, the federal government’s response to the economic impact of COVID-19 has provided CARES Act funding that has applied to displaced workers skilling up to sustainable careers.

Removing financial barriers

Eleven Fifty Academy is a nonprofit organization focused upon high-quality, immersive software development courses designed to accelerate the learning curve for people of all ages and skillsets. With an emphasis on nonprofit, the Academy relies upon grants and scholarships to help offset costs to its students.

“We have many funding sources to help our students, and historically these have been workforce-related,” says Paul Wolf, who oversees the Admissions department at Eleven Fifty. “Our job is to help make high-quality education possible by removing as many barriers as we can.”

Innovative new partnerships

The pandemic has necessitated innovation within many organizations, including within the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs, which now permits online courses to be covered by GI Bill benefits. This unprecedented pivot to covering online courses enables veterans to quickly skill up into a career that is in high demand and saves them from using the bulk of their GI Bill dollars on housing and other travel-related costs.

The program’s immersive courses accelerate an individual into a career in tech 16X faster than a four-year degree program.

“We are truly grateful for all of our corporate partners,” states Abi Tambasco, the fearless leader of the Career Services team. “With our mission of transforming lives into meaningful careers that impact the individual and their community, we cannot accomplish this without the incredible companies who hire our graduates.”

The mission, to which Abi refers, is to build an ecosystem of coding talent that financially benefits the individual, their employer, and their community. This mission aligns with the intention behind the Pathfinder Training Program.

In 2017, Salesforce launched the Pathfinder Training Program in collaboration with Deloitte as a workforce development program designed to provide participants from diverse backgrounds with the technical Salesforce skills and business training they need to be able to obtain technology jobs in the Salesforce ecosystem — specifically Salesforce administrator and Salesforce developer roles. Their effort, coupled with the Academy’s bootcamp courses, are creating an in-demand workforce.

“This is an ideal step to take in order to enter into the Salesforce ecosystem,” adds Tambasco. “It helps bridge the onboarding process for many of our employers and is a perfect complement to our already awesome bootcamps.”

Pivoting during the pandemic

In the early stages of the pandemic, the Academy, lead by their Chief Learning Officer Jonathan B. Huer, EdD., moved all cohorts to virtual classrooms within 72 hours. The virtual learning experience has not only been successful, it has readied graduates for virtual work environments.

Regan Nitz, a recent Eleven Fifty Academy graduate who gained employment a couple of months ago, indicates that she is eager to transition from virtual to the office so she can meet her co-workers in person.

“It’s hard to kind of take that leap of faith to try something new. But if you’re in the service industry, now’s as good a time to try something new,” said Nitz, who was a waitress before attending Eleven Fifty Academy. “Doing this program gave me skills that allowed me to go and get a bigger job and allow me to really start a career and not just a job.”

Academy enrollment in their cybersecurity courses has grown 300% year over year. Overall enrollment has grown by 217%.

“Eleven Fifty Academy is doing our part to create a strong tech workforce in Indiana,” says Academy founder Scott Jones. “The foundation created by our State and local leaders is making this possible.”

A partial list of the companies that have hired EFA grads in recent months: Spot Freight, Lessonly, Second Sight, Infosys, AfterSchool HQ, Navient, Boardable, Freedom Mortgage, Genesys, Forum Credit Union, TCC Software Solutions, Fannie Mae (D.C.), Kerauno, Market Wagon, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Pondurance, Pedcore Investments, Clinical Architecture, DyanicWeb (Denmark), Kimball Electronics, Early Learning Indiana, Web Connectivity Bloomerang, and Scale Computing. The Academy is grateful for each and every one of them!

Eleven Fifty Academy is dedicated to skilling up individuals from diverse backgrounds, reducing barriers to entry for technology careers in web development, cybersecurity, application development, and UX/UI. The 12- or 14-week courses are full-time, with a part-time offering that extends the bootcamp to 24 weeks.

For more information, please visit elevenfifty.org

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