City program helps residents switch careers

Originally published on NEWS 14 CLT – April 15, 2021

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A one-time program in Charlotte helped people who were unemployed or struggling amid the pandemic change careers.

The City of Charlotte partnered with a company called Tech Elevator to provide a virtual software development bootcamp to 11 Charlotte residents.

The city paid for the $15,500 in tuition per student with funds from the CARES Act. According to a city spokesman, the technology coding bootcamp was selected because of the strength of this sector in Charlotte and the chance to give a sustainable career path for students.

Tech Elevator Lead Pathway Program Director Kelly Brucker said many of the students joining the bootcamp across the country amid the pandemic had been financially impacted by the crisis.

“They’re coming to Tech Elevator because they’re realizing technology, and coding specifically, it is one of the most in demand skill sets out there right now. So they are reskilling themselves to they can end up finding a better job,” Brucker said.

Miguel Avila was one of the students who received a scholarship from the City of Charlotte to participate in the program.

“It was a great opportunity and I took it,” Avila said.

He was an analyst for almost two years after graduating from UNC Charlotte.

“There’s never a good time to either start a business or change your career. The best time to do it is whenever you can,” Avila said.

The 27-year-old started pool construction company, Daily View Pools, with his family when he was still a college student.

He has always worked part time at Daily View Pools but during the pandemic, his responsibilities increased. He ended up quitting his analyst job and investing nearly $20,000 to keep the company afloat.

“The reason I do what I do is to make sure I can help provide for my immediate family and my future family,” Avila said.

He hopes the software skills will bring a better salary and a chance to help his family’s growing business.

Avila is in the process of interviewing for junior software developer and associate software developer jobs.

The program sponsored by the city ran from November through March.

To learn more about Tech elevator, visit techelevator.com

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