Department of Labor Approves Codefi’s Code Labs as Registered Apprenticeship Program

Code Labs1 is a local tech education and on-the-job training led by experienced software developers in-partnership with local tech companies to adults. It provides full-ride scholarships to everyone selected into the program. The Department of Labor2 recently approved Code Labs as a Registered Apprenticeship3 program. So what does that really mean?

For Participants

It’s closing the gap of education training and high-wage jobs in tech. You earn an Industry-Recognized Credential from Codefi and the Department of Labor, that will provide you additional opportunities for what they call “earn while you learn” programs. While not guaranteed, there are pathways for individuals to get paid to continue training while getting paid in real-world work environments. Additionally, if you meet certain eligibility (typically a veteran, unemployed, low-income, etc.), we now have partners who can provide wraparound support services for you to help with some of the burdens that may sometimes just prohibit participation in an opportunity such as this. Child care? Fuel reimbursement? Rent? You could be eligible for up to $1,000 in expenses to help you take advantage of learning skills that could greatly increase your job opportunities, career, and income.

Apply Now!

Application deadline for the next cohort extended to July 23rd!

For Employers

There’s been plenty of research, and we’ve met with quite a few of you the past several years. It’s well known these skill sets are some of the most in-demand, fastest growing, but also hardest to find talent. Not only can we help you develop a new talent pipeline source, but there are additional perks for you, as well. Depending on the eligibility of graduates from the training program, we have partnered with multiple organizations to provide opportunities for wage reimbursements from $500 to $1,200 to 50% of a new hire's wages as an incentive for you.

Interested in learning more?

Contact Us!

Those are the quick facts. Now we share more details.

Seven years ago, we noticed there was a serious lack of technical talent in our workforce. So we set out on a mission4 to solve that for the startups we work with and employers that use technology in our region. It was founded on two fundamentals:

  1. Training led by actual professional software developers,5 and
  2. Direction and guidance in-partnership with local employers

We’ve enrolled over 400 individuals since that time. No one cohort has ever looked the same as the one before it because we continuously iterate and enhance to improve the experience, meet the needs of employers, be the best model of teaching and training individuals these skills, and create environments that mimic real-world work.

Over the years, we haven’t believed you need an official “credential” to enter into the tech industry, so we just put our heads down and tried to help people learn. And what came of that? Well, the average pre- to post-program annual wages for those who graduated and entered new tech occupations more than doubled, on average. There has been an increase in ANNUAL wages of nearly $2,000,000 for our region. Just astounding. Success stories such as Ashley,6 Zelda,7 Bri,8 Joseph,9 and Hannah10 are so inspirational.

The program picked up some recognition when the Center on Rural Innovation,11 with support from the Ascendium Education Group,12 completed a year-long analysis seeking to answer questions and identify how rural communities can foster local economic development through growth of tech-based businesses and tech employment. Code Labs was featured as the number one case study in the major research project publication.13 We thought, “who needs a credential when there’s such great economic impact?”

Well, we consider ourselves a “learning organization,” and that means always questioning what we know or believe. We’re so very proud to announce that recently, Cara Dirnberger14 joined our team at Codefi as the Digital Workforce Director to help us continue to elevate our tech education and training programs. She took everything we’ve been developing the past few years and successfully got Code Labs approved as a Registered Apprenticeship through the Department of Labor. (In what may be a Guinness World Record time!)

Do you need an official “certificate” to enter the tech industry? No. But having this certification will provide us with the opportunity to help more people, bring perks to employers to hire those individuals, and provide additional support and resources to individuals in our region—on a path towards a more vibrant future. Registered Apprenticeships have a proven track record of producing results, and Missouri is currently ranked second nationally15 in the number of new apprenticeships, with over 3,800 employers taking advantage of this training model.

So. We did it! Well, sort of. We still have a lot of work to do. If you want to nerd out some more, you can check out the Rural Apprenticeships Research Report from 202116 that discusses the benefits and challenges of doing this work in a rural setting. The best recipe for success? A collaborative, regional effort and partnerships to support the individuals seeking to improve their lives. If you, your organization, or company is interested in partnering—either as a support provider or an employer—we welcome a connection to discuss more. We’re fortunate we’ll be doing this work for a while.17 Join us.

If you reeaaally want to nerd out with us (such as you have a Ph.D, are in economic or workforce development, a policymaker, or maybe you just like rabbit holes), you can check out The National Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) Study,18 which examined the impact of Title II-A of JTPA on participants’ employment, earnings, and welfare receipt. (Spoiler alert: Not only do programs such as this provide a positive economic benefit to society, but even people who apply but don’t enroll see increased wages compared to those who never do). So just having the opportunity is great for our region. And if you want to go one step farther, you can check out a study done on that study19 that helps us better design research and measure effectiveness of this type of work.

Keep up, if you can!

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