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Biz Talk: Arlington Economic Development unveils new workforce program

This article was written by Conor Courtney, strategic initiatives manager for Arlington Economic Development.

Arlington’s Amazon HQ2 bid brought the issue of workforce front and center for future economic development projects. As Arlington’s tech ecosystem continues to grow, so does the opportunity to innovate workforce development programs.

Arlington Economic Development (AED) is proud to announce a new workforce development program, the Arlington Talent Pilot Program, supporting Arlington residents and businesses. The Program provides companies with an increase of local talent by offering Arlington residents experiential opportunities in the tech industry.

“Arlington is home to both a highly educated workforce and many fast-growing tech companies. We know there are residents who may have the interest, but perhaps no formal tech background,” said Marian Marquez, Arlington Economic Development’s director of business investment. “This Program will support aspiring Arlingtonians in developing in-demand skills for a career in technology through a paid, experiential learning program.”

What is the Arlington Talent Pilot Program?

The Arlington Talent Pilot Program, funded by the American Rescue Plan Act, will provide 10 Arlington residents the opportunity to gain valuable software development experience and a pathway into a technology career.

Arlington-based Exelaration, the #2 tech and engineering internship provider in the U.S., will deliver these results through experiential learning and software development mentorship. The Program is designed to accommodate career changers and others without a traditional higher education background in tech. Rather than requiring 4-year college, the application process and Program emphasize skills, capabilities and aptitude.

How does it work?

The Arlington Talent Pilot Program connects aspiring software developers with temporary, full-time paid positions at Exelaration, where they develop essential tech industry experience under expert mentorship. Program participants work on real-world client projects and learn industry best practices through instruction and mentorship.

Exelaration is partnering with local programs and organizations such as Bridges to Independence and Capital Youth Empowerment Program, as sources for potential talent.

There are several ways for companies and organizations to get involved, including events, networking, projects, donations, lectures and more. Interested companies and organizations can learn more through Exelaration’s partnership page.

How to Apply

Those interested in learning more about applying for the Arlington Talent Pilot Program can do so directly through Exelaration’s applicant portal. The application portal closes on July 1, and the first cohort begins on September 6, 2022. Applicants must be Arlington, Virginia residents, and no secondary degree is required.

About Arlington Economic Development 

Arlington Economic Development (AED), part of Arlington County Government, is dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of an economically competitive and sustainable community, and the creation of exciting, diverse and amenity-rich places. AED provides visionary leadership and superior services to Arlington’s business and arts community, its tourism industry and its real estate development. For more information, visit arlingtoneconomicdevelopment.com.

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