This article was written by Arlington Economic Development.
This past fall, Arlington Economic Development introduced the Arlington Talent Pilot Program, a program that provides selected Arlington residents paid, on-the-job learning opportunities to launch a new career in software development while helping businesses modernize their IT codebase infrastructure.
The innovative program is a partnership between Arlington Economic Development (AED) and Arlington-based software consultancy Exelaration and is a new way to address the ongoing challenges of finding tech workers to fill open jobs in the region. The program is now into its second cohort of learners and is already proving to be a success.
From Learners to Coders
“The Arlington Talent Pilot Program offered me a great opportunity to enter the field with no formal and relevant background in IT, in addition to stellar mentorship on real-world projects to gain both experience and theoretical knowledge,” said participant, Liam Cespedes, who was part of the first cohort and is continuing work on client projects.
AED and Exelaration designed this program to allow local residents to enter the tech workforce without college degree or prior tech experience requirements. The competitive pilot program accepted applications from dozens of individuals for each cohort, many of whom were people who showed promise in the tech field but who lacked those traditional resume credentials to find work.
AED and Exelaration are proud to have collaborated with partners at Capital Youth Empowerment Program, Bridges to Independence, Alexandria-Arlington Regional Workforce Council, and Virginia Values Veterans to advertise this program and ensure this unique opportunity reached underrepresented and underserved communities.
Opportunities for Businesses
Companies needing IT modernization and custom software solutions also benefit from the Arlington Talent Pilot Program. Companies receive quality work products led by experienced software developers and can have significant cost savings with the blended billable rate by including learners on projects.
Arlington-based Agile technology firm Excella recently partnered with the program to expand one of its federal modernization projects. The Exelaration team works closely with the larger Excella team to upgrade enterprise software within a Ruby on Rails environment. In addition to the modernized software, Excella has the option of hiring the learners who are now skilled engineers fully trained in their environment. “Competing for talent is hard, and this program gives us a proven way to add trained professionals to our teams, who then help us meet the mission for our clients” says Excella’s National Security Director Allison Harvey.
The spring 2023 cohort adds more software engineering capacity to take on new company partners. “We especially love to work with Arlington companies, but we’re happy to work with organizations across the country looking to modernize their technology,” says Exelaration CEO Steve Cooper, who adds that the program is looking for additional client companies who could benefit from the work of these budding engineers.
Companies can connect with the program in other ways too. Arlington Community Federal Credit Union hosted a lunch for the fall team inside their technology shop. This gave the emerging engineers a “day-in-the-life” view of what it’s like to have a tech job. Over kabobs and tacos, Credit Union CIO David Martinez and his team answered questions about the rewards and challenges of IT careers.
Companies looking to partner with the program can learn more here.
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Is home ownership a goal of yours in 2023? Now is the time to make it happen! Grab a (virtual) drink with the area’s top Real Estate experts, learn all about the home buying process and on how you can get $1,500 towards your closing costs immediately!
Did you know the average Arlington renter will spend $150K in 5 years of renting? Stop paying down someone else’s mortgage! Join us for a Rent vs. Buy Happy Hour on Wednesday, April 5th at 6 p.m. via Zoom. If this time doesn’t work, we also are offering times convenient for your schedule!
A lot has happened in the local market since the beginning of the pandemic. Sip on your drink of choice and learn from Northern Virginia, Arlington and Washingtonian Magazines top producing agents! We will discuss the latest market updates, the home buying process and rent vs. buy cost savings. Please RSVP by clicking here.
Call/text Manavi at 703-869-6698 with any questions!
Synetic Theater Camps are a wildly fun, highly accessible choice for young people who love moving, playing games, and making memories. Registration is open now for Summer Camps (sessions June 20-August 25) and there are even a few spots left for Spring Break camp, April 3-7.
Located in National Landing, these performance-based camps are designed for students of all ages – no theater or performance experience required.
Led by professional teaching artists, campers learn acting, movement, and technical theater skills through the lens of Physical Theater. Physical Theater incorporates acting, movement, dance, mime, and acrobatics. If you’ve seen a Cirque du Soleil performance, you’ll find many similarities.
Most first-time campers are new to the performing arts, and teaching artists are well-versed in engaging students at all levels. Parents and campers report that one of the best parts of Synetic is the community, with many families returning year after year because they feel a strong sense of belonging.
WHS Spring Festival
Join us at the WHS Spring Festival on April 22, 2023, from 10am- 3pm at Wakefield High School(main parking lot). Come out to shop, play, and eat!
Shop local vendors, arts & crafts, new and used items, food vendors/trucks, and
District 27 Toastmasters 2023 Virtual Conference
District 27 Toastmasters invites you to its annual conference where you can hear phenomenal speakers, attend professional development and personal growth seminars about leadership, negotiation, communication, teamwork, and mentorship. Learn how to develop your personal story and how to improve