NEW HAVEN, January 24, 2019—Holberton School New Haven, a college alternative for software engineers at the District Tech and Innovation Campus, today announced that it was awarded a $50,000 grant from Avangrid Foundation, the principal philanthropic arm of AVANGRID, Inc. The grant will be used to offset the start-up costs associated with launching the school as well as student stipends, providing individuals from all backgrounds access to high-quality education and a pathway to a career in software engineering.
"Supporting innovation, along with academic and community advancement, are key pillars for the Avangrid Foundation, and Holberton’s focus on improving access to high-quality education and opportunity in the technology sector for individuals from all walks of life, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds, closely aligns with our mission," said Nicole Licata Grant, director of the Avangrid Foundation. "We’re pleased to be able to be on this journey alongside Holberton School New Haven, and it’s incoming students, as it allows us to directly impact the diversity and skillset of the state’s workforce.”
Holberton is an innovative two-year higher-education program focused on increasing diversity in the tech sector, as well as breaking down the barriers to accessing high-quality education — beginning with its blind application process which relies on technology, thereby eliminating human bias in selecting applicants for admission. Once enrolled, students participate in an intensive hands-on learning experience, focused on project-based peer learning, to acquire practical skills and an understanding of the theory that prepares them for professional success and a lifelong career in software engineering.
In partnership with the District Innovation and Venture Center (DIVC), a newly formed non-profit under the District business model, Holberton School New Haven initiated efforts to build the brand new campus in September of 2018 to bring its unique training program to Connecticut. This endeavor has the potential to double the number of locally-based software engineering graduates in just a few years, bringing experienced, qualified, and diverse talent to the fastest growing field in Connecticut. All of this is in line with the non-profit's ultimate mission of increasing economic development in the region.
“Connecticut, like many other states, is experiencing a digital transformation across every industry, including more traditional ones like financial services, insurance, health sciences and manufacturing. This means that businesses must invest in new technology and software solutions, thereby increasing the need for highly skilled technical talent at a rapid pace. Today, there are roughly 2,500 unfilled software engineering jobs in the state,” said Nadine Krause, director, Holberton School New Haven. “However, the talent pipeline for jobs like this was not invested in early enough, and we don’t currently have an adequate number of skilled students or applicants to fill this need. With the support of the Avangrid Foundation we’re able to introduce the much-needed education and workforce development programming to help address this predicament.”
Holberton students are able to attend with no upfront tuition and are instead asked to contribute a portion of their salary to the school for the first three and a half years of their post-Holberton employment. In addition to making the program more accessible to individuals from different backgrounds, this model creates a process in which alumni give back to the next generation of students.
The Avangrid Foundation, based in Orange, Connecticut, is the principal philanthropic arm of AVANGRID, Inc., an integrated energy company and leader in innovative, sustainable energy. Since its inception in 2002, the Avangrid Foundation and its predecessors has invested millions of dollars into the communities where AVANGRID and its subsidiaries—including United Illuminating and Southern Connecticut Gas—operate.
Holberton School New Haven is launching its inaugural cohort on January 28, 2019, and is currently accepting applications for the June 2019 and September 2019 cohorts.
To learn more about Holberton School New Haven and how to enroll, visit www.holbertonschool.com.