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Hackbright Academy Forms Trade Association with Other Industry Leaders To Set New Education Standards

In support of the White House and President Obama’s TechHire initiative, the New Economy Skills Training Association (NESTA) launched as a new trade organization – a joint partnership between App Academy, Dev Bootcamp, Flatiron School, Galvanize, General Assembly, Hackbright Academy, Hack Reactor, MakerSquare, Turing School, and Wyncode.

NESTA’s mission is to establish best practices, standards, and increase accountability for outcome-based NEST organizations. Their first initiative is a standard outcome reporting methodology across coding schools. (NEST organizations are welcome to apply for NESTA membership here.)

“As our industry continues to grow rapidly, it is crucial that our schools provide consistent and reliable statistics to ensure we’re held to the highest standards demanded by our students and America’s top companies. We are excited to collaborate with leaders of other top coding schools to establish these best practices,” said NESTA Chairman and Hackbright Academy CEO David J. Phillips.

As part of their commitment, NESTA issued a letter to President Obama outlining the new trade association between the coding schools and their pledge to publish outcome data on an annual basis. Outcome data is based on mutually agreed upon criteria and will be verified by third-party CPAs.

NESTA has begun the process by standardizing the following:

  • Completion Rates
  • Job Placement
  • Average Tuition

The full list of criteria is in the NESTA Letter to President Obama.

White House Support of Coding Schools

White House

U.S. CTO Megan Smith and NESTA Chairman/Hackbright CEO David J. Phillips after an Inclusive Hiring Roundtable at the White House

President Obama recently launched the TechHire campaign to rapidly train Americans for well-paying technology jobs with participation from coding bootcamps. “Expanding coding bootcamps” was a key component of that economic agenda.

“It doesn’t matter where you learned to code, it just matters how good you are in writing code,” stated President Obama in an address at the National League of Cities.

Hackbright Academy has been collaborating with industry leaders, federal policy advisors, and administration officials in Washington D.C. to raise awareness about the effectiveness of coding schools, especially as method to increase the representation of women and underrepresented minorities in the industry.

The launch of NESTA was mentioned on the White House Blog today with US CTO Megan Smith and Director of National Economic Council Jeff Zients outlining that “a group of coding bootcamps have begun collaborating on how to transparently report completion and employment outcomes and they published an initial plan in a letter to the President today.”

With the launch of NESTA, the hope is to see continued support for Hackbright-style training initiatives as a viable method to skill up Americans for today’s technology jobs.

“We enroll dynamic, smart and dedicated women who are now effective engineers in companies around the country,” explained David. “It’s part of Hackbright’s mission to make sure that this pathway will always exist for those ready to work hard and apply their talent toward technology.”

Hackbright Academy Partners with White House to Launch TechHire Initiative

We’re thrilled to announce that Hackbright Academy is officially partnering with the White House for President Obama’s launch of TechHire. The new program is a bold public-private initiative to empower Americans with the technical skills they need through various educational approaches.

To kick off TechHire, 20 regions with open technology jobs, and more than 300 employers, are announcing plans to work together to create more tech training opportunities. Hackbright Academy will commit staff technical assistance and travel time to engage with pilot communities interested in starting or recruiting coding schools.

“We’re honored to join President Obama and the White House in ensuring more Americans, especially women and underrepresented minorities, have the technical skills to fill the country’s needs,” said CEO David J. Phillips.

Only 14 percent of computer science grads today are women. Hackbright Academy is graduating more female engineers than Stanford and University of California, Berkeley combined each year. By selecting to partner with Hackbright Academy, the White House assures that the tech initiative includes women in what has traditionally been a male-dominated industry.

“Creating a federal initiative that supports diversity will make an impact on the country’s historical gender gap in tech,” said Angie Chang, VP at Hackbright Academy.

The academy was one of the nation’s original coding schools and has already received major support from the technology industry, partnering with tech giants such as Facebook, Ebay, Pinterest, and SurveyMonkey — all which have hired directly from the academy to fill their high-demand tech positions.

“One of the massive benefits of the coding schools is there are qualifying people who are smart, hard working, and are brave to make a life change,” said Selina Tobaccowala, President and CTO of SurveyMonkey, a longtime Hackbright Academy partner company who has hired several Hackbright graduates from the program. “These are qualities that make fantastic engineers.”

Hackbright Academy will now make available 160 hours of staff time per year to consult with pilot communities in order to expand the program. Other coding schools and educational institutions have made similar commitments in an effort train and fill the national tech demands.

Helping more Americans train and connect to these jobs is a key element of the President’s middle-class economics agenda.

Learn more about the new tech initiative on the White House website. You can read Hackbright Academy’s full press release here.