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LaGuardia Community College Awarded $3.9M Federal Grant to Train At-Risk, Disadvantaged Young People for Tech Jobs

Part of White House & US Department of Labor $150 Million TechHire Initiative

—LaGuardia to partner with Udacity, General Assembly, & Software Guild to provide FREE tech training—

TechHire grant

Long Island City, NY (June 29, 2016)—LaGuardia Community College has been awarded a $3.9 million federal grant to provide free tech industry training for at-risk and disadvantaged young people, ages 17 to 29. One of just 39 programs in 25 states nationwide—and one of only two in New York City—the grant is part of TechHire, a $150 million White House and US Department of Labor initiative to train interested individuals in coding, software development, systems management, and other in-demand high-tech specialty areas. 

The grant awarded to LaGuardia is part of $126 million, included within the $150 million initiative, for programs specifically for low-income, minority or otherwise underserved young people.

“Being selected by the White House and the US Department of Labor for this highly competitive TechHire grant, which reflects our understanding of the fast-evolving needs of the tech industry and our dedication to helping people get out of poverty and into the middle class through education, is very gratifying,” said LaGuardia Community College President Gail O. Mellow

"We congratulate LaGuardia Community College, as well as its partners General Assembly, Udacity, and Software Guild, for winning a prestigious TechHire award and look forward to the great impact this work will have for young New Yorkers,” said Barbara Chang, Executive Director of the NYC Mayor's Office of Workforce Development. “As a pilot city of President Obama’s TechHire initiative, New York City fully embraces the alignment of tech education with workforce needs and expanding job opportunities through the NYC Tech Talent Pipeline. Yesterday’s announcement is a huge win for New York City and recognizes the commitment that tremendous local institutions are making together with the City’s tech employers to ensure that New Yorkers are well prepared for the 21st century economy.”

The LaGuardia Community College program, known as TechIMPACT, will offer accelerated tech training for more than 300 low-income young adults over the next three years, in partnership with General Assembly, Udacity, and The Software Guild, with tools created by industry experts at large tech companies like Google and Facebook. The training will be provided at no cost to participants.

“There are more than 600,000 IT jobs in the US open today, and tech jobs pay one and a half times the average wages of a private-sector job,” said Jake Schwartz, co-founder and CEO of General Assembly. “TechIMPACT is about creating pathways toward a high paying job for a population that has been boxed-out of the tech industry—we are excited for the opportunity help build a more diverse talent pipeline.”

“TechIMPACT could become a national model for unique partnerships that enable higher education institutions to expand the catalog of highly specialized courses they’re able to offer to students,” said Dr. Mellow.

Training will focus on in-demand skills, including web development, Java, and computer network support, informed by the NYC Tech Talent Pipeline through LinkedIn’s first-ever analysis of NYC’s 3.1 million LinkedIn members. 

“Our experts will provide training in coding, a skill that’s an integral part of today’s job market. We look forward to helping students who have the drive to succeed but not always the necessary economic support to learn these valuable skills,” said Eric Wise, Chief Academic Officer of The Software Guild.

“The recent TechHire grants are an important and actionable milestone for tech education in the U.S., and we’re pleased to work with LaGuardia Community College to train underserved young adults with the needed, ‘in-demand’ tech skills to help them get a job or advance their career,” said Zhalisa Clarke, Vice President of Business Development at Udacity.

In addition to receiving a foundation in digital and tech literacy, participants will have access to career planning, free MetroCards, child care services, mentors, and other support services to help keep them on track towards completing the program and help them address any life challenges that arise before they result in dropping out.

As well, TechIMPACT will team up with partners to help graduates from these programs find paid internships and jobs. Up to 50 students in need of a transition to employment will be connected with paid internships with participating employers from IBM to small businesses. For longer-term hiring, a multitude of hiring partners have signed on to interview qualified candidates, including IBM, WalMart, Xerox, and others. 

“We want to help program graduates secure job opportunities right away so they don’t get discouraged if they don’t find work quickly,” said Dr. Mellow. “We are excited to empower a new tech workforce that will help diversify and strengthen NYC's Tech Talent Pipeline."


LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, educates more than 50,000 New Yorkers annually through degree, certificate, and continuing education programs. Our guiding principle Dare To Do More reflects our belief in the transformative power of education—not just for individuals, but for our community and our country—creating pathways for achievement and safeguarding the middle class. LaGuardia is a national voice on behalf of community colleges, where half of all US college students study. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), the College reflects the legacy of our namesake, Fiorello H. LaGuardia, the former NYC mayor beloved for his championing the underserved. Since our doors opened in 1971, our programs regularly become national models for pushing boundaries to give people of all backgrounds access to a high quality, affordable college education. We invite you to join us in imagining what our students, our community, and our country can become. Visit to learn more.

General Assembly (GA) is a global educational company on a mission to empower a global community to pursue work they love. Focusing on the most relevant and in-demand skills across data, design, business and technology, GA is confronting a skills gap through best-in-class instruction and providing access to opportunities. GA works with students online and in person across 15 campuses in 4 continents. GA also works with companies as partners in course development and graduate placement as well as helps companies stay competitive in today's digital landscape. Additionally, GA’s focus on affordable and accessible education combined with our education-to-employment approach is helping to create a diverse talent pipeline. To learn more, please visit

Udacity is democratizing education to make it affordable and accessible for people around the world to get the jobs they want to improve their lives. Based in Silicon Valley, Udacity provides online education to millions of students around the world. Its Nanodegree program, a credential built and backed by industry, is designed to give individuals the skills they need to "be in demand" for the global work force. The company offers Nanodegrees across a range of subjects including machine learning, web and mobile development and data analytics, with dozens more in development. To learn more, please visit

The Software Guild, which is owned and operated by online education technology solution provider The Learning House, Inc., is an accelerated, hands-on coding bootcamp where individuals learn to be software developers at an in-person bootcamp or at the fully online program. Apprentices learn either .NET or Java and acquire the skills needed for entry-level developer positions. The Guild has more than 100 companies in its employer network, a 95% job placement rate and master instructors with an average of more than ten years of industry experience. Currently, The Software Guild has locations in Akron, Ohio; Louisville, Ky.; Minneapolis, Minn; and online. To learn more, please visit