AlbanyCanCode Receives Investment from Facebook

The organization will use $50,000 grant – Facebook’s first in the Capital Region – to scale successful tech training and fuel workforce & economic development opportunities statewide

Albany, NY AlbanyCanCode, a nonprofit dedicated to creating a new generation of software coders, today announced a significant investment from Facebook that will accelerate its expansion across New York state. With the support of Facebook’s first-ever grant in the Capital Region, AlbanyCanCode will increase access for individuals to its innovative computer coding education and training programs, and further grow the pipeline of skilled technology professionals to serve the emerging needs of business.

Launched three years ago to remove cultural and economic barriers to joining the technology workforce, AlbanyCanCode is shifting the mindset about who can work in tech. In the process, it is playing a critical role in driving both workforce and economic development: providing underserved individuals with pathways to lucrative tech careers, and supporting business growth by building a diverse and inclusive source of talented tech workers.

Now, fueled by a $50,000 investment from Facebook, AlbanyCanCode will expand its unique coding curricula across New York, with initial outreach underway in the Hudson Valley region.

“Bringing communities together through technology is at the core of Facebook, and that’s exactly what AlbanyCanCode is doing,” said Lisa R. Harris, Director, State and Local Economic Development Policy for Facebook. “We are proud that this donation will allow more New Yorkers to have access to coding programs that help them reach personal career goals while strengthening the state’s economy.”

Starting in 2016 with an initial cohort of 9 students, AlbanyCanCode has graduated more than 150 students, and its current class of 57 students is its largest to date. Graduates are securing significant career opportunities with major employers – including Accenture, Goldman Sachs, New York State Office of Information Technology Services, and MVP Healthcare, among others – and those reporting back have seen average annual salary increases of $15,000 or more.

Driven by this success and amid growing interest in its programs, AlbanyCanCode is discussing opportunities to expand in several communities across the state. The investment by Facebook provides vital seed funding to ramp those efforts by supporting curriculum development, instructor training, establishment of employer and partner networks, and student recruitment and marketing.

“We are thrilled to receive financial support from Facebook, which is a true kindred spirit in its mission of bringing people and communities together to effect meaningful change,” said Annmarie Lanesey, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of AlbanyCanCode. “This investment provides a catalyst that will enable us to positively impact more lives, support the growth of businesses in multiple industries, and enhance our regional and statewide economies.”

“This donation from Facebook, one of the world’s technology leaders, is an exciting validation of the work AlbanyCanCode is doing,” said Miriam Dushane, Board Chair of AlbanyCanCode. “We look forward to expanding this groundbreaking initiative, and creating career and growth opportunities for people and business across the state.”

The positive impact of AlbanyCanCode is best reflected in the lives it is changing. Ramon Vazquez of Schenectady completed a Front End Web Development course in the fall of 2018, then continued his studies with AlbanyCanCode by taking JavaScript Frameworks last spring and SQL/ETL last summer. He subsequently secured a position as a Front-end Developer at UPPMarket in Troy, and has also returned to AlbanyCanCode as an instructor, teaching Front End Web Development this fall, and providing extensive support to his students as they follow in his footsteps.

“After doing some coding programs online, I still didn’t have the confidence in my skills to look for a job in the tech industry,” said Vazquez. “AlbanyCanCode helped me strengthen my skills, network with local employers, and land my first job as a web developer. A year later, and I am back to teach the next round of AlbanyCanCode students!”

AlbanyCanCode currently offers courses in Front-End Web Development, which teaches the technical skills necessary for user interface (UI) development and wire framing; JavaScript Fundamentals, the dominant scripting tool for front-end web development; and SQL/EQL, which is used for database and analytical software. Together with course work, students receive real-world experience by collaborating in teams to build projects for community organizations.

In addition, AlbanyCanCode provides education and training in partnership with educational institutions at all levels, including K-12, vocational and higher education, as well as community agencies that target underserved populations. For more information, visit AlbanyCanCode’s website at www.albanycancode.org.

About AlbanyCanCode

AlbanyCanCode is a 501(c)(3) founded in 2016 to develop non-traditional talent and to advocate for a vibrant, inclusive tech talent pipeline in New York’s Capital Region. Operating on a stakeholder engagement model, the organization designs and delivers workforce training courses and hands-on K12 coding programs in alignment with the needs of employers, educators, talent and the community in general. The overall mission is to shift mindset about who can work in technology; to remove cultural and economic barriers to joining the tech workforce; and to establish and promote pathways to tech careers throughout the region. Learn more at www.albanycancode.org.

About Facebook

Founded in 2004, Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them. Facebook is a trademark of Facebook, Inc.