Town IDA works with Valley Central to bring coding training to students

Mar 16, 2021 | Albany, press

Town IDA works with Valley Central to bring coding training to students

Posted Thursday, February 25, 2021 9:17 am

Times Hudson Valley

The Town of Montgomery IDA announced last week that AlbanyCanCode, a renowned technology training organization, has partnered with the Valley Central School District to develop a technology and coding focused training curriculum.

“Established in the summer of 2016, AlbanyCanCode is a nonprofit organization that develops non-traditional talent and advocates for a vibrant, inclusive tech talent pipeline in our region,” said Town of Montgomery IDA Executive Director Conor Eckert. “This program will design and deliver workforce training courses and hands-on K12 coding programs, in alignment with the needs of employers, educators, talent and the community in general.”

The Town of Montgomery IDA has been advocating and taking proactive steps toward economic diversification, technology sector attraction, and workforce development. The Town of Montgomery IDA sought out AlbanyCanCode and brought them to the table for a conversation to work with the Valley Central School District.

“This is a tremendous step forward for the greater Town of Montgomery community,” continued Eckert. “We have been working with AlbanyCanCode while developing a technology sector attraction strategy and when they mentioned that there was grant funding available for school district programming, I saw it as a can’t-miss opportunity to help train our students for the 21st century economy. A major aspect of our town’s business attraction and tech strategy is workforce development. The IDA being able to bring Valley Central and AlabnyCanCode together to broker a partnership is a major step toward developing a local tech talent pipeline.”

“The Town of Montgomery IDA realizes that cutting-edge companies will not locate in the Town of Montgomery without a ready and able workforce,” said Town of Montgomery Supervisor Brian Maher. “Sites, innovative zoning, and incentives don’t mean much without a proactive economic development effort focused on talent and workforce, tailored toward our local community. This is yet another example of the value of having a local IDA here in the Town of Montgomery.”

“We’ve been actively working to promote more diverse development in the Town of Montgomery, especially the Technology sector,” said Chairman Jeffrey Crist. Between updating the UTEP policy for the first time since 2008, focusing on talent attraction and workforce development, and working closely with the community, I’m confident the Town of Montgomery is moving in the right direction. Our board is made up of local, volunteer members of the community. We understand the community and what the community wants. Our Executive Director helping make this workforce partnership happen is in line with our strategy.”

“We are so proud of what Montgomery and Valley Central are doing. This is literally how you grow the Tech sector from the ground up: by educating and readying a qualified workforce. This fits perfect with the County’s strategy for attracting future ready businesses to communities like Montgomery,” said Bill Fioravanti, Director of Economic Development for Orange County Government.

“We wanted to find a way to expose more students to the field of Computer Science and get them excited about all of the possibilities Computer Science skills allow,” said Matthew Fowler, Teacher at Valley Central School District. “In our partnership with Albany Can Code, students will meet virtually every 2nd and 4th Monday of the month and spend an hour and a half learning about HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. Students will be learning how to create and design websites from the ground up. We’re grateful for the opportunity to create this student-centered program and we hope it inspires our students to explore career possibilities in Computer Science or a related field.”

In addition to brokering this partnership, the Town of Montgomery IDA is also hosting the first ever Town of Montgomery Employer Roundtable in partnership with SUNY Orange. This roundtable will focus on local employer needs and how the IDA and SUNY Orange can work together to develop a pipeline of talent from the college to Town of Montgomery companies.