Borough of Manhattan Community College CUNY TechWorks’s IT Management is a profiled program in the Plugging In Report.
Who is served: Underrepresented groups in tech
Number of participants served annually: 350
Frequency/Duration: Summer Bootcamp Program: 10 weeks, Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Part-Time For-Credit Program: Weeknights (typically Monday–Thursday for 2–3 hours)
Eligibility Criteria: Must be 18 years or older, hold a high school diploma or equivalent (GED/TASC), be eligible to work in the United States, and unemployed or underemployed.
Application process: Attend an information session, fill out online application, TABE (Test of Adult Basic Education), interview
Partnerships: Robert Half, Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), Kingsborough Community College (KCC), and Queensborough Community College (QCC) – CUNY CEWP
Skill level: Intro, entry-level
Outcomes: Acquire certifications that qualify participants for entry-level positions as an IT professional. Software development students graduate with 13 college credits which can be used towards an AAS degree in Internet and Information Technology. Participants also create a GitHub portfolio highlighting their work.
Cost: Free. The program covers tuition and textbook costs, though textbooks must be returned.
Sources of funding: Funded by an America’s Promise grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration
What makes this program stand out? CUNY Tech Works is an employment and training program that offers tech training, internships, career counseling, and job placement. Tech Works operates in partnership with 3 community colleges, each with its own course offering: Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) offers IT management; Kingsborough Community College (KCC) offers user experience (UX) design; and Queensborough Community College (QCC) offers software development.
CUNY Tech Works has 2 pathways: a full-time, intensive summer bootcamp and a part-time for credit program. The bootcamp offers the quickest path to employment, while the year-long part-time program yields college credits which can be applied to an associate’s degree in internet and information technology (AAS in IIT). Both programs are geared towards getting participants into tech careers, and offer help with online portfolios, job search and placement, and access to paid internship opportunities.
Though community college students are heavily recruited for the program, CUNY Tech Works is ultimately a workforce development program open to all applicants who meet the basic qualifications. The program, operated through CUNY’s Office of Continuing Education and Workforce Programs (CEWP), is designed to address the gaps in access to tech education for underrepresented and low-income communities.
What do participants need to succeed? Students need support in order to break into the tech sector. They have access to industry experts who act as career coaches and help students develop professional skills that pertain to the tech space like project management and understanding the life cycle of software.Schools also host hackathons, industry talks, and other events to promote access.
What does the organization need? Funding and bridge programming for adult learners.