First Cohort of Students Graduate From the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership’s Chicago Codes Program and Ready to Impact the Local Workforce

19 individuals completed rigorous coding bootcamp training program thanks to tech industry leader Coding Dojo

CHICAGO, Aug. 16, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership (The Partnership), City of Chicago, and program administrator Coding Dojo today celebrated 19 local residents for their successful completion of Chicago Codes, the full-time, tuition-free coding bootcamp. Located on Chicago’s South Side, The Partnership’s Chicago Codes program identifies untapped tech talent and provides skills training to enable participants to pursue careers in software development, where the average starting salary ranges from $61,000 to $83,000 per year.

“Chicago Codes is expanding access to valuable technology and career training for those who need it most,” said Karin M. Norington-Reaves, CEO of The Partnership. “This program is the first step to ensure that all Chicagoans can benefit from our city’s thriving tech industry, and that our local businesses have a steady and diverse recruitment pipeline.”

Chicago Codes targets some of Chicago’s most underserved communities to provide training and career services to people who may not have access to technology education. The program is in sync with market demand for skilled digital labor, as there are more than 3,000 developer job openings in the Greater Chicago area.

“Talent is evenly distributed across the population, but economic opportunities are not,” said Richard Wang, CEO of Coding Dojo, the organization selected to provide the coding training. “Chicago Codes is a prime example that anyone can learn to code, regardless of their technical background, and we look forward to helping participants reach their full potential while diversifying Chicago’s tech workforce.”

To celebrate the initial cohort, Chicago Codes is hosting a graduation event at Woodlawn Resource Center,  today, where students will demo projects they built during the program and network with potential employers.

"I created a working Python web application from scratch, front-end and back-end, based on a wireframe in under 8 hours. Eight weeks ago, it took me at least a day to put together a simple webpage using basic HTML and CSS, and another day or two to get some JavaScript working in there,” said Carla Miles, a stay-at-home mom who worked as a seasonal Amazon warehouse associate prior to Chicago Codes.

“I'm so proud of the progress I've made this summer and so grateful for this amazing opportunity that the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership and Coding Dojo have provided me with. I'm so excited for the next chapter!"

In addition to providing a tuition-free education, The Partnership’s Chicago Codes program includes training stipends and supportive services for individuals in need. Laptop computers are provided free-of-charge for students’ use during the program.

Many of the hiring partners for Chicago Codes will be in attendance for the first cohort’s final project demos and graduation event. One of the hiring partners, The Difference Engine, will host five Chicago Codes graduates in 10-week, paid internships to work on a community-based project with a local partner. Kimberly Lowe-Williams, CEO and Executive Director of The Difference Engine, will deliver a speech prior to the graduation ceremony to provide an overview of her company and share her experience in the tech industry.

"The Difference Engine, NFP exists to empower people from nontraditional backgrounds to launch their careers in tech through a real-life internship program that takes them out of the classroom into an actual team software development experience,” said Lowe-Williams. “We look forward to Chicago Codes graduates joining our team where they'll build real applications for real organizations in need, and help continue our mission of making tech accessible to individuals and organizations that can benefit from it the most."  

The Chicago Codes program, co-sponsored by The Rockefeller Foundation, Facebook, and Microsoft, offers individuals an opportunity to participate in an 11-week coding training program, followed by paid internships with local organizations. The goal of these internships is to sharpen the graduates’ technical and professional skills, as well as expand their development portfolio for future employers.

Additional program training includes fundamental computer programming technologies such as HTML and CSS, as well as Python, one of the most in-demand coding languages in the industry. The course consists of 40 hours per week of classroom learning plus a custom online learning platform, which includes video tutorials, supplemental readings, and quizzes for independent study.

Due to overwhelming interest in the program, applications for the second and third Chicago Codes cohorts have closed. During the initial 4-week recruitment period, the program received more than 800 applications and is currently seeking funding to train additional cohorts. Interested parties should contact

For more information about The Partnership’s Chicago Codes initiatives, please visit

About the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership
The Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership (The Partnership) is a non-profit umbrella organization operating the public workforce system for the City of Chicago and Cook County. The Partnership combines federal and philanthropic resources to provide comprehensive workforce development services to both employers and job seekers.

As the largest workforce development system in the nation, The Partnership has helped place more than 70,000 individuals in employment; collaborated with more than 2,000 employers; and administered more than $300 million in federal and philanthropic funds. The Partnership’s network of 53 community-based organizations, 10 American Job Centers, and three sector-driven workforce centers serves more than 10,000 people annually. Learn more at

About Coding Dojo
Coding Dojo is one of the top-rated coding bootcamps in the industry. Since 2012, Coding Dojo has helped individuals from a variety of backgrounds and skill levels transform into professional developers who go on to be hired by start-ups and world-class companies like Expedia, Microsoft, JPMorgan Chase, DocuSign and Skytap. Coding Dojo has campuses in ten US cities, as well as full-time and part-time online programs. Learn more at

Dunni T. Cosey Gay
Contact: (312) 833-8973