COVID-19 impact gives CMS students accelerated opportunity to paid tech apprenticeship

Youth Technology Apprenticeship Camp is a first-of-its-kind workforce training program for youth that intertwines e-sports competition and game development, with a custom development curriculum that exposes high school students not planning to head to a four-year university to a career pathway in technology.

The Carolina Fintech Hub and Charlotte Executive Leadership Council, in partnership with the Bank of America Foundation, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and the City of Charlotte are accepting at least 20 CMS students to be participants in this initial cohort of YTAC.

This was initially planned for a physical launch in July, but given the impacts of COVID-19 on our school system, it was decided this program would be virtualized (meaning those selected would participate entirely remotely), and moved up in timeline to help fill the void for those graduating soon that are not planning on going to a four-year university and find themselves with free time given the statewide school closure impacts.

With an aggressive plan in mind to help provide alternatives, YTAC is scheduled to begin on April 20 and last through May 15.

Participants that are accepted into the program have a full lineup each day:

  • From 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. each day, they will be in smaller virtual breakout groups where they will be working on their project work, labs and building their own game in a hackathon competition.
  • From 10:30 to 12 p.m. they will participate in the esports competition each day. Each day and week will bring different games, and different competitions in elimination and round-robin formats. There will be overall leaderboards updated over the entire month, and competitions will be livestreamed for all of Charlotte and the esports world to tune in each day.
  • From 1 to 5 p.m. they will enter the classroom where they will receive training that positions them to become full stack developers and enter careers in technology.

Participants will be paid the equivalent of over $10 an hour, receive an apprenticeship credential for their resume, and can be preselected into the Carolina Fintech Hub WIN Program (Workforce Investment Network), where they will be paid full time for an additional six months to learn to code and guaranteed a job at Charlotte’s top companies, making $55,000 a year to start.

Applications are open until April 17.

Additional Details on the day to day of YTAC program included in this link where the students can apply through this Thursday: