Coding on laptop

Comcast has implemented a program called Grows to Code that gives front line employees the opportunity to learn new skills to become software engineers.

In the program, the employees learn coding skills that enable them to be moved into entry-level software engineering roles. The program is a partnership with LaunchCode, a nonprofit that “pipelines and build(s) customized talent strategies” for companies nationwide, Comcast explained in a blog post.

The six-month program includes an intensive coding bootcamp, an onboarding program and an apprenticeship. The best news for employees may be that they are paid full time at their average hourly rate during the training and perform their coursework as part of their 40-hour work week.

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The first class of Comcast Grows to Code consisted of 12 people, all of whom completed their requirements and are full-time engineers for the service provider.

The blog post mentions three of the graduates. The featured individual is Shelina Watts, who heard about the program in a staff meeting in the spring of 2020. She applied immediately and was accepted. Her final project was the creation of a searchable encyclopedia of sneakers, which related to her personal interest in the topic. Her new role as an engineer involves work on an app she used as a technician in the field.

“It was just right on time,” Watts said in the blog post. “This program allowed me to combine my love for creating new things with the real-world experience I gained as a technician to serve our customers in an entirely new way. This was an amazing opportunity.”

In January, 10 telecom industry associations urged the Biden administration in a letter to include support for skills training in its broadband initiatives.

The letter, which also was sent to Congress, was signed by the Competitive Carriers Association (CCA), the Fiber Broadband Association (FBA), INCOMPAS, NATE: The Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association, NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association, Power & Communication Contractors Association (PCCA), the Telecommunications Industry Association, USTelecom – The Broadband Association, the Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA) and the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA).

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