The New York State Office for New Americans (ONA) announced the launch of a new initiative, the Immigrants Can Code – Digital Literacy Pilot.

The state initiative, launched today, will provide immigrants with access to digital literacy education and training that are essential to building careers.

“During a time of economic transition that is defined by the growing importance of technology in the workplace, this digital literacy initiative will enable newcomers to New York State to gain the critical competencies needed to succeed in a rapidly evolving workforce,” ONA said in a statement.

The program is the product of collaboration between ONA and the nonprofit AlbanyCanCode. AlbanyCanCode will offer digital literacy courses specifically for ONA constituents, with initial classes starting this month.

“The ONA partnership with AlbanyCanCode will offer New Americans the chance to hone their skills that will prepare them for the highly competitive and lucrative high-tech field and increase their potential for growth and advancement in today’s economic environment,” said Secretary of State Rossana Rosado.

The $50,000 in funding for the program comes from the Federal CARES Act. Classes are open to any immigrant with a household income at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. ONA said the program was particularly relevant amid the COVID-19 pandemic because the pandemic “has shown how important digital literacy is for those who are now working from home, or who are seeking new employment that requires them to work remotely.” Additionally, funding will be available for students to participate in more advanced software courses beyond digital literacy.

The Fall 2020 slate of classes includes Front-End Web Development, JavaScript Fundamentals, and  Automated Web and Security Testing, which focuses on the use of software tools to evaluate the performance and security of a website. Other courses include Front End JavaScript Frameworks, Python for Data Analytics, and SQL/ETL.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs