Our jam-packed journey – which now features a large, diverse, and expanding cast of characters as well as a growing list of workforce, educational and community development projects – officially began on June 9, 2016, when I handed a paper form to register a NYS non for profit corporation across a glass divider and into the hands of a government employee. That was all. Five minutes filling out a form, in a building that took me five minutes to walk to.
The paperwork took so little effort; the form asked for so little. In real terms, it asked only this: who should New York State send a letter to if anything goes wrong? In the case of AlbanyCanCode, since that form listed the names of our officers – founder Annmarie Lanesey, myself, and the initial board directors – it listed everything we had.
June 2016: Four people ready to pursue a shared vision.
A year later, in June 2017, here’s who we are:
- nearly 200 adult students who have applied and 25 who have been accepted, funded, and enrolled in workforce classes;
- nearly 30 mentors from 20 companies who show up to lead code labs; a handful of amazing and visionary workforce development professionals to make access to funding a reality;
- a dozen or so public school administrators, 25 public school teachers and student teachers who pilot and support K-12 coding-for-all programs;
- nearly 300 third graders who came to see themselves as coders through using a Scratch project in the classroom;
- a list of 40 employer, educator and community allies we engage with to brainstorm, pilot, measure and refine programs to give our region a talent-fueled technology pipeline;
- a meticulous, cheerful and inspired workforce curriculum developer and teacher;
- a few brilliant consultants we can call on to turn ideas into reality;
- a powerhouse board of directors to navigate into the future;
- and me, the staff of one, doing whatever makes sense to manage the present and act on our most critical opportunities.
In short, we are still nothing more than people. People who are inspired by the vision of a talent-fueled tech pipeline for the region. There are no assets, no products, no price list, no sales reps. The organization is only a culture where we insist on being open, inclusive and practical as we listen, pool energy and resources, and connect dots to bring that shared vision closer to reality.
Many many thanks to all who have brought us their resources and energy. First and foremost, the Workforce Development Institute, without whom we would not have survived the first year. Second, our stalwart corporate sponsors: Linium, MVP, Autotask, and The Wagoner Firm, who recognize the value of a local, affordable, employer-aligned software and IT training program. And our donors: United Way, CEO, Pioneer Bank, Society for Internet Management, and Bouchey, who see the potential of our work to transform lives. Many thanks to the School Districts of Ballston Spa and East Greenbush, and to the Urban Scholars program at Siena College.
Finally, a heartfelt thanks to everyone who follows us on twitter, likes us on facebook, or writes messages through our website. Thank you for your support. Thank you for your patience. Thank you for you understanding. Still a staff of one…
The best is yet to come!