Local coding academy Bay Valley Tech has reached a three-year agreement with the Stanislaus County Office of Education to expand its free classes. Additionally, the school will be moving its co-working space to downtown Modesto.
Bay Valley Tech’s new 1325 H St. location – the building once occupied by The Bee and purchased from McClatchy by SCOE in 2016 – will be used as “a startup incubator to support local entrepreneurs with affordable offices, digital marketing expertise, software consultants and a steady flow of skilled talent from its fast-growing software training programs,” according to a news release.
With the co-working space, Bay Valley Tech, formerly based in north Modesto, hopes to facilitate the expansion of new companies into the Central Valley. “Our expanded partnership with Bay Valley Tech will benefit the region’s students and economy for many years,” Scott Kuykendall, Stanislaus County Superintendent of Schools said in the release. “Bay Valley Tech’s exceptional program is making a positive impact across the county, and we look forward to our growing collaboration.” His office works to ensure local job-seekers are “ready to enter self-sustaining employment and careers,” according to the release. This year, Bay Valley Tech is working toward its goal of training 1,000 computer programmers in the region. Their free coding classes have started students off in careers at large companies like E&J Gallo, as well as local startups.
The tech industry is one of the few sectors reporting job growth despite the COVID-19 pandemic, with 319,000 new IT jobs added to the national labor force in December. Yet according to the news release, companies are still reporting a shortage of computer programmers. To address this shortage, Bay Valley Tech will announce agreements with new companies to hire more of its Central Valley and Bay Area code academy alumni. The program is “paying dividends” for students throughout the county, SCOE’s Director of Career Tech Education, Dallas Plaa, said in the news release.
Plaa, who oversees the office’s adult education and career training programs, as well as its Computer Support Specialist certification partnership with Modesto Junior College, said “SCOE’s partnership with Bay Valley Tech has allowed our two organizations to achieve more effective and cost-efficient results than if we had operated separate programs.” “Our organizations’ common goal is to train and enable students to become productive citizens in our local community,” he said. “Bay Valley Tech’s code academy is a complement to some of SCOE’s other programs at this same location. We are thrilled to expand this successful partnership.”