WIT Scholarships Grant

Code Platoon receives grant from William R. Johnson Foundation, William R. Johnson Foundation gives to Women in Tech

Chicago, January 12, 2021 – Code Platoon, a Chicago-based nonprofit that transforms Veterans and military spouses into professional software developers through an immersive Coding Bootcamp, has received a $5,000 grant from The William R. Johnson Foundation. Because of this generous investment, Code Platoon can continue to serve Veterans and military spouses in their pursuit of obtaining skilled and meaningful employment within technology.

The William R. Johnson Foundation grant will specifically benefit Code Platoon’s Women in Technology scholarship fund. The Women in Technology Scholarship is awarded to female Veterans and spouses in honor of Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer and a computer programming pioneer. 

“Currently, women only make up about 25% of IT roles,” saise Rodrigo Levy, Founder and Executive Director, Code Platoon. “Code Platoon is committed to creating more access and opportunities for Veteran women and military spouse developers. This scholarship reaffirms that commitment and we are grateful to The William R. Johnson Foundation for their partnerships.”

The Women in Technology scholarship provides access to a career in technology for Veterans and spouses of Servicemembers who may otherwise not be able to gain the skills required to find careers in software development. 

“Getting the scholarship for Women in Tech really meant a lot,” said Code Platoon graduate Christina Angeline. “I’m grateful that Code Platoon has such a passion for helping people like myself.” 

To learn more about Code Platoon, visit their website at codeplatoon.org

About The William R. Johnson Foundation

The William R. Johnson Foundation, located in Libertyville, IL, is a private foundation focused on philanthropy, voluntarism, and grant making. 

About Code Platoon

Code Platoon is a 501(c)3 non-profit that helps Veterans and military spouses transition into the civilian workforce by providing technical training and career placement. For 14 weeks, the students are immersed in learning the full web development stack, including Python), Django , JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. No previous programming skills are required. After completing the program, the Veteran or military spouse will be hireable as a junior full-stack web developer and eligible for an internship.

Robert Half Logo

Code Platoon Receives Robert Half Grant

CHICAGO- Code Platoon, a Chicago-based nonprofit that transforms Veterans and military spouses into professional software developers through an immersive coding Bootcamp, has received a grant from Robert Half International for the amount of $2,500. This grant will not only help provide ongoing support to the mission of transforming Veterans and military spouses into full-stack developers but marks the start of unified partnership to combat Veteran unemployment. 

“Through Robert Half’s Veterans Initiative, we share Code Platoon’s dedication to assisting Veterans and their spouses as they transition into the civilian workforce. We are proud to support Code Platoon’s efforts as a community partner,” stated Danielle Rivera, Employee Communications Specialist at Robert Half. 

Founded in 1948 by Bob and Maxine Half, Robert Half is a professional staffing firm with over 325 offices across the United States. This award winning firm has been dedicated to not only finding careers that fit job-seeking individuals but places that they will be happy to work with. This mission is extended to the Veterans and military spouse community through their Veterans Initiative, helping Veterans transition into the civilian workforce through support of organizations such as Code Platoon. 

“This grant reflects the shared goal of helping Veterans and military spouses,” says Alicia Boddy, Code Platoon’s Chief Operations and Development Officer. “Being able to partner with other organizations that recognize and value the potential that our Veterans and military spouses have in the workforce is always rewarding, but the work that the folks at Robert Half put in goes beyond what other staffing agencies do.”

Robert Half is committed to providing career resources to Veterans and military spouses, helping them identify civilian career opportunities where their military experience, technical and soft skills will be understood and valued. The hiring firm also takes the time to train their own employees how to translate the specialized skills and experiences that Veterans hold into a way that civilian employers can appreciate. With the combined efforts of Robert Half and Code Platoon, the job outlook for Veterans and military spouses is that much brighter.

About Robert Half

Since 1948, Robert half has built itself into a $5 billion dollar professional staffing service company. For over 70 years they have been helping both the employer find top talent and job seekers fulfilling employment opportunities. Through its services, Robert half is dedicated to promoting overall happiness in the workplace. Recently Rober Half has been named No. 1 on Forbes’ annual ranking of America’s Best Professional Recruiting Firms and placed fourth on the list of America’s Best Executive Recruiting Firms. The company also was named to Forbes’ inaugural list of America’s Best Temporary Staffing Firms.

About Code Platoon

Code Platoon is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that helps Veterans and military spouses transition into the civilian workforce by providing technical training and career placement. For 14 weeks the students are immersed in learning the full web development stack, including Python, Django, JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. No previous programming skills are required. After completing the program the Veteran or military spouse will be hireable as a junior full-stack web developer and eligible for an internship.

Boeing

Code Platoon Receives Grant from Boeing

CHICAGO, November 25, 2020 – Code Platoon, a Chicago-based nonprofit that transforms Veterans and military spouses into professional software developers through an immersive coding Bootcamp, has received a $50,000 grant from The Boeing Company. Because of this generous investment, Code Platoon will continue to serve Veterans and military spouses in their pursuit of obtaining skilled and meaningful employment within technology.

“This generous donation will allow us to move forward in our mission to help Veterans and military spouses develop the skills necessary to compete and excel in the fast-growing tech industry,” said Rod Levy, Executive Director of Code Platoon. “We are honored to receive this grant from Boeing as this grant will be instrumental in reaching more Veterans and have a larger impact on the community of Chicago.”

The Boeing Company concentrates efforts around their pillar of investment, Our Heroes: Veterans and Their Families. In 2020, The Boeing Company has invested more than $14 million to 97 nonprofit organizations that specifically assist Veterans. 

“During this challenging time, Boeing is proud to partner with leading veterans organizations to provide our global veteran communities and their families with essential workforce transition support, and recovery and rehabilitation programs that address mental health,” said David Calhoun, Boeing President, and CEO.

The investment in Code Platoon builds on Boeing’s commitment to supporting military Veterans and their families transitioning into the civilian workforce.

About Code Platoon

Code Platoon is a 501(c)3 non-profit that helps Veterans and military spouses transition into the civilian workforce by providing technical training and career placement. For 14 weeks, the students are immersed in learning the full web development stack, including Python), Django , JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. No previous programming skills are required. After completing the program, the Veteran or military spouse will be hireable as a junior full-stack web developer and eligible for an internship.

About The Boeing Company

Boeing is the world’s largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners and defense, space, and security systems. A top U.S. exporter, the company supports airlines and U.S. and allied government customers in 150 countries.

Crain's Honorees

Crain’s Notable Veteran Executives

Crain’s Chicago Business has recognized three members of Code Platoon’s Executive Board as Notable Veteran Executives for 2020. Edward Donovan, Iggy Khan, and Dan Reilly, who all serve on Code Platoon’s Board, were honored in the November 9th print edition of Crain’s Chicago Business, as well as online at ChicagoBusiness.com.

The three executives were recognized as part of a group of Veteran executives in the Chicago area who are currently serving in a senior level role at his or her company and have made significant contributions to advancing the issues that affect veterans within the workplace. In addition to their accomplishments within the workforce, the honorees have also made significant contributions out of the workplace, including serving as a role model for the Veteran community and holding leadership positions with Code Platoon or other civic or community organizations. 

“We are beyond thrilled to see three of our Code Platoon Board members recognized as outstanding Veteran executives,” said Code Platoon’s founder and Executive Director, Rod Levy. “I truly appreciate the hard work and expertise that Edward, Iggy, and Dan bring to Code Platoon’s mission of serving Veterans and military spouses and look forward to seeing their continued success.”

In addition to their Board service, each of the three honorees have worked to provide internship and employment opportunities for Code Platoon graduates within their companies. They are committed to providing opportunities for Veterans to grow in the field of software engineering.Edward Donovan

Edward Donovan is the Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary for TerSera Therapeutics LLC. Among Edward’s most recent accomplishments with TerSera, he led two major product acquisitions and integrations valued over $225M in 2019 and 2020. He was in charge of a cross-functional team that obtained the first and only FDA approval of a 2nd- generation antihistamine in an intravenous formulation in October 2019. 

Edward has been on Code Platoon’s governing board since 2016 and currently serves as Board Chairman. Edward provides his time, leadership, and legal expertise to help promote Code Platoon’s mission of getting Veterans and military spouses into programming careers. Edward served in the U.S. Army as an officer for five years. He was stationed in Fort Stewart, Fort Brag, and had deployments to Kuwait and Egypt. 

“Thank you to Crain’s for this recognition,” Edward said. “I am honored to represent Code Platoon and am grateful to have a role in helping other Veterans find careers in software engineering.”Iqbal “Iggy” Khan

Iggy Khan is a Managing Director for Chase Merchant Services of JP Morgan Chase & Co. He has led several projects that enhance the company’s online experience and its affiliates within this role. Projects such as merging treasury and merchant processing information into a single portal and the buildout of advanced capabilities on JPMorgan Access, and commenced the migration of over 6,000 clients, including several of the largest S&P 500.

“This award from Crain’s is an incredible honor and I am thrilled to be part of Code Platoon,” said Iggy.

Iggy joined Code Platoon’s Board in 2019 and now serves as Treasurer. He is also dedicated to mentoring military Veterans, helping Servicemembers transition and acclimate into their new careers. He has been instrumental in facilitating a pipeline for Code Platoon graduates to find internships and full-time employment at JPMorgan Chase. Iggy has 20 years in military service, that time split between active and reserve status. He served in the U.S. Navy as a Naval Flight Officer and was awarded 3 Air Medals for flying 76 combat missions over Bosnia and Iraq.

Dan ReillyThe third of Code Platoon’s honorees is Dan Reilly, the Corporate Vice President of Products & Sales Finance of Motorola Solutions. Dan is also the CFO for Motorola Solutions’ Products & Systems Integration segment within his scope of responsibilities and implemented a new project management system for delivering on a $1B+ portfolio of information technology integration projects.

Beyond the expected responsibilities, Dan provides mentorship to Veterans within the company, advocates for more military prior hires, serves on Code Platoon’s Board of Directors, and is also a youth soccer coach. His military service was with the U.S. Army, where he served as a Captain. Dan began his military career after 9/11, where he deployed with the 82nd Airborne Division to Iraq and Afghanistan and with the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea. 

“I am grateful to be recognized by Crain’s with this award,” said Dan. “This is a great opportunity to highlight all of the great things Code Platoon does. I’m glad to be part of it!”

Congratulations again to our Code Platoon honorees and all of the Notable Veteran Executives featured this year!

Amanda Michelle Gordon is Code Platoon’s Content Marketing Coordinator. She is a U.S. Air Force Veteran and a student of SUNY New Paltz for Journalism and Sociology. In her free time, Amanda enjoys reading, the outdoors, and turning coffee into copy. You can find Amanda on LinkedIn and Twitter

IDVA

Code Platoon Receives IDVA Vet Cash Grant

Code Platoon has received $50,000 from the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs’ (IDVA) Vet Cash Program to help the ongoing effort of training Veterans and military spouses into the career of software development. Since 2017, IDVA has supported Code Platoon’s mission and has contributed a total of $150,000 which helps the Coding Bootcamp offer an immersive, hands-on, 14 week Coding Bootcamp, and the opportunity to secure paid internships following the completion of our program.

“The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs is pleased to assist Code Platoon in its mission,” says Director of Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Linda Chapa LaVia. “By providing opportunities for training and mentorship, Code Platoon offers veterans the chance to enter into an in-demand and well-paid career in software development. The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs salutes the work Code Platoon is doing to lift up Illinois veterans. ” 

The Vet Cash program proceeds help support Illinois Veterans by funding services that focus on some of the challenges that the military-affiliated community is confronted with including health costs, post-traumatic stress disorder treatment and research, job training and placement, and homelessness. By providing funds to nonprofits, government agencies and Veteran organizations, IDVA is able to help smaller groups make a much larger impact to the Illinois Veteran community.  

“The support from IDVA’s Vets Cash program cannot be understated,” says Rod Levy, Founder and Executive Director of Code Platoon. “Investing in our Veterans and military spouses has a proven return rate, as 71% of Code Platoon graduates report an increase on average of $25,000 within the first six months of graduation. After 24 months, 80% of our graduates are earning, on average, $88,000 as Full-time software developers. Thanks to IDVA’s Vet Cash program we can continue to empower our Veterans and military spouses across the state to achieve higher economic and career outlooks together.”

Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) mission is to empower Veterans and their families to thrive by assisting them in navigating the system of federal, state and local resources and benefits. IDVA also provides long-term health care for eligible Veterans within Veterans’ Homes; and partner with other agencies and non-profits to help Veterans address education, mental health, housing, employment, and other challenges.

Code Platoon is a 501(c)3 non-profit that helps Veterans and military spouses transition into the civilian workforce by providing technical training and career placement. For 14 weeks the students are immersed in learning the full web development stack, including Python, Django, JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. No previous programming skills are required. 

Alliant Credit Union Foundation

Code Platoon Receives Alliant Credit Union Foundation Grant

Code Platoon has received a grant from the Alliant Credit Union Foundation for the amount of $2,500 to provide ongoing support to the mission of transforming Veterans and military spouses into full-stack developers. This marks the third year in a row that the foundation has aided the Coding Bootcamp and its military-affiliated students, totaling their financial sponsorship to $7,500. 

“Our foundation is proud to partner with Code Platoon as it helps Veterans and military spouses transition their skills from military to civilian life,” stated Wayne Rosenwinkel, President of the Alliant Credit Union Foundation. 

The Alliant Credit Union Foundation, headquartered in Chicago, has been dedicated to the economic empowerment and self-sufficiency of the people of Chicago since its founding in 2008. The Alliant Credit Union Foundation knows that when they invest in the community the result is a stronger and more economically stable population that can help to continue building better opportunities within Chicagoland. 

“With these funds, Code Platoon will be able to continue to educate Veterans and military spouses with in-demand programming skills, provide professional guidance, and help place graduates into paid internships within the city of Chicago,” says Rod Levy, Founder and Executive Director of Code Platoon. “The funding from Alliant Credit Union Foundation cannot be understated and Code Platoon’s team thanks Alliant Credit Union Foundation for its continued support. 

The Alliant Credit Union Foundation is a 501(c)3 charitable foundation established in 2008 to promote economic empowerment and self-sufficiency in people, especially in communities where Alliant Credit Union members and employees live and work. The Alliant Credit Union Foundation is a separate, independent legal entity, incorporated in Illinois and operated by a Board of Directors comprised of Alliant Credit Union employees.

Code Platoon is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that helps Veterans and military spouses transition into the civilian workforce by providing technical training and career placement. For 14 weeks the students are immersed in learning the full web development stack, including Python, Django, JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. No previous programming skills are required. After completing the program the Veteran or military spouse will be hireable as a junior full-stack web developer and eligible for an internship.

motorola solutions foundation

Code Platoon Receives Motorola Solutions Foundation Grant

Code Platoon, the nonprofit Coding Bootcamp for Veterans and military spouses, today announced it has received a grant for $50,000 from the Motorola Solutions Foundation, the charitable arm of Motorola Solutions.

Through the grant, Code Platoon will be able to support the full time training program ensuring more Veterans and military spouses can learn the skills to become software development professionals. This funding support will directly impact mission critical components of the training program including faculty salaries, scholarships and student recruitment initiatives.

“Motorola Solutions Foundation has been a key supporter of Code Platoon since 2017 and we are grateful for their continued and growing investment in our program and our students,” said Code Platoon’s Founder and Executive Director, Rod Levy. “More Veterans and military spouses have achieved success as software development professionals because of their generosity and we thank Motorola Solutions Foundation for their commitment to our program.”

Through this generous grant, Code Platoon will be able to continue to lower barriers to entry to help make this an affordable education option for Veterans and military spouses through scholarships and funding. Code Platoon will also be able to raise awareness about the value of adding Veterans to the workplace by partnering with companies that have Veteran hiring programs.

The Motorola Solutions Foundation awards grants each year to organizations, such as Code Platoon, that support and advance education initiatives in public safety and technology and engineering. Additionally, the Foundation has a long-standing commitment to supporting programs that benefit underrepresented populations, including women, people of color, people with disabilities, Veterans, and others.

“This year, the Foundation’s grants will support programs that help millions of students, teachers, first responders and community members around the globe,” said Karem Perez, executive director of the Motorola Solutions Foundation. “We are thrilled to partner with organizations like Code Platoon that are actively making a positive difference in their communities.”

About Code Platoon

Code Platoon teaches Veterans and military spouses marketable skills that leverage core competencies, transforming them into software developers through an immersive, hands-on, educational process and paid internship program. Of our graduates, 81% of them are employed in software development within six months of graduating and report a median salary of $65,000. For more information on Code Platoon’s programs, please visit: www.codeplatoon.org/the-program

About the Motorola Solutions Foundation

The Motorola Solutions Foundation is the charitable and philanthropic arm of Motorola Solutions. With employees located around the globe, Motorola Solutions seeks to benefit the communities where it operates. The Foundation achieves this by making strategic grants, forging strong community partnerships and fostering innovation. The Motorola Solutions Foundation prioritizes its funding on public safety education, technology & engineering education, disaster relief, and employee volunteerism. For more information on Motorola Solutions corporate and foundation giving, visit our website: www.motorolasolutions.com/foundation.

Code Platoon Graduate Outcomes Report, November 2019

Since Code Platoon launched in 2016, our mission has been to prepare veterans and now military spouses to become professional software developers. Our students have, over those years, completed eight 14-week sessions.

A key word in our mission is to make our students ‘professional,’ which to us sets the bar of not only teaching students how to develop software but also preparing them for a new career in software development. We train our students on much more than basic programming skills, and emphasize the soft career skills and networking that is needed to get into the right jobs. Here are our results so far:

coding boot camp outcomes 2019

45 veterans graduated in our first 7 cohorts (the 8th one, Hotel Platoon, just graduated). Of those 45 students, 32 (71%) found jobs in software development within 6 months, median salary of $65,000. Of the remaining 13 graduates, 5 went to work outside of software development, 4 looked for work but did not find it within 6 months, and 4 graduated but did not actively look for full-time work.

Of the 25 graduates that completed Code Platoon two years ago, 14 responded to our survey, and their median salary (as software developers) is $88,000. Clearly, our graduates are more than simply employed; they have demonstrated great earning potential as well.

We attribute the excellent success rates of our graduates to several factors. First of all, our students come hungry to learn and dedicated to working long hours every day. Second of all, we have some great tech community partners who help our students with job placement. And, of course, there is the program itself…

We provide excellent technical training in software development

First and foremost, we teach programming skills. We focus on two of the most in-demand languages Python and Javascript and powerful frameworks like React, and Django. Our curriculum, designed and taught by our top instructors, is mostly hands-on; an hour or two of lectures a day, followed by lots of coding.

We recognize that technical skills are fundamental to getting a good job, but they are insufficient on their own. These days, you need to know industry best practices, like debugging, pair-programming, and test-driven development. We teach that too.

We provide soft skills training and preparation for a career in software development

We also prepare our students to find jobs and succeed in their interviews. We help write resumes, and prepare LinkedIn profiles. We teach our students interview skills, and practice technical and behavioral interviews.

Because we work with the veteran community, we are able to tailor our interview prep to help our students tell their stories to civilian interviewers. We even try to prepare our students for the complexities of post-military life. We have seminars on personal finance, workplace sensitivity and inclusion, and growth mindset.

We provide internships and networking opportunities to help you get that first software developer job!

Getting your first job in a new field like programming and development is hard. To bridge the gap from training to getting a job, paid internships are available at the end of the In-Person program.

And we know that nothing helps in getting a job like knowing people in the business. Our students are matched with industry mentors and professional software developers who volunteer as teaching assistants. By the end of our program, each of our students should have met at least 10 professional software developers.

None of these factors is the single determinant in the success of our students after graduation. Together, each part of our program and culture adds to the success that starts with the attitude and aptitude of the veterans who come to Code Platoon!

Gary Coffey and Karin Matsuyama, Alumni of the Month, October 2019

Gary Coffey was an incredibly hard working veteran who is also one of the most genuine and easygoing veterans we have had to walk through our doors. Karin was an extremely talented developer whose personal project was so impressive, we thought it was a 3 person group project.

– Rod Levy, Executive Director

 

From Mattress Firm to Finance Firm

In the Air Force, Gary Coffey did amazing things.  He was responsible for the technology that trained pilots. He downloaded and analyzed B2 bomber data. He debugged software programs.

But when his service was over and he came home, the best job he could get was selling mattresses. It was hardly the high-tech work he was accustomed to.

“Sales didn’t suit me,” said Coffey.

According to Coffey, he craved the challenge of solving complex problems but didn’t know how to translate his worldly military experience to the civilian world of work.

Gary is not alone. While veteran unemployment has improved, underemployment remains an issue. 30% of veterans are underemployed, a rate 15.6 higher than non-veterans, according to analysis conducted by Ziprecruiter in 2017.

Searching Google for IT training programs, Gary’s wife learned about Code Platoon, and he was interested because it was a coding academy specifically for veterans. Once he looked he deeper, he found that he could even use the G.I. Bill to pay for the training. After graduating the Code Platoon program and landing an internship with one of Code Platoon’s sponsoring companies, Gary boosted his salary by $25,000 a year.

“I’m inspired again,” said Coffey, who works as a software engineer for finance firm Enova.

Read more about Gary’s own thoughts on his journey into coding by clicking here.

Couples Who Code Together, Stay Together

Military spouse unemployment is considered a national security issue among military leadership. According to brand new data from the Department of Defense, military spouses are unemployed at 24%, which is six times greater than the national average. To combat military spouse unemployment, Code Platoon recently opened up the program to military spouses.

After first telling her husband about the program, Karin Matsuyama is now also going through it. Gary says that watching his wife learn to code gives him insight into how she goes about solving challenges. Coding is a new language they share, one that is rare. The experience is deepening their bond and securing their financial future.

While Karin can’t apply G.I. Bill® funds to the program like Gary did, she did qualify for Code Platoon’s Women in Technology scholarship worth $10,000.

“The GI Bill and the Women in Technology Scholarship put the program within reach,” said Gary.

The story of Gary and Karin’s journey was also featured on CBS News.

Karin brought strong technical skills to India cohort. Her thoughtful approach to problem solving was a positive influence on her fellow students and helped push the whole class forward week after week. We are grateful to have both Karin and her husband, Gary, as Code Platoon alumni working in the Chicago tech community.

– Jon Young, Director of Education