Chicago, IL – The recent announcement by the Department of Veteran Affairs regarding the exhaustion of VET TEC program funds for the remainder of the 2023 fiscal year has left many Veterans and Servicemembers who were planning to attend coding bootcamps in a difficult position. However, Code Platoon, a mission-focused, nonprofit coding bootcamp created exclusively for Veterans and active duty Servicemembers, has stepped up to help those impacted by this situation.
With the VET TEC program no longer accepting new enrollments until the US Congress authorizes additional appropriations, Code Platoon is reopening applications for their next Full-stack Software Engineering cohort, Uniform Platoon.
The 15-week, full-time, Full-stack Software Engineering Uniform Platoon is scheduled for June 5 – September 15, 2023. Code Platoon will accept new applications from Veterans who have been accepted to other bootcamps but can’t attend due to the VET TEC funding issue. Applications for Uniform Platoon will be open through May 13, 2023. Accepted applicants will be eligible to apply for a Code Platoon scholarship. They may also be able to use the GI Bill if applying to attend in-person at our Chicago location.
“Our mission at Code Platoon is to help Veterans and Servicemembers transition to careers in tech,” said Rod Levy, Executive Director of Code Platoon. “Our scholarships and the GI Bill are ways to help those impacted by the VET TEC funding issue to continue their timely pursuit of a career in software engineering.”
Code Platoon is committed to advocating for the VET TEC Authorization Act of 2023, nicknamed “Forever VET TEC,” which would make VET TEC a permanent program with increased annual funding. Alicia Boddy, Code Platoon’s Director of Partnerships, recently testified before the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity, advocating for this act.
Code Platoon is proud to help Veterans and Servicemembers achieve their career goals in the tech industry. For more information on Code Platoon’s scholarship opportunities and Uniform Platoon cohort, visit their website at www.codeplatoon.org.
https://www.codeplatoon.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/Vet_Tec_Funds_Exhausted-1.png7201200Code Platoonhttps://www.codeplatoon.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/code-platoon-logo-black.pngCode Platoon2023-04-28 13:27:362023-04-28 13:33:55Code Platoon Steps Up to Help Veterans and Servicemembers Impacted by VET TEC Funding Exhaustion
CHICAGO, April 13, 2022 – Code Platoon is proud to announce that our strong financial health and ongoing accountability and transparency have earned a 100/100 rating from Charity Navigator’s Encompass Rating System. This score indicates that our organization uses its donations effectively based on Charity Navigator’s criteria and designates Code Platoon as an official “Give with Confidence” charity.
“We are delighted to provide Code Platoon with third-party accreditation that validates their operational excellence,” Michael Thatcher, President and CEO of Charity Navigator, said. “We are eager to see the good work that the organization is able to accomplish in the years ahead.”
Charity Navigator is America’s largest and most-utilized independent charity evaluator. Since 2001, the organization has been an unbiased and trusted source of information for more than nine million users annually.
The Encompass Rating System is Charity Navigator’s comprehensive evaluation tool that analyzes non-profit performance based on four key indicators: Finance & Accountability, Impact & Results, Culture & Community, and Leadership & Adaptability.
“Our Charity Navigator Encompass rating of 100 out of 100 is further validation that our supporters can trust our commitment to good governance and financial accountability,” Rod Levy, Code Platoon’s Founder and Executive Director, said. “We hope that it will introduce our organization to new supporters, advancing our mission to help Veterans, Servicemembers, and military spouses transition into the civilian workforce by providing technical coding training and career services.”
Code Platoon’s Encompass rating and other information about charitable giving are available free of charge at charitynavigator.org. Donations to Code Platoon can be made by mail-in check or credit card at codeplatoon.org/n_donate.
About Code Platoon
About the Encompass Rating System
The Encompass Rating System enables Charity Navigator to increase the number of non-profits it evaluates, from nine thousand to nearly two hundred thousand. In order to be inclusive of smaller and more recently established non-profits, the system uses a combination of automated methods and technology-supported manual research and analysis to provide donors with its four clearly-visualized indicators of organizational effectiveness. More information about the Encompass rating methodology can be found at charitynavigator.org/encompass.
https://www.codeplatoon.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Charity_Nav_100.png12802560Kayla Elkinhttps://www.codeplatoon.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/code-platoon-logo-black.pngKayla Elkin2022-04-08 13:19:052022-04-08 13:40:17Code Platoon Rated 100/100 “Give with Confidence” by Charity Navigator
On February 2, 2022, Code Platoon’s Chief Operating Officer Alicia Boddy testified before the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity about VET TEC and VRRAP at a hearing titled “Securing High-demand Jobs for Veterans.” This is the written testimony Alicia presented to the committee. A link to the YouTube video of the hearing is included below.
Good morning Chairman Levin, Ranking Member Moore, and Members of the Committee. Thank you for inviting me here to discuss the VA’s funding programs for technology and other high-demand jobs.
My name is Alicia Boddy, and I am the Chief Development and Operations Officer for Code Platoon. I also serve as our School Certifying Official. That is, I complete all of the electronic filings to the VA and am the point of contact for both the VA and students.
Code Platoon is a nonprofit coding Bootcamp with a mission to train the Military Community (Veterans, transitioning Active Duty, and Military Spouses) to become professional software developers. Coding bootcamps, or code schools, refer to a newer training model whereby students are taught in-demand software development skills, often in an intense and typically condensed time frame. Most coding bootcamps gear their programs towards high placement rates (70%+) in well-paying technical jobs.
Code Platoon was one of the first three providers approved to accept VET TEC in April of 2019. We are also approved to accept the GI Bill, VRRAP, and Veteran Readiness & Employment benefits. Code Platoon hosts in-person classes in Chicago, as well as remote learning. We have trained over 230 students since our first class in 2016, including 85 VET TEC students but only 8 VRRAP students. We have seen a huge lack of awareness about VRRAP in the Military Community.
I am here in support of making both VET TEC and VRRAP permanent programs by combining the best parts of both. I will share the experience Code Platoon has had with these programs and where there are opportunities for improvement. More importantly, I will share stories from Code Platoon graduates whose lives and careers have been changed by VET TEC and VRRAP.
VET TEC Working Group
In the summer of 2019, I formed the VET TEC Working Group (VTWG). What started out as a call among 3-5 providers is now a standing monthly call with the majority of the 32 currently approved VET TEC providers attending. We are frequently joined by the VA’s VET TEC processing team in Buffalo, who make it a priority to join these calls and provide updates. This relationship between providers and the VA has been vital to the overall success of VET TEC. By creating consistent and open lines of communication between providers and the team in Buffalo, we are often able to address problems quickly and help Veterans use the VET TEC program efficiently and effectively. A provider noted that these calls “are the best training we receive each month.”
Job placement is a key metric for VET TEC and VRRAP. The VA withholds 50% of the VET TEC tuition payment and 25% of the VRRAP tuition payment until the student finds meaningful employment, which is required within 180 days of graduation. Job placement and tracking have inherently been part of the design of code schools from their inception in 2011. These programs were designed to provide intense, immersive, short-term training that will lead directly to a job. Code schools routinely include job placement in their graduation outcome reports each year. In fact, code schools formed an association to establish standards on job placement reporting, the Council on Integrity in Results Reporting (CIRR). Many VET TEC providers participate in CIRR, and graduate outcomes are posted on CIRR’s website. Code Platoon currently has a placement rate of 80%. During the pandemic, our graduating class from January 2021 had 100% job placement within 6 months of graduation. Today these students are working as software engineers with companies including JPMorgan Chase, Booze Allen Hamilton, and Cognizant. It is important to note that job placement rates have been the same or better for remote programs as in-person.
As one Code Platoon student shares, “VET TEC definitely was a great option for me because I could not do Code Platoon in-person and the GI Bill was not available for remote students. Their enrollment team helped guide me and I ended up getting approved for VET TEC and accepted into Code Platoon. Today, I am an associate engineer with Chicago Trading Company making $125,000 per year. I would not be here without VET TEC and Code Platoon.”
Code schools commitment to job placement is a perfect match for VET TEC and VRRAP. Traditional colleges and technical schools may not have the same background and experience with job placement metrics. Job placement is a key metric to ensure these programs work, but several providers brought up issues with the implementation of this requirement on the January VTWG call. I expect some of those providers to submit Statements to this Committee. I hope the Committee, the VA and providers can review the job placement requirement and implement improvements. This may explain the disparity between VET TEC and VRRAP providers.
VRRAP approval is limited to programs that have VET TEC or GI Bill approval. To be approved for VET TEC, a school must not be accredited. However, most GI Bill approved schools are accredited universities, community, and technical colleges. Most VET TEC providers pursued approval for VRRAP, but the vast majority of approved VRRAP programs are at universities, community, and technical colleges. These schools appear to have gotten their entire portfolio of GI Bill approved programs approved for VRRAP.
For example, Somerset Community College has 885 programs, Ivy Tech Community College 734 and Strayer University 434. Even DeVry University, which had prior issues with its GI Bill approval, has over 170 VRRAP programs. There are also many 2-year associate programs approved (including one for Spanish). It is hard to understand how these programs will meet job placement metrics.
Community and technical colleges are undervalued and certainly play an important role in education and job training, but these schools generally do not have the same experience and commitment to job placement as code schools. That is not to say that these programs cannot be successful under VRRAP, but perhaps it could be more intentional to approve programs with a high demand for workers and greater likelihood of securing meaningful employment. The beauty of VRRAP is that it expanded benefits to Veterans who did not have GI Bill entitlement, and it expanded training beyond technology to other high-demand jobs. There may be room for improvement in the program’s implementation, but I absolutely support expanding the pool of eligible Veterans and including non-technology, high-demand jobs.
VET TEC Approval
While I’ve noted the issue with VRRAP program approval above and how that may impact job placement, I’d like to discuss the VET TEC approval process as that was a particular struggle for many providers in 2021.
VET TEC providers must submit yearly school and program approvals to the VA. These approvals are in addition to the GI Bill approval schools are required to complete with their State Approving Agency (SAA) each year, as well as any state requirements (for instance, Code Platoon is also regulated by the Illinois Board of Higher Education). While I would love to discuss the demands and conflicts of these competing approvals, I’ll focus on VET TEC.
VET TEC providers were required to submit 30+ pages of documentation to VET TEC’s Approval Compliance & Liaison team (AC&L) by August 31, 2021. VET TEC funding is available on October 1. That means AC&L only had 30 days to review these packets, as many schools had classes starting in October. This is an impossible deadline.
As of November 30, only 6 of the 32 providers had received feedback on their applications. That meant AC&L had to review and approve individual classes so schools could enroll students in October and November (this enrollment also triggers the housing payment to Veterans). This chaotic situation led to other issues (some submittals were lost, which resulted in the provider going to the end of the line as AC&L processes on a first-in, first-out basis). I will share a full write-up with staff that provides detailed examples.
During our January 2022, VTWG call held, the AC&L team announced that the approval process is undergoing considerable and meaningful updates. These changes will be implemented in direct response to feedback from providers during the FY 22 approval process. The updated approval process, effective March 2022, will alleviate much of the frustrations and delays previously experienced. This is a timely example of the power of collaboration between providers and the VET TEC AC&L and processing teams. I want to especially thank Bill Spruce, Darlene Graves, Sarahbeth Dean, and Peter Nastasi for their tireless efforts in working with the VTWG.
Budget and Veteran Eligibility
VET TEC was originally allotted $15 million per fiscal year for the 5-year pilot. In FY 2021, this October 1 funding ran out November 5. Congress increased funding to $45 million per fiscal year after this occurred. Even with the larger budget, the VET TEC program consistently exhausts our funding prior to the end of the fiscal year, leaving thousands of Veterans unable to participate in our training programs.
It is difficult for the VA to anticipate when the budget will be exhausted given the payment structure. This puts schools and Veterans in a difficult position. A school may have a class starting soon and then receive notice that funding is exhausted. Many code schools enroll students on a rolling basis, usually about 4-6 months before their class will actually start. This allows students to complete the necessary pre-work to be prepared for the pace of a coding Bootcamp.
As one Code Platoon student shared, “My journey into professional software development started a year before my class at Code Platoon. As I was transitioning from an Active Duty service member into a Navy Veteran, I came across the VET TEC program on the Veterans Affairs Education website. The goal is to match Veterans with a leading training provider to help develop those high-tech skills to quickly be placed in a high-paying tech job. I found Code Platoon and started the application process.”
Code Platoon is currently enrolling students for our May 24 class, but we have no idea if funding will be available. While in-person VET TEC students can revert to their GI Bill, that is not an option for remote students, which is the majority of our current students.
In contrast, VRRAP was allotted $386 million from March 2021 to December 2022. This budget has barely been spent. VET TEC students are not eligible for VRRAP, as VET TEC requires a Veteran to have GI Bill benefits, while that is a disqualifying factor for VRRAP. A Veteran cannot be approved for both programs, even if they are unable to use VET TEC because of lack of Budget.
As a short-term solution, please consider moving $45 million dollars from the VRRAP budget to the VET TEC budget immediately. This will allow providers to continue training Veterans through FY 2022. Beginning in FY 2023, VET TEC should be funded at $125 million and receive the balance of VRRAP funding when that temporary program expires. VRRAP should be allowed to expire, as it was designed as part of Covid relief efforts. But, there is much we can learn and take from VRRAP to make a stronger and permanent VET TEC program.
If VRRAP and VET TEC are combined into one program, the requirement for a Veteran to have GI Bill benefits to qualify should be discontinued. The goal of this combined program should be to support Veterans who want to find meaningful employment in a condensed time frame, regardless of their GI Bill status. Approved programs should follow the VET TEC requirements of running 6 weeks to 28 weeks in length, ensuring that the VA is supporting short-term training programs designed to secure high-demand jobs. Non-college degree-granting programs (NCDs) should be given priority over accredited universities and community colleges, given the amount of existing financial aid programs available to accredited schools.
The Future of VET TEC & VRRAP
By combining the best parts of VET TEC and VRRAP, you have the opportunity to meet Veterans where they are in finding meaningful employment in high-demand jobs. Many of our students have used the majority of their GI Bill but do not have a career. Programs like VET TEC and VRRAP are an important signal from the VA that you want to help. This is particularly important as we rebuild our economy post-coronavirus.
VET TEC and VRRAP are innovative tools to change the narrative on VA educational benefits. We can use these programs to focus on building the modern economy by filling high-demand tech jobs through coding bootcamps and other short-term or accelerated learning programs. This model of learning is the military model and approach that we know can work.
The payment structure to providers should remain as written for VRRAP if these programs are combined. Training providers expend an incredible amount of resources recruiting and training students into our programs. By receiving 75% of tuition by graduation, providers would have more stability. Code schools, in particular, would continue to benefit with this streamlined payment structure, as we will always strive to place graduates in meaningful employment upon Graduation.
If VET TEC and VRRAP are to be combined, it would be critical to only approve programs that have a positive impact and supporting data on finding Veterans meaningful employment through their training programs. Both in-person and remote programs should be approved as the data shows both types of training can lead to employment. The job placement metric and reporting should absolutely remain in place. Ideally, this data would be reported on the VA’s GI Bill Comparison Tool or another VA website.
Code Platoon has been training remote students since 2018, with one recent graduate sharing, “I attended Code Platoon remotely from February to May 2021. Though my entire experience was remote, it did not detract from the immersive experience and overall quality education. In just a few short months, myself and others, all of whom were at different levels of experience, were able to go from writing simple “Hello World” scripts, to full-stack applications incorporating multiple 3rd party APIs. Overall, I can’t recommend this program enough to any Veteran!”
These suggested updates would ensure that VET TEC remains successful, providers who are committed to the mission of VET TEC are rewarded with timely approvals and most importantly, Veterans are able to participate in a program that is fully funded for the entire fiscal year.
Thank you for the opportunity to share my experience with VET TEC and VRRAP. I have seen firsthand the impact these programs are having on our Veterans. One Code Platoon graduate recently shared, “If you teach a Veteran to code they can support themselves and their families for a lifetime. Code Platoon, through their training program, is re-mobilizing Veterans with a sense of purpose and you can’t put a price tag on that.”
VET TEC and VRRAP are important tools to help Veterans secure high-demand jobs in tech. Allowing remote training coupled with the job placement metric is key to ensuring these programs are effective, sustainable, and the funds are wisely spent. I look forward to working with you and the VA to improve these programs and enable the Military Community to transition to high-demand jobs. This concludes my testimony, and I am happy to answer any questions you may have.
Alicia Boddy is Code Platoon’s Chief Operations and Development Officer. Alicia oversees Code Platoon’s day-to-day activities including fundraising, grant writing, board development, and strategic planning. Alicia also serves as our VA certifying official, helping students navigate their benefits with the Department of Veteran Affairs.
https://www.codeplatoon.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Securing_High-Demand_Jobs.jpeg12802560Alicia Boddyhttps://www.codeplatoon.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/code-platoon-logo-black.pngAlicia Boddy2022-02-07 09:52:502022-02-07 09:58:23Securing High-Demand Jobs for Veterans
Code Platoon has received $100,000 from the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs (IDVA) Vet Cash Program to support the program’s mission of training Veterans and military spouses for careers in software engineering and development. Since 2017, IDVA has contributed a total of $250,000 to help Code Platoon offer an immersive, hands-on, 15-week Coding Bootcamp program and provide graduates the opportunity to secure paid apprenticeships following the completion of our program.
“The Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs is pleased to assist Code Platoon in its mission,” said Linda Chapa LaVia, Director, Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs. “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 engineering. The Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs salutes the work Code Platoon does to lift up Illinois veterans.”
Proceeds from the Vet Cash program support Illinois Veterans by funding services that focus on military-affiliated community challenges, including healthcare costs, post-traumatic stress disorder treatment, research, job training and placement, and homelessness. IDVA provides funds to nonprofits, government agencies, and Veteran organizations to help smaller groups make a much more significant impact on the Illinois Veteran community.
“The support from IDVA’s Vets Cash program cannot be understated,” said Rod Levy, Founder, and Executive Director, Code Platoon.
“Investing in our Veterans and military spouses has a proven return rate. Over the last two years, 80% of our students have found jobs in software development within six months of graduation. The median starting salary of those graduates was $72,000. After 24 months, the median salary of our graduates is $96,000,” Levy said.
“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,” Levy said.
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. Code Platoon teaches Veterans, military spouses, and active marketable skills that leverage core competencies, transforming them into software engineers through an immersive, hands-on, educational process and paid apprenticeship program.
https://www.codeplatoon.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/IDVA_VET_CASH.png12802560Lang Watershttps://www.codeplatoon.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/code-platoon-logo-black.pngLang Waters2021-10-28 14:42:032021-10-28 14:47:40CODE PLATOON RECEIVES IDVA VET CASH GRANT
Code Platoon, the nonprofit Coding Bootcamp for Veterans and military spouses, today announced it has received a grant for $65,000 from the Motorola Solutions Foundation, the charitable arm of Motorola Solutions.
Through the grant, Code Platoon will be able to support their full-time software engineering 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.
“This is the fifth year in a row that the Motorola Solutions Foundation has provided support to Code Platoon’s mission of transforming Veterans and military spouses into professional software developers and we are so grateful to their continued support,” said Alicia Boddy, Code Platoon’s Chief Operations and Development Officer. “Because of their generosity and commitment, more Veterans will be able to take part in our programs.”
Through this grant, Code Platoon will be able to continue to lower the barriers of entry, helping to make their Bootcamp 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 program graduates to the workplace by partnering with companies that have hiring programs that target those who have served in the military.
Each year, the Motorola Solutions Foundation awards grants to charitable organizations such as Code Platoon to support three primary areas of focus: first responder programming, technology and engineering education, and programs that blend the two. Within each area of focus, the Motorola Solutions Foundation grant program supports underrepresented populations, including women, people of color, people with disabilities, the LGBTQ community, Veterans and others.
“The Motorola Solutions Foundation aims to partner with organizations that align to our values of accountability, innovation, impact, diversity, and inclusion,” said Karem Perez, Executive Director, Motorola Solutions Foundation. “We are proud to support organizations like Code Platoon that embody these values while driving positive change in their communities.”
Code Platoon teaches Veterans, military spouses and Active Duty Servicemembers marketable skills that leverage core competencies, transforming them into software engineers 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.
https://www.codeplatoon.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Motorola_Solutions_Grant.png12802560Code Platoonhttps://www.codeplatoon.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/code-platoon-logo-black.pngCode Platoon2021-10-01 10:01:592021-10-01 10:05:43Code Platoon Receives Motorola Solutions Foundation Grant
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.”
The William R. Johnson Foundation, located in Libertyville, IL, is a private foundation focused on philanthropy, voluntarism, and grant making.
About Code Platoon
https://www.codeplatoon.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/WIT_Scholarships_GRANT.png12802560Alicia Boddyhttps://www.codeplatoon.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/code-platoon-logo-black.pngAlicia Boddy2021-01-26 09:35:402021-08-25 09:54:37Code Platoon receives grant from William R. Johnson Foundation, William R. Johnson Foundation gives to Women in Tech
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
https://www.codeplatoon.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/RobertHalf3.jpeg6281200Brenna Kosshttps://www.codeplatoon.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/code-platoon-logo-black.pngBrenna Koss2021-01-04 09:34:592021-08-24 16:02:30Code Platoon Receives Robert Half Grant
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
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.
https://www.codeplatoon.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Boeing_3.jpg512910Amanda Gordonhttps://www.codeplatoon.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/code-platoon-logo-black.pngAmanda Gordon2020-11-23 14:05:202021-08-25 09:55:01Code Platoon Receives Grant from Boeing
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 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.”
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.
The 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.
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, 15 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 ourVeterans 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.
https://www.codeplatoon.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/IDVA4.jpg5501100Amanda Gordonhttps://www.codeplatoon.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/code-platoon-logo-black.pngAmanda Gordon2020-10-14 06:00:132021-08-25 09:55:51Code Platoon Receives IDVA Vet Cash Grant