Adding diversity, Develop(her) helps women join the tech industry

Posted at 5:13 AM, May 03, 2018

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Dominated by male employees, Grand Circus is working to help train more women to work in the tech industry and to help create a more diverse workforce.

"This bootcamp is good for anyone who has a curious mind, who wants to continue learning throughout their life, who perhaps wants a life change and a new opportunity and for someone who just wants to try something new," said scholarship recipient Brianna Marshall.

Grand Circus, a resource with campuses in Detroit and Grand Rapids, offers 12-week bootcamps that teach women different code such as Java, C#, .NET or Front-End coding.

"Bootcamps are very popular right now, we are seeing a trend of them across the country," said Graci Harkema, Regional Inclusion and Diversity Manager at TEKsystems. "The great thing about bootcamps is there is so many technology jobs and we don't have enough talent and for some people who have the talent it doesn't necessarily make sense for them to go to college and pursue a four year degree, it may not make sense for their family or for timing so bootcamps is a really great way to get caught up to speed on the latest technology without spending the college tuition and the four years to get there."

The bootcamps also include not only teach those enrolled about coding but how to land a job in the tech industry.  Grand Circus is currently offering 10 Develop(her) scholarships to women across the state of Michigan.

"So we are looking for outstanding people who are driven, who are committed to having a career in tech and committed to a program, to reaching their career goals and so people coming into the program,"  who for example we had a single mother come thru the program and who really struggled to support her family in a customer service role and so after bootcamp she is working full time as a program developer and she is able to independently support her family. So after bootcamp our students are ready for entry level roles and they are working in tech either as a web developer or a project manager or something where those skills really make a difference."

Grand Circus is now taking applications for scholarships for their July bootcamp.