Using Tech Training for Social Good in Providence

NYC. London. Sydney. Singapore…and now Providence RI! General Assembly’s mission is to empower a global community to pursue work they love. In a unique new partnership with Opportunity@Work and the TechHire initiative, now in 71 cities and states across the US, and the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, General Assembly has launched a pilot cohort of our Web Development Immersive training program in the city of Providence, RI.

This initiative is aimed to help Rhode Islanders who are unemployed or underemployed acquire the skills to pursue careers as web developers. Through grants and support we received from our partners including the University of Rhode Island who is hosting the course, we were able to welcome 21 students into the program on full scholarships.

Why are we doing this?

“Our job is to expand the IT talent pipeline for in-demand jobs in RI,” said Damian Ewens, Project Director with Opportunity@Work and Director of TechHire Rhode Island, “so we’re really excited to have helped bring General Assembly to the state and make its best-in-class curriculum accessible to more Rhode Islanders.”

There’s never been a better time to start a career as a web developer. From startups to Fortune 100 companies, there is a consistent demand for developers who both write high-quality code and experienced problem solvers who can design creative solutions.

We saw such a positive response to this program from local organizations who helped spread the word about the opportunity including YearUp, Intracity Geeks and Social Enterprise Greenhouse. This has validated the overwhelming demand for trainings like this in Rhode Island. With these types of practical trainings we hope to close the skills gap and lower unemployment rates in Rhode Island and across the US.

Get to Know Two of Our Providence Students

Meet Alyssa

Alex (GA Local Marketing Producer): What was your background before joining our web development immersive program?

Alyssa: I recently graduated with an Associate’s degree in Web Technology in May of 2016. This program gave me a small insight into the world of Web Development.

Alex: I know it is still early, but what has been your biggest achievement since the course launched?

Alyssa: It’s very early, but one of my biggest achievements was completing the fundamentals memory card game. It took some time but I was able to get both of the cards to flip back over if they weren’t a match.

Alex: What are you hoping to get out of your time at GA?

Alyssa: I am hoping to gather all the key knowledge needed to become a proficient Web Developer. As well as the ability and opportunity to be able to showcase my skills.

Meet Matt

Alex (GA Local Marketing Producer): How did you hear about our new program in RI?

Matt: Being new to the Providence Tech community, I wanted to get a start on networking and signed up for every tech group/initiative that RI had to offer. This included attending a hackathon and LaunchCode’s CS50 course at URI. After completing LaunchCode, I received an email from TechHire RI letting me know about General Assembly’s WDI program. I knew this was the opportunity for me and immediately responded to the email. I completed the assessment/interviews and the rest was history.

Alex: What was your background before joining our web development immersive program?

Matt: Before joining the WDI program I have had quite a diverse background. First off, I am a 1LT in the RI National Guard as a Platoon Leader and a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter pilot. Next, I am a professional photographer that has worked on numerous freelance events, as well as, for LifeTouch photography. Other than that, I have worked as an assistant project manager for a contracting company. After leaving that position, I knew I needed to gain technical skills and began teaching myself to code. I had always wanted to be a part of the tech community but was afraid of failure. However, this time I would not let anything stand in my way. I started with online tutorials which led me to freecodecamp providence which led me to TechHire RI which led me to GA.

Alex: I know it is still early, but what has been your biggest achievement since the course launched?

Matt: My biggest achievement since the class started was gaining an understanding of git/github and the command line. This was one of the most frightening parts of programming for me and literally in the first few days of class, that fear was conquered and a new valuable skill was learned!

Alex: What are you hoping to get out of your time at GA?

Matt: I am hoping to gain a greater understanding of the web and to gain valuable knowledge of the newest web technologies. I am also hoping to find employment in the Providence area as a web developer after completing the course.

If you are interested in Web Development click here to learn about our on-campus immersive programs. Also check out our new remote courses.

If you are a job seeker or an employer interested in getting involved in the TechHire Rhode Island network, visit

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