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Atlanta nonprofit gets $5.4 million grant for tech career program

City of Refuge will launch the Tech Transformation Academy with the federal Department of Labor grant.

ATLANTA — The Atlanta nonprofit City of Refuge announced this week it had been awarded a $5.4 million grant from the federal Department of Labor to establish a tech career training program.

The Westside-based nonprofit said it would use the funding to launch a Tech Transformation Academy, a "technology-focused program offering training in web development and cybersecurity."

The academy will be run in partnership with Atlanta-based DigitalCrafts and the Carolina Cyber Center.

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"Over the next four years, City of Refuge plans to recruit and train 280 individuals from minoritized, unemployed or underemployed demographics across the region," the organization said in a release.

The nonprofit said that in the last six months, they and their partners have begun to "strategically curate the program to address the barriers that hinder individuals from gainful employment due to systemic and cyclical poverty in the nonprofit’s surrounding neighborhood."

According to the group, recruiting for the academy's first two cohorts is currently underway. They will begin their training in the middle of August.

Each cohort will be comprised of 20 people with scholarships being offered to eligible participants. 

City of Refuge is hosting open houses for interested students to learn more about the programs on Wednesday, June 30 and Wednesday, July 7 from 9 to 11 a.m. and 2 to 4 p.m.

Classes will be available for both part-time and full-time students.

"Upon completion and credentialing, graduates will have the opportunity for job placement as a Web Developer/Software Engineer with a starting salary of approximately $55,000. Alternatively, they can choose to be placed in a 12-month internship with a corporate partner at a starting salary of $36,000. If the corporate partner determines not to hire an intern upon completion of the 12-month program, job placement staff at City of Refuge will help find a career for them through other corporate partnerships or job fairs," the nonprofit said.