ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Local entrepreneurs making a difference in the metro’s economy are getting recognized through the brand new ‘505 Awards.’
This year’s winners are involved with everything from strengthening the community’s economy to creating new jobs in the metro. One group in particular, Deep Dive Coding, is making a difference in fast, convenient workforce training.
“Tech jobs are growing like crazy,” said Andrea Sisneros-Wichman, program director for Deep Dive Coding, which is getting in on the industry. “On average, it takes about six weeks for our graduates to find a job that’s doubling, in some cases tripling their income.”
Central New Mexico Community College’s Ingenuity Deep Dive Coding program brings the tech industry to students. The program is made up of intensive 10-12 week boot camps.
“Deep Dive Coding is an immersive technology training program,” said Sisneros-Wichman. “It’s actually multiple courses, different boot camps, teach a variety of technology projects and full-stack web development, software and application development, digital media.”
The demand is similar to that of a full-time job. Students go to boot camps all day, every day, condensing years-long degrees into just a few months.
“Most of our students are career changers and don’t have the time to go back to school for two or four years, so they come here for 10 or 12 weeks,” said Sisneros-Wichman. “CNM is all about changing lives and building community. This project does that very well, changes lives very quickly. We have a huge community of alumni who stick together and continue to provide support and professional development for each other.”
John Johnson-Rodgers is one of those career-changers. He came to the program after working for a small business.
“I’m more of a hands-on person and so this is more of a hands-on training,” said Johnson-Rodgers. “You get to sort of jump in and get down and dirty and start doing the actual coding.”
He is following in his wife’s footsteps, who did the program a year ago. He plans on also getting in on Albuquerque’s booming tech industry.
“My wife went through it a year ago. She’s the brave one. She got a job right away and she’s really been enjoying it. She’s doing exactly what she sought out to do. That was kind of inspiring and that’s one of the reasons why I ended up coming to this boot camp,” said Johnson-Rodgers. “The tech industry in Albuquerque has been booming lately and there are a lot of jobs in that industry. I hope that this class will sort of lead to a job in one of those companies that started out here in Albuquerque.”
Johnson-Rodgers says he and a classmate are using the boot camp to create a veterans’ resource app, complete with local and national services for members of the military. They plan to continue building it even after graduation.
The intensive workforce training program is getting the attention of Albuquerque Economic Development’s inaugural 505 Awards, celebrating those behind the metro economy’s growth. Deep Dive Coding says this not only produces tech employees, but entrepreneurs as well.
“I think programs like this just really help skill-up a workforce quickly, and CNM has always been good at that. We’re making a big difference, fast in our local economy,” said Sisneros-Wichman. “We really do encourage entrepreneurship in our program. About 50 percent of our students go on to work full-time tech companies. The remaining 30 to 50 percent, a lot of them don’t want to. They want to freelance, they want to work from home, they want to start a company. We’ve had 28 companies formed by Deep Dive Coding graduates now, and we have other training programs to help facilitate their growth and help their small business grow after the boot camp and that’s something we strongly encourage.”
The 505 Awards are also honoring a number of other local companies and entrepreneurs. Created by Albuquerque Economic Development and the Albuquerque Forward Fund, the 505 Awards say they are not just about one company or program, but instead, they celebrate how they all contribute to the growing metro economy.