JFF Helps Register Indiana’s First Software Developer Apprenticeship Program

Published may. 05, 2020

Eleven Fifty Academy (EFA) believes its job is not done until its graduates find theirs.

An Indiana-based coding academy, EFA has for years been dedicated to training people of all ages and skillsets, and readying them for careers in the tech space.

“We educate software developers who can earn over $1 million during their first decade in their new career, which speaks to dramatically positive impacts for families and our state,” said EFA Chairman Scott Jones. “Perhaps most importantly, though, our graduates generally seem very happy with their newfound careers.”

From the start, the EFA team knew they had something special. In the past 5 years, more than 300 students have graduated from their intensive training program—a 90% rate.

Of those graduates, more than 81 percent were hired by a local employer within the first few months.

JFF was absolutely instrumental in [the registration] process and we are very grateful to them.

Scott Jones, Chairman, Eleven Fifty Academy

EFA partially credits its success to the strong relationships it has developed with the local business community. To ensure its graduates were prepared to enter tech careers, EFA developed its curriculum with the help of an advisory board of Indiana companies that include Bitwise Solutions, a full-service web development and web strategy consulting firm; Kerauno, a global CWaaS platform; iLAB, a software quality assurance organization; Geico, an insurance company; greenlight.guru, a tech startup; and Indy Women in Tech, a nonprofit organization that works to increase the number of women in STEM careers.

EFA became interested in further strengthening and solidifying the program by formalizing it through the U.S. Department of Labor’s Registered Apprenticeship (RA) program.

A senior leader from EFA attended an apprenticeship event in Indianapolis hosted by JFF and Salesforce.org. At the event, the EFA leader was able to make the connections he needed to get the registration process moving, including making arrangements with JFF for ongoing guidance and support in the process.

With JFF at its side providing on-the-ground, hand-in-hand support, EFA was able to move quickly in the development of its standards and program curriculum, and through the registration process. Within a matter of weeks, EFA’s apprenticeship program was approved by the Labor Department.

“JFF beautifully facilitated the entire process for us in being able to navigate the application with the U.S. Department of Labor,” said EFA’s Jones. “JFF was absolutely instrumental in that process and we are very grateful to them, and to Salesforce.org, who enabled their work.”

Following the approval, JFF continued to partner with EFA to explain the program to employers. The reaction has been enthusiastic—employers are excited about the idea of “building” their employees rather than “buying” them. Additionally, they see a positive return on their apprenticeship investment in the form of employee retention.

EFA is on a trajectory to grow quickly. In 2019, the academy expects to have 100 apprentices in the RA program. “Tech jobs are critical for Indiana’s future,” said Darrel Zeck, executive director of Indiana’s Office of Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeship. “Eleven Fifty Academy is well-positioned to assist in this effort with these programs.”

As a result of this partnership between EFA and JFF, hundreds of workers and families in Indiana are now better positioned to secure good jobs with good wages and to take the first steps along a promising career path.

Eleven Fifty Academy’s Software Developer Apprenticeship Program

**Location:** Indiana

**Employer Partners:** Farmers Insurance, Healthx, Vectren, Bitwise Solutions

**Average Starting Salary:** $51,000 per year

**Apprentices:** Around 100 per year

**Timeline:** 15-18 months (12-week coding boot camp, followed by a 12-month apprenticeship with potential to be hired by employer)

Source: Inside Indiana Business | Dec. 13, 2018