Local non-profit recruiting participants for cyber security and web development programs

A local nonprofit is recruiting people who are interested in taking part in cybersecurity and web development programs.

The City of Refuge, a local non-profit, is providing this program, thanks to a $5.4 million federal grant. 

The organization, based in West Atlanta, offers help with things like food, housing, and job training. 

"These are pathways for upward mobility. Economic mobility," said Jeannie Ross, the City of Refuge Workforce Innovation Hub Director. 

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In all, 280 people will be selected to take part in the programs over the next four years. The first cohort, made up of 20 people in each program, will begin Aug. 16. 

The programs range from four to nine months. Participants will be required to attend class daily. 

Ross said there will be help for things like child care, transportation, and mentors. 

"They will be a gritty course. It will be a lot of work but the rewards will be on the other end," Ross said. 

Ross said both cybersecurity and web development will only become more in demand. 

"Airbnb, Microsoft, and all the companies that are moving to Atlanta. Oh my gosh, the sky's the limit. And the same thing with cybersecurity. Just look at what we went through with cybersecurity with the colonial pipeline and Cobb county," she said. 

Ross said the opportunities don't just end when the programs conclude.

She says there are people already tasked with helping the participants find apprenticeships, internships and job opportunities.  

According to The City of Refuge, graduates will have the opportunity for job placement as a Web developer or software engineer with a starting salary of approximately $55,000. 

Or, they can be placed in a 12-month internship with a corporate partner at a starting salary of $36,000.

Ross also points out this program will also teach skills that will be useful in any work environment. 

" You can teach anybody to do a certain skill but learning how to be a good employee, how to show up on time. Soft skills, leadership skills will be a part of what they hear over and over again. So that when someone graduates and goes to work, they'll be more equipped to have a business relationship," Ross said. 

This is open to anyone who is unemployed or underemployed, and open to people as young as 17 years old, if they are not in high school.

City of Refuge will be hosting two open houses Wednesday, June 30  from 9 to 11 a.m. and 2 to 4 p.m. 

A second open house will take place on Wednesday, July 7 from  9 to 11 a.m. and 2 to 4 p.m. 

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