Alchemy Code Lab (formerly Code Fellows PDX) offers the only advanced software development training in Portland. All classes are taught in-person by experienced industry professionals. Graduates of Alchemy Code Lab earn an average of $70k a year in their first jobs out of the program at companies like Nike, Jaguar Land Rover, Samsung, Skyward, Eleven Wireless, and SoSA Corp.

Alchemy Code Lab offers a full-time day track and a part-time nights & weekends track. As a holistic training program, they believe that a varied collection of perspectives creates more opportunity for everyone. By offering an in-house Diversity in Tech Scholarship, Alchemy Code Lab hopes to remove barriers and provide opportunities for women, veterans, LGBTQ+, and students from racial and ethnic backgrounds that are traditionally underrepresented in tech.

Founded: 2016

PDX Employees: 8

Website: Visit website

Case Study

Diversity Scholarship Program

Less than one quarter of all coders in the Portland region are women, and more than 90% are either White (76%) or Asian (17%). Black, Hispanic or Latino, and other demographic groups account for 20% of our population — but fill less than 7% of the high-paying coding jobs in our region.

Alchemy Code Lab demonstrates a deep knowledge of the issues that discourage underrepresented groups form taking part in the Portland tech community; namely, the disproportionate lack of access to resources that people of color and low-income people face. However, they also know that increasing the variety of perspectives in the tech industry greatly benefits employers. More diversity in tech creates an expanded talent pool, improved team culture, greater innovation, and better products. When the industry thrives, the path to high-paying, rewarding careers is more accessible to everyone.

By offering a software development curriculum that launches students from all skill levels directly into professional careers, Alchemy Code Lab operates as a hub of the industry, connecting developers with the companies that need their talent. The Diversity in Tech Scholarship Fund represents a much-needed upstream intervention in the tech-hire pipeline.

Recipients of this scholarship receive up to 70% of tuition. Women, veterans, LGBTQ+, and people from racial and ethnic backgrounds that are traditionally underrepresented in tech are invited to apply. Scholarships are awarded to students who have been admitted to the program and are based on financial need and ability to meet the requirements of the scholarship application.

Key Takeaways

  • A wide array of research shows that people of color are interested in technology careers.
  • Funding in the form of grants and scholarships is limited for code schools, and particularly limited for the most competitive programs.
  • The scholarship fund concept allows for a direct, up-stream intervention that will change the composition of code school cohorts.
  • Diversity Pledge companies that are committed to supporting a diverse tech-hire pipeline should be called upon to invest in diversity scholarships to nurture talent from underrepresented groups.

All Pledges

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Portland tech companies have joined the Diversity & Inclusion Pledge since its initial launch in 2015.

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