- CNBC reports San Quentin prison in California is addressing the growing technology skills shortage by allowing inmates the chance to earn a certificate in programming, which can lead to future successful job placement.
- The privately-funded program is spearheaded by The Last Mile, a nonprofit that teaches prisoners how to code and then connects them with jobs at Silicon Valley companies once they have completed their sentences.
- So far, 20 men have graduated from the program, which will soon expand into other prison systems.
With a rampant skills shortage in the tech field in particular, employers are turning to creative and increasingly inclusive methods to find diverse talent. More and more the industry is referring to coding and other software development as a trade. Rather than a traditional, university pipeline, the tech industry accepts workers from bootcamps and other immersive training programs.
For those learning coding skills in prison, this works to their advantage. Many states and locales are also beginning to adopt ban-the-box legislation to ensure those who leave prison do not have to disclose their status immediately upon application.
Careers in technology can be that light at the end of the tunnel for those who are non-violent offenders and capable of being productive members of society once they've served their time. With the rise of technology, programs like this have potential to grow.