The US Federal Reserve says Black and brown families earn about half of what white families earn. But there’s a local program that’s designed to change that.
The non-profit City of Refuge is looking for people who are interested in computers to come and take a coding class or a cyber-security class for free. When you’re done, you could get a job paying as much as $85,000 a year.
“I was actually the security guard at the front gate here,” Nicholas Jordan said.
Jordan was a security guard with no college education, but he heard about City of Refuge and its cyber security class.
He graduated in May, has a full-time job and his life is forever changed.
“I’ve doubled my income and I’m in a much more stable place. The things that I’m learning, I’m engaged mentally all the time,” Jordan said.
Harvard University said Black families make one-tenth the income that white families take home.
City of Refuge is trying to change that by offering computer coding and cybersecurity classes for free.
“Our lowest paying jobs have been in the low 50′s and the highest has been 80, a lot of 65, 75′s in there, full benefit’s, full pay package,” City of Refuge employment specialist Ron Cofiled told Channel 2′s Dave Huddleston.
The department of labor has given City of Refuge a $2.5 million grant to train 280 under-employed or unemployed people. So far, 74 students have graduated. Some 35 people like Sharaima Colson are currently enrolled in the 9-month program.
“It’s absolutely amazing,” Colson said.
She said if you want a better life there are opportunities out there.
“I feel very excited about the fact that, me being a middle-aged woman, and I’m able to go out pursue something new and encourage other women, and say, ‘Hey, you can do this too,’” Colson said.
City of Refuge is ready to sign up the next class. In fact, the grant is funded through 2025.
If you would like to enroll, City of Refuge said the next Cyber & Coding Class starts in mid-February 2023. There is an open house every Monday at 1 p.m. at City of Refuge, located at 1300 Joseph E. Boone Boulevard in their workforce hub.