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Synchrony Launches Tech Fellowship Program for Adult Learners

The Technology Fellowship, a collaboration between Synchrony Skills Academy and The Knowledge House, will teach low-income adult learners the Python programming language and web data applications.

Two people working on software code in an office.
Underserved adult learners will have free access to data science training and career coaching under a new partnership between two organizations that serve the tri-state region, officials announced this week.

The Technology Fellowship, launched by the Synchrony Skills Academy in Stamford, Conn., and a Bronx-based nonprofit The Knowledge House, begins this fall with an inaugural cohort of participants from Connecticut or New York that will complete in-person and remote learning over a one-year period in preparation for careers in the technology industry, according to a news release today.

According to the program website, selected candidates will spend 16 hours per week on classroom instruction in Stamford and 12-15 hours per week for remote activities. The opportunity is limited to applicants who can speak and read English, make less than $55,000 annually and have earned a high school diploma or GED. The website encourages candidates to apply who are either entry-level professionals, students with little or no college experience, or mid-career professionals from other vocations transitioning to a career in technology.

Selected fellows will learn the Python programming language and receive training on how to use it to access, clean and analyze web data. Program graduates will have the credentials required for entry-level software engineer or data analyst positions, which typically pay at least $80,000 annually, according to the Skills Academy website. It also notes that the graduation rate for previous fellowship programs is 75 percent, with 50 percent of those who completed the program landing a full-time position within 12 months.

“There is an urgent need to develop a more inclusive, skilled workforce and address economic inequities,” Synchrony CEO Brian Doubles said in a public statement on the company website. “No one company or sector can do it alone. We must work together to build a better future for all that includes innovative job training solutions.”

The Knowledge House (TKH), founded in 2014, has put more than 2,500 young adults through community and corporate-based programs, graduating nearly 1,000 future technologists in fields such as coding and design, according to the organization’s website.

TKH has also expanded to Newark, Atlanta and Los Angeles. The website notes that there are more than 531,000 new technology jobs nationwide right now, and that number is expected to grow by 11 percent over the next decade. About half of those jobs don’t require college degrees — “an unprecedented opportunity for traditionally underrepresented populations to enter these career pathways,” as described by the website.

Synchrony Skills Academy, an arm of the financial services company Synchrony, was established in 2022 as part of the company’s Education as an Equalizer initiative aimed at providing underserved populations access to higher education and career skills training and reskilling opportunities. Its philanthropic investments in low-income and underrepresented communities have so far exceeded $20 million, and in Fairfield County, Conn., more than 150 participants have benefitted from Synchrony Skills Academy programs, according to the news release.