YW Tech Lab
What is YW Tech Lab?
YW Tech Lab (formerly known as YWeb Career Academy) is a FREE 4-month web development program which provides education in digital skills to traditionally underrepresented or vulnerable populations, such as women of color, survivors of domestic violence, and low-wage workers.
YWCA couples this programming with transportation assistance, financial coaching, access to affordable childcare, and job coaching and placement to ensure each participant’s success.
The program is part of a national partnership with Google.org, YWCA USA and YWCA Madison. YWCA Evanston/North Shore is partnering locally with Oakton Community College.
Upon completion of the online course, students will have opportunities to pursue full-time permanent employment, a paid internships, or freelance careers in technology through partnerships established by YWCA Evanston/North Shore. Students could also continue their education by participating in our Portfolio Workgroup or pursuing a Computer Information Systems Certificate, an Associate’s Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree.
- Free to participants
- 16 weeks in length
- Completely virtual, online learning experience
- 10-22 students per cohort
- Personal laptop provided if needed
- Supportive services include:
- transportation assistance
- financial coaching
- referrals for affordable housing resources
- referrals for hot spots to access WIFI
- onsite childcare and/or referrals for affordable childcare
The program will include intensive technical training; students will learn the foundation for web development. Students are expected to complete work outside of class time and to be actively engaged in the learning process.
- Networking Skills
- Interview practice
- Resume writing
Students will also receive soft skills training, including situational workplace judgment, active listening, communication skills, and problem-solving. Hard skills, such as technical training, are required to get a job but people skills will open future doors and assist in sustaining and building relationships.
Graduates of the YW Tech Lab will be prepared for entry level employment as a Front-End UI Developer. All graduates will have the knowledge and skill sets needed to implement web design and practice development principles to create and maintain stable web-based software. Program graduates will be able to:
- Implement web design and have confident and strong development principles to build stable web software.
- Collaborate closely with teams to support projects during all phases of delivery.
- Build websites which are responsive and usable.
- Monitor website performance and rectify front-end-related issues.
- Communicate technical issues in an understandable manner to the team and clients.
- Identify innovative ideas and proof of concepts according to project requirements.
- Test to identify bugs and technical issues before and after deploying.
After completing YW Tech Lab, our students are supported in achieving their goals. Here are some success stories from our YW Tech Lab graduates!
- 35 students have successfully completed YW Tech Lab since it’s start in 2021
- 81% feel more optimistic about their career outlook
- 90% feel more optimistic about their future in general
- 12 graduates have taken on more responsibilities at work
- 8 are pursuing further education
- 3 started a new position
- 1 completed an internship
- 1 got an internship with Google
Upon completion of the course, graduates will be prepared to pursue full-time permanent employment, paid internships or freelance careers in technology through partnerships established by YWCA Evanston/North Shore. Click here for more information.
Students will earn seven credit hours (from Oakton Community College) and may choose to continue their education by pursuing a Computer Information Systems Certificate, an Associate’s Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree.
The Women in Tech Council helps open doors for women enrolled in YW Tech Lab to gain entry level web developer positions. Council members serve as role models and bridges to the corporate relationships our students need to secure internships and employment in tech.
The Women in Tech Council members work for the following organizations:
Click here to learn more and get involved.
Are you eligible?
YW Tech Lab is designed to help women of color enter the tech field as web developers. Participants must meet the following qualifications:
- High school diploma or its equivalent (or enrolled in a program that will result in a high school diploma or equivalent before completing the Certificate)
- Interested in a career in the IT sector
- Preferred enrollment opportunities for women, people of color, Cook County residents, those who have not completed a bachelor’s degree, and those who receive a referral through a partner agency. Unfortunately, we are unable to enroll individual who live outside of the United States at this time.
How to enroll
The steps below will be explained further at each YW Tech Lab Open House. If you have questions about our application process, email Kristin Drake at email@example.com.