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Lehi Company Offers Coding Class for Veterans

Lehi Company Offers Coding Class for Veterans (KUTV)

(KUTV) Utah's tech industry is booming and there aren't enough qualified workers to fill all the open jobs. A new course offered by a Lehi company hopes to appeal to an untapped portion of our population: veterans.

Ian Mercaldi joined the army a few years ago as an infantryman.

"After I got out of the service I wanted to do something different," said Veteran Ian Mercaldi

Mercaldi started researching from his home in New Hampshire.

"I started looking in the areas of Seattle, Texas, California, and Utah for the tech industry because it's such a huge area of growth," said Mercaldi.

Mercaldi packed his bags and soon found himself at Bottega Tech in Lehi, Utah.

"This is just the beginning to be a life-long learner and continue your path towards success, whatever that might mean for you," said Scott Schwab the Co-Founder and President of Bottega Tech.

For Mercaldi, that meant a different kind of boot camp. He completed a twelve week course where he learned to write computer code. He will soon teach other veterans to code.

"Veterans come with so many skills and so many things they can add to our workforce and add to our teams within corporations. We really want to be able to help them utilize that," said Schwab.

The veterans course is a team effort between Bottega Tech and Operation Pay It Forward. The goal is to make veterans’ lives better.

"Coming out of this 12-week course, they could be pulling down $60,000 to $70,000 a year. For a veteran the average income is $40,000 a year. Three years from now they could be in six figures," said Eric Pauly the Founder of Operation Pay It Forward.

The class is only for veterans, taught by veterans, and at little or no cost to veterans. Organizers hope the veterans who graduate from the program pay it forward and come back to teach other veterans to write code, just like Mercaldi is doing.

"This program you're helping other people, you're working very close with small teams of people and it really brings back that sense of purpose you lose when you leave the service," said Mercaldi.

The first class for veterans is July 10th.

Those interested can sign up at www.codeimpactfoundation.org.

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