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Innovative Tech Training Program To Strengthen Central Valley Economy
check OVCB
Officials with Oak Valley Community Bank and Bay Valley Tech joined together for a recent check presentation, the OVCB funds to help some students attend the tech firm’s Code Academy classes. Photo Contributed

Oak Valley Community Bank (OVCB) continues its commitment to the Central Valley through a new partnership with Bay Valley Tech and Bay Valley Foundation, which will expand free software developer training for local workers seeking to pivot into lucrative tech careers. Bay Valley Tech alumni have successfully secured technology jobs at leading companies such as E&J Gallo and Tyler Technologies, as well as Turlock Unified School District and the County of Merced. OVCB recently presented a sizable donation to Bay Valley Foundation’s scholarship fund which will ensure that at least 10 more deserving students are able to complete the program.

“Bay Valley Tech is providing an invaluable low-barrier pathway to ensure workers gain entry into lucrative tech careers, while simultaneously bolstering the local economy by attracting tech employers,” said Chris Courtney, OVCB President & CEO. “As advocates for education throughout our community, we wholeheartedly endorse the valuable training that Bay Valley Tech provides citizens in the Central Valley. Their fast-growing software developer training program has proven to be effective in helping aspiring tech workers — many from underrepresented groups — transition into higher-paying tech jobs.”

Officials from both organizations gathered recently in Modesto for the official check presentation and program expansion announcement.

As software continues to transform the global economy, creating unprecedented opportunities for skilled tech workers, Bay Valley Tech’s free training program is helping local residents land these high-paying jobs. With 800 code academy applicants last year, many Bay Valley Tech alumni are now working as professional software developers. Tech diversity is strong as well — over 40 percent of Bay Valley Tech students are Latino and 34 percent are women.

“Oak Valley Community Bank’s partnership will be crucial in expanding the Central Valley’s tech workforce and stimulating local entrepreneurship,” stated Phillip Lan, President of Bay Valley Tech, whose programs train people to start tech businesses in addition to teaching software development.

While other code academies can cost as much as $20,000, Bay Valley Tech’s free program provides an excellent option for underserved communities, including working parents and others seeking entry into higher-paying tech careers. Bay Valley Tech partners with employers who advise on curriculum and provide internships for code academy students. Students don’t just get a free ride, however, as they are required to volunteer on local non-profit technology initiatives and mentor newer code academy students.

Code academy classes combine self-paced lessons and live online evening class meetings which ensure maximum flexibility for students. The next cohort begins later this month with more scheduled this fall. Classes are filling up quickly, so interested students are encouraged to apply on the Bay Valley Tech code academy application webpage as soon as possible:

Bay Valley Tech is an inclusive free code academy and coding bootcamp1, training students in modern programming skills and connecting them with prospective employers. Bay Valley Tech also supports the broader tech community by sponsoring hackathons, software meetups, Women Techmakers, high school tech events and the Valley Agtech Summit. More information is available at

With deep roots and strong branches, Oak Valley Community Bank strengthens local communities and economies by channeling loan dollars back in the neighborhoods where its clients live and work. Oak Valley Community Bank has always been a leader by supporting the communities with financial services, monetary support, and volunteerism. They have built the business by developing relationships and meeting the needs of its clients while maintaining commitment to quality products and services.