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Nava PBC launches apprenticeship for engineers starting civic tech careers

Our engineering apprenticeship is a full-time, 4-month program beginning in July 2019. We’ll provide on-the-job training, salary, and a clear path towards full-time employment.

Our engineering apprenticeship is a full-time, 4-month program beginning in July 2019. We’ll provide on-the-job training, salary, and a clear path towards full-time employment.

One of Nava’s values is “inclusion is essential.” In order for us to build digital services that are simple, effective, and accessible to everyone in the U.S., our teams must reflect the diverse communities we serve.

It’s no secret that opportunities for software engineers are not equal and often rely on networking and privilege. On top of this, current hiring mechanisms in government make it difficult to recruit and retain technologists, particularly those just starting their careers. The result is an industry that repeatedly closes doors to people who want in — people with diverse viewpoints and life experiences who care deeply about making government work for everyone. Many organizations, ourselves included, have struggled to hire diverse teams that reflect company values.

Engineering apprenticeship at Nava PBC

In an effort to be intentional about our own growth and continue building an inclusive engineering team, we are proud to announce our first apprenticeship program. This is a full-time, 4-month program beginning in July 2019, where apprentices will be paired with engineers working on projects that impact how people, like Veterans and Medicare recipients, interact with government. This apprenticeship, unlike an internship, provides on-the-job training, salary, and a clear path towards full-time employment. Apprentices will receive dedicated mentorship and the opportunity to learn in a supportive environment.

Companies that are committed to promoting diversity must also be committed to changing the environmental factors that make it difficult for people from underrepresented backgrounds to succeed. Studies show that recruiting people from underrepresented backgrounds at the start of their careers and providing mentorship are two of the highest impact levers for increasing diversity across an organization. As a small company, it can be difficult to balance fast-paced growth with programs like this, but it is essential if we want to grow and change the status quo.

We are inspired by other organizations that have made immense strides in this area. New America launched the Apprenticeship Forward Collaborative to expand American apprenticeships in 2017. Coding It Forward built the Civic Digital Fellowship as a pipeline for college students to enter into public service in 2017 as well. Code for America launched its own apprenticeship program to equalize access to opportunities in tech in January of last year. These programs are fantastic blueprints and demonstrate the hunger for opportunities to enter into the public interest technology space.

Join us

For Nava, a public benefit corporation building technology that serves millions of Americans, inclusion cannot be elective and we plan on holding ourselves accountable for practicing it. We’re looking forward to sharing the successes and lessons learned from our first cohort and hope to learn from others who have started similar programs.

Please check out our careers page if you are interested in applying — applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and close May 31st, 2019 — or reach out in the comments if you have personal experiences to share about apprenticeship programs!

Special thanks to Lou Moore, Laura Kogler, Viviane Graubard, and Emily Fong for their invaluable feedback and Kelli Ho for design prowess.

PublishedMarch 19, 2020

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