EPAM Builds Hope in Camden, New Jersey
A unique partnership between this global software company and Camden’s tech training nonprofit is changing lives now, and for the future.
It all started with a phone call. An EPAM employee reached out to Hopeworks Camden, with a simple question – “How can we help?”
The answer has allowed both Hopeworks and EPAM to grow in unexpected ways.
Hopeworks, training and employing youth in technology in Camden, New Jersey, was looking for ways to connect their young people to experiences and opportunities in technology, and EPAM was looking for a way to have a greater impact on the local Philadelphia community.
It started with a tour, the first of many that EPAM employees would provide to Hopeworks youth of EPAM’s facilities and operations. Hopeworks youth not only got to see the operations of a global software powerhouse, but they also had in-depth conversations with the people that make EPAM run, learning about project management, UX/UI, Quality Assurance, and a myriad of other careers in technology. As one Hopeworks youth shared, “I thought tech was all about coding, but you can do anything in technology!”
The tours alone would have been a win, but EPAM was not content with simply providing information. Committed to help Hopeworks youth grow, EPAM staff, led by Amanda Antorino, continued to look for ways to add more value. Soon EPAM volunteers were teaching youth coding and technology at Hopeworks’ Code Days and hackathons, mentoring youth at events, and helping Hopeworks turn young people with ambition into true technologists.
Tours, training, and mentorship were an amazing beginning, but EPAM had more to offer. As part of its work, Hopeworks runs a web development shop, building and maintaining websites for companies across the region. This business not only brings revenue to Hopeworks, but it also provides jobs for Hopeworks youth, giving them valuable experience and income.
EPAM saw how they could help. Utilizing their expertise in digital platform engineering and software development, EPAM worked with Hopeworks Web Development staff and youth to help build a better project management structure, allowing Hopeworks to build better websites, gain more customers, and employ more youth!
Now, EPAM staff are lending their expertise as Hopeworks explores what jobs and opportunities are available for Hopeworks youth in the coming years, helping Hopeworks ensure that they are training youth for not just the jobs of today, but also the jobs of tomorrow.
Tours, training, mentoring, strategy, and skills – these are just a few of the things that EPAM has helped Hopeworks build. It may have all started with a phone call, but thanks to the dedication of EPAM staff, has it has become so much more for both Hopeworks and EPAM!