U.S. Representative Josh Harder Nominates Bay Valley Tech’s Phillip Lan for 2022 James Irvine Foundation Innovation Leadership Award

The Central Valley needs more good paying 21st century jobs. Creating those jobs of the future means equipping our workers with the skills they’ll need to grow and succeed.”

— Congressman Josh Harder

MODESTO, CA, U.S., July 28, 2021 / — Bay Valley Tech’s innovative tuition-free code academy and software developer internship programs are producing in-demand tech talent who are helping local companies and attracting Bay Area employers to the Central Valley. Now Congressman Josh Harder is nominating Bay Valley Tech president and tech innovator Phillip Lan for the 2022 James Irvine Foundation Innovation Leadership. Award winners receive a $250,000 grant to expand their beneficial programs.

“The Central Valley needs more good paying 21st century jobs. Creating those jobs of the future means equipping our workers with the skills they’ll need to grow and succeed. By expanding the educational opportunities, we have at home, we’re making it possible for families stay and work right here in the Valley,” stated Congressman Harder.

Bay Valley Tech students receive seven months of software developer training free of charge but give back to the community by volunteering their time through the program’s unique “pay it forward” model. Bay Valley Tech is growing exponentially and has quickly become one of the largest technology training programs in Northern California, surpassing the capacity of many four-year computer science programs and vocational schools. 800 students applied to Bay Valley Tech last year alone. As traditionally non-tech industries such as agriculture, food processing, healthcare, manufacturing and transportation rapidly adopt software-based technologies to remain competitive and improve profitability, the shortage of skilled coders is projected to grow over the next few decades. This will create huge opportunities for Central Valley residents who learn these in-demand skills.

Bay Valley Tech alumni Alejandro Alcazar has worked as a programmer analyst at E&J Gallo for more than a year. A life-long resident of the Central Valley, Alejandro recalled, “Bay Valley Tech was a huge help in preparing me for my current job. In addition to the technical training and supportive instructors, their relationships with local employers were invaluable in my job search. I was very happy to get my first software developer job offer so soon after going through the code academy.”

Alejandro’s Gallo colleague Justine Estrada, a robotics automation developer, and Roberto Mejia, a software developer at publicly traded Tyler Technologies, were both summer software interns at Bay Valley Tech two years ago. Both are now part of the organization’s fast-growing alumni network. “Bay Valley Tech’s internship is amazing and has helped a lot of students get jobs. I met tons of great people there and many fellow interns are now colleagues at my company,” stated Justine. Code academy and internship alumni are now volunteering on non-profit website projects and financially supporting new code academy students.

“Another area where Phillip and Bay Valley Tech really shine is building partnerships. Big transformative initiatives always require broad coalitions and supportive stakeholders in order to succeed,” noted Congressman Harder. Stanislaus County Workforce Development, County Office of Education, the City of Modesto, CSU Stanislaus and school districts in Modesto, Patterson and Turlock have all partnered with Bay Valley Tech to benefit area residents. Private companies such as Oak Valley Community Bank, Centerra Capital, Robert Half Technology, Novo Technologies, World Financial Group, Oportun, ProcedureCard, LaMar Software and many more also support Bay Valley Tech’s training and digital community initiatives.

Interested Students
Bay Valley Tech’s tuition-free code academy provides an amazing opportunity for students seeking a rewarding career with strong earning potential. Spots are limited, so interested students are encouraged to fill out the online application as soon as possible: Additional classes are scheduled to begin in August and September 2021. For more information, contact:

About Congressman Josh Harder
Josh proudly represents California’s 10th Congressional District, located in California’s Central Valley covering Stanislaus County and parts of San Joaquin County. Josh’s family has been in the Central Valley for generations, since his great-great grandfather joined a wagon train in search of gold and stopped just short to start a peach farm in Manteca. He’s witnessed how the community is consistently left behind. He came to Congress to advocate for lower health care costs, good paying jobs, and innovative solutions to bring more water to families and farmers. Growing up in Turlock, Josh worked as a paper boy at the Turlock Journal, attended Modesto High School, and earned scholarships from the local Rotary Club and the American Legion to attend Stanford University. Josh started his career in the private sector where he focused on creating jobs and growing businesses. This took him to Kenya and Uganda where he helped small farmers access funding. After receiving a public policy and business degree from Harvard, he taught business at Modesto Junior College before entering public service.

About Bay Valley Tech
Bay Valley Tech is an innovative free code academy, 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. Bay Valley Tech’s free technology training is available to adult students in San Jose, San Francisco, Fremont, Pleasanton, Sacramento, Elk Grove, Rancho Cordova, Stockton, Modesto and the surrounding communities.

About James Irvine Foundation
The James Irvine Foundation is a private, independent foundation that provided $109 million in grants in 2020 to organizations in California. Since its founding in 1937, Irvine has made more than $2.09 billion in grants throughout the state. Its singular goal is: a California where all low-income workers have the power to advance economically.

Dori Jones
Bay Valley Tech
+1 209-840-0746
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July 28, 2021, 15:02 GMT

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