PenFed Military Women Startup Accelerator finalist
Cassondra Preer Taylor: Taylored 2 Code founder and CEO,
When Cassondra Preer Taylor retired as a Navy Commander in 2008, she quickly felt the anxiety of finding her way into a civilian job market. In her first civilian position with a non-profit organization’s workforce development program, Taylor said it was clear how its mission to train under-employed citizens for the tech industry could translate to serving military veterans.
“Vets are a natural fit for this because we’ve been using technology for a long time,” she said. “[And,] vets do a good job, we just do! We have a great work ethic; we have the discipline.”
With Taylored 2 Code, Taylor hopes to create a dent in veteran unemployment and introduce more diversity in the evolving field. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s special report, “Diversity in High Tech,” cites more than 70-percent of employees in tech careers are white, and men account for at least 80-percent.
Taylor plans to launch Taylored 2 Code in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia where there’s a robust military community. The 15-week program will cover hard skills like cyber security and software development and soft skills like leadership and communication. The company also plans to impact the local community as students seek out social-service organizations, find a problem, then solve it using tech systems as their capstone project.
Taylor was recently named a finalist and grant recipient in the Pentagon Federal Union Foundation’s Military Women Startup Accelerator. She is among 10 finalists who received the $3,000 investment after attending the 10-week “boot camp” hosted by the PenFed Veteran Entrepreneur Investor Program. Over 260 business owners attended seminars or “modules” aimed at continuing education and expanding a startup.
Along with maintaining PenFed as a resource that follows her company’s growth, Taylor said the grant provided also assists her on the path to instituting her first Taylored 2 Code class.
Find more information about Taylored 2 Code at Taylored2Code.com.