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Software Development Program for High School Students

The Hypertherm Foundation partners with Vermont HITEC for an apprentice program starting in spring 2020.


The Hypertherm Owners’ Philanthropic Endeavors Foundation (HOPE; Hanover, NH), in partnership with the Institute of American Apprenticeships at Vermont HITEC (Williston, VT), is now accepting applications for a software development program scheduled to kick off this spring.

The program, funded with a grant from the Lockheed Martin Foundation (Bethesda, MD), provides an opportunity for high school juniors and seniors to learn about software development from a team of dedicated instructors and teaching assistants. It includes two college level courses, Software Development Fundamentals and Introduction to Systems Engineering, offered during two concurrent semesters.

An inaugural class of students began the program this past September and is scheduled to take the second course in the spring. Meantime, HOPE and the Institute of American Apprenticeships, plans to welcome a new class of students into the program. Those students will take Software Development Fundamentals during the spring, followed by the second course in the summer.

Though the program is completely free, thanks to the generosity of the Lockheed Martin Foundation, program space is limited to 15 students. Students interested in joining the Spring-Summer 2020 class must submit a short on-line application on or before Wednesday, November 20 by visiting

In addition to learning software development concepts, students will receive individualized mentoring by subject matter experts at Lockheed, and earn up to six college credits from Columbia College of South Carolina upon successful completion of the program.

“We are excited to bring an opportunity like this to another group of students, especially students in rural areas, who are interested in software development,” said Stacey Chiocchio, the Hypertherm community citizenship manager. “Classes like this are a great way for students to explore future career opportunities and decide whether a STEM career is right for them.”

Founded in 2010, the HOPE Foundation is a public nonprofit organization working to enrich the communities where Hypertherm associates live and work. It funds needs across many focus areas including education, the environment, food and shelter, and health and wellness, with particular emphasis on two strategic funding areas: STEM education and substance use disorders. The foundation follows a democratic funding model with funding decisions made by a team of company associates who represent a cross-section of positions throughout the company.




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