What Catalyte is doing is showing how education and employment can really work for everyone involved, meeting a demand (about 1 million software development jobs available today) with talent, and proving an academic theory that Rosenbaum, Catalyte’s founder, hypothesized two decades ago as a Harvard fellow and while working as an economic advisor in the Clinton White House.
His argument? That underserved, largely minority urban communities weren’t just places to build retail stores to generate spending, as was the prevailing thought. He saw greater opportunity in these areas because of the many people with individual talent who could contribute to an innovative labor force as much as anyone with an expensive college degree.
So, Rosenbaum decided to move to nearby Baltimore to test his thesis with a real-world experiment, and founded what was then called Catalyst IT Services.
He was right: Two decades later, nearly three-quarters of the roughly 1,000 people who have finished the company’s training program had no previous technology background; roughly 50 percent didn’t have a four-year college degree, which many think is a requirement for an in-demand sector such as software engineering; and 23 percent of Catalyte’s roughly 700 developers are women and 10 percent are Black.
“WE COULD TAKE PEOPLE FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE AND TURN THEM INTO HIGH-PERFORMING ENGINEERS.”
“At first, I actually thought I was being sold a story,” says Hsu. He was ready to…