Y-TAC: from e-Sports to STEM
Youth Technology Apprenticeship Camp
Y-TAC is a first-of-its-kind workforce training program for youth that intertwines e-Sports competition and game development with custom development curriculum that exposes High School students to career pathways in technology. Said another way, this program meets students in areas that naturally interest them, and uses e-Sports and friendly competition as a gateway to STEM, and how technology and coding can offer an exciting career and life.
The Carolina Fintech Hub (CFH) and Charlotte Executive Leadership Council (CELC), in partnership with the Live Oak Bank, nCino, Charlotte Mecklenburg-Schools, the Emerald Foundation, and New Hanover County Schools are now accepting students to be participants in the second Cohort of Y-TAC.
Oh… and there will also be opportunities for participants to win cash prizes, add an impressive line item to their resumes, and have the opportunity to be pre-selected into the Carolina Fintech Hub Workforce Investment Network (WIN) Program.
YTAC in the News:
- Even if COVID-19 Is a Party Pooper, Employers Find Ways to Celebrate – HR Today
- The Charlotte Phoenix & Y-TAC Make the Most Out of COVID 19 – Charlotte Esports
- Youth Technology Apprenticeship Camp Now Offered to New Hanover County Schools students – Ways 2 Rock
- New Program Offers Economics Mobility for High School Seniors
- COVID-19 impact gives CMS students accelerated opportunity to paid tech apprenticeship
- The Charlotte Phoenix and Y-TAC Make the Most out of COVID-19
Below is a timeline for candidates interested in participating in Cohort 2 of Y-TAC:
- Applicant Registration — Available NOW! The form is available below and should take less than 5 minutes to apply. Please keep in mind that the information we are collecting will only be used to prepare Y-TAC staff for the upcoming needs of the participants who will be joining us for Cohort 2, and will in no way impact a prospect’s candidacy.
- Candidate Screening — Once an applicant has successfully registered using the form below, they will be contacted via the e-mail address submitted regarding candidate screening. This will take place from Nov 9 to Nov 27. If you registered and are waiting to hear from us, please be patient as our staff works through all applications.
- Launch of Y-TAC Cohort 2 — Cohort 2 is tentatively scheduled to begin virtually on Nov 30 (if complications due to COVID-19 arise, we will reach out to all applicants with more information). From there, we will be working with participants several hours per week for roughly three weeks. Our calendar will not conflict with any holiday schedules.
Fill in the information below and you will be entered into the candidate pool. We will then connect directly with you via email for all additional next steps. Please remember that the information you submit will not be shared with anyone and will in no way impact your candidacy within the Y-TAC program.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I know if I am eligible to participate in Y-TAC? If you are a current junior or senior in high school in any of the participating regions—within the broader regions of Charlotte, Wilmington, or Philadelphia—that’s all you need to fill out the application and be considered.
- If I am accepted, will it cost me money to participate? No – it won’t cost you a penny. In fact, you will be competing for prize money.
- If I am accepted, what is the time commitment? Timing may vary in different locations due to existing school schedules and other factors, but you can assume that you will have a 2-3-hour time commitment each afternoon when school ends, for 5 days a week, which will last 3-4 weeks.
- When will the Y-TAC program start and finish? While we are waiting to learn a few more things from each participating region that could slightly shift our date ranges, we are targeting the Y-TAC Winter Cohort to go from Nov 30 – Dec 18.
- Where do I have to go to participate in Y-TAC? This program is designed in a way so that you can participate from your own home virtually each day. For those who do not have the proper technology available to them, the Y-TAC staff will work with each participant individually to make certain that all technology tools needed for participation are made available for the participant.
- What if I don’t have all of the technology needed to participate from my home? Don’t worry, if you are accepted and don’t have everything you need, we will take care of that for you. In many cases we have provided everything from loaner PC’s to internet access. If there are a large amount of students who lack the needed equipment, we also have the ability to set up LAN stations where you have the option to go and do your gaming and coding tasks each day – if we do that, we will be following very rigorous health and safety protocols to ensure everyone is safe – and it is always an option to use these centers, never a requirement. In order to effectively do this, we need to know what technology you currently have available to you so we can be sure to address any needs. Please be sure to carefully answer all the questions on the application form so we can plan appropriately.
- What if I’ve never played video games before? Not a problem. We have some of the best esports coaches in the business who will be dedicated to teaching you gaming fundamentals each week. It will feel a lot like you are joining a varsity sports team for your school – only in this case its esports.
- What if I’ve never done any coding before? Not a problem. We will teach you the fundamentals of coding in a series of instructor-led sessions. Participants will have the opportunity to complete hands-on projects, collaborate with their peers, and interact with real-world examples of how STEM helps to inform and address complex business and societal issues.
- Will I really be building my own video game during Y-TAC? Yes! You will be using EPIC Games’ Unreal Engine to build your own video game and compete against your fellow Y-TAC students for cash.
- Will we compete against other students and schools during Y-TAC? Yes! One of the coolest parts of Y-TAC is each week you will not only have a chance to compete against other schools and regions in a tournament style bracket, but it will be streamed live and cast with commentators so all of your classmates can watch and root you on. Since so many students have lost so many rites of passage during COVID, we feel that providing participants the opportunity to compete and engage with others in a fun, interactive manner is a critical component of our mission.
- Why is participating in Y-TAC a big deal? Participants will have fun competing in esports, developing essential STEM skills, and learning more about potential career opportunities. Those that work hard and perform well in the Winter Cohort may be offered pre-acceptances into the main Y-TAC Summer Cohort, which is a paid apprenticeship. Some may even be offer pre-acceptance into the WIN program, which pays you for an additional six months of training and places you in a new career that starts at $55,000 a year.