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Award-winning parade float will highlight Coding for Veterans at Stampede Parade


Some Coding for Veterans graduates from the Calgary area will be cruising on an impressive float during Friday morning's Stampede Parade.

"We're honoured to be here for the first time, and we'll be highlighting graduates from our program, as well as military veterans in the parade," said Jeff Musson, Coding for Veterans executive director.

The organization helps Canada's military veterans retrain for jobs in software development and cybersecurity programs.

It's delivered online through the University of Ottawa and has had more than 650 people enrolled.

"What better way to honour their service than by providing them good, stable careers in software development and cybersecurity upon leaving the military? And in Canada, there's over 150,000 IT jobs, projected to go and build the next 12 to 18 months," Musson said.

The float combines military service and technology in several ways.

"We've embedded QR codes on the side of the float. So as it goes down the parade route, people in the grandstands can scan the QR code to find out a little bit more about our program," Musson.

They hope to spread the word about why employers should be hiring veterans and why veterans should enter the program providing a pathway to stable careers.

The float was already a hit at California's Rose Bowl Parade earlier this year.

"For the first time in 35 years, we were the first Canadian entry in the parade and we ended up winning a tarp award," Musson said.

That parade is what brought the float to the Calgary Stampede.

"Unbeknownst to us, there were members of the Calgary Stampede that were in the grandstands and that's how we got invited to be here," Musson said.

The team is thrilled to have the new exposure.

"The world comes to the Stampede during this time in July and what better way to get the message out to veterans and employers and others?" Musson said.

Training is free for veterans who qualify for the 12-month program.

Their tuition is paid for through Veterans Affairs Canada.

The float also won a Calgary Stampede award for Best Avenue Engagement. Top Stories

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