Yesterday, Illinois state officials announced a joint public-private initiative aimed at training women and minorities in web and mobile application development. It's an effort by the state to better position those in under-served communities for the increasing technological demands of the work economy.
“Our technology companies have become a growth leader in the Illinois economy and a source of new ideas,” said Governor Pat Quinn, in a statement. “The state is happy to support a program that encourages diversity in this important base of jobs.”
Called Creating IL Talent, the program was created in partnership between the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago, software development company GeneXus USA, and tech hub Blue 1647. The program is free to all students, and all participating organizations are donating their services toward the initiative.
“The technology sector desperately needs diversity … So we're creating a more diverse talent pool by providing equal access to technical tools and training,” said CTO and co-owner of GeneXus USA, Veronica Buitron.
Students of the program will be trained using GeneXus USA's software and will attend classes and career readiness workshops at Blue 1647. After going through 52 hours of technical education and 18 hours of career readiness support, participants in Creating IL Talent will be provided with job placement assistance to help them get their feet in the technology sector.
A pilot course for the program started on Saturday, May 10, and includes women 18 years of age and older. Future courses will involve minorities of either gender. In order to apply for the courses at Creating IL Talent, applicants should be 18 years or older, hold a high school diploma (or its equivalent), and should be interested in web and mobile software development.
To learn more, visit Creating IL Talent's website.