Detroit businesses, state and local partners to train talent for IT industry



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DETROIT – On Monday, the Michigan Economic Development Corp., Wayne County Community College District, Workforce Intelligence Network, Detroit Workforce Development Department, and local IT companies will launch a new initiative to meet the growing need for skilled IT professionals in southeast Michigan.

With support from the MEDC, the Shifting Code program will train 32 participants in Advanced JavaScript at WCCCD's School of Continuing Education Training Center in Downtown Detroit. The initiative will assist experienced programmers develop critical skills needed to meet the demands of employers partners.

“While there has long been a need to develop a more robust IT talent pipeline in southeast Michigan, Shifting Code takes a significantly different approach to addressing this need,” said MEDC President and CEO Michael A. Finney. “Having a public workforce development system that is responsive to the needs of industry is part of our commitment to reinvent government and create more and better jobs in Michigan. This program is 100 percent demand-side, employer-driven, and project based.”

The training will take place at the Wayne County Community College District Administration Building, located at 801 W. Fort Street, Detroit.                 

Employer partners include the IT in the D companies, an industry focused response to address the skill gap and IT talent shortage in the region. Headed by Compuware, Quicken, GalaxE Solutions, and Marketing Associates, the group has identified skilled needs and projects that will be the focus of classroom-based training. IT in the D will also provide mentors for program participants as they move from the classroom to practicum experiences.

“We recognize that the needs of the IT sector can change very quickly,” said Curtis Ivery, WCCCD Chancellor. “If we are to meet the training and professional development needs of these employers, our services must reflect this.”

Shifting Code was launched by the MEDC in January 2012 to provide advanced short-term training opportunities for IT and high-tech professionals looking to upgrade their advanced skills in high-demand technical computer systems and software development. The first cohort in Ann Arbor focused on Drupal programming. Additional cohorts are currently under development and will be announced at the Shifting Code website at www.mitalent.org.

WIN, a partnership of eight southeast Michigan community colleges and seven workforce development agencies, has played a significant role in facilitating the collaboration of public and private partners with WCCCD taking the lead role of developing the curriculum, assessing program participants and providing faculty in the delivery of classroom-based instruction.

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