Apple Opens Developer Academy in Downtown Detroit

Apple welcomed the inaugural class of developers and entrepreneurs to its Apple Developer Academy in Detroit this week. The academy, which is Apple’s first in the U.S., will help prepare its students for jobs in the iOS app economy.
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Apple developer academy
Apple welcomed its inaugural class of developers to its Apple Developer Academy in Detroit this week. // Courtesy of Makeda Bell/Apple

Apple welcomed the inaugural class of developers and entrepreneurs to its Apple Developer Academy in Detroit this week. The academy, which is Apple’s first in the U.S., will help prepare its students for jobs in the iOS app economy.

Located in a new, custom-designed space in the First National Building in downtown Detroit (Woodward Avenue and Cadillac Square), the academy welcomes students in person to an environment created specifically to facilitate collaboration and engagement.

The Gilbert Family Foundation, in partnership with Detroit-based Rocket Cos., provided a gift to Michigan State University in support of the Apple Developer Academy’s efforts in Detroit and will continue to contribute support to the academy as it grows and evolves.

In addition to the fundamentals of coding, academy participants will learn design, marketing, project management, and more — with an emphasis on inclusivity and making a positive impact in their communities.

Launched in collaboration with Michigan State University, the academy is part of Apple’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative, an effort to address systemic racism and expand opportunities for communities of color across the country.

“We believe apps for everyone should be designed by everyone, and that all aspiring developers and entrepreneurs should have the opportunity to be a part of the thriving app economy,” says Lisa Jackson, vice president of environment, policy, and social initiatives at Apple.

“Detroit has an incredible entrepreneurial spirit, powered by creativity and inclusion, and we’re thrilled to welcome this inaugural class of creators as we start classes at the Apple Developer Academy, the first of its kind in the U.S. Through the power of technology and innovation, we are proud to be helping prepare these innovators for new opportunities.”

The academy curriculum is designed to ensure graduates have the full suite of skills to find and create jobs in the iOS app economy, which supports over 2.1 million jobs across all 50 states and continues to provide new economic opportunities for developers and their teams.

The Detroit Apple Developer Academy’s first class is made up of a diverse group of 100 learners, aged 18 to 60, who will receive 10 months of comprehensive app development and entrepreneurial training, giving them the tools to create the next generation of cutting-edge apps.

Enrollment is available at no cost, and students are not required to have any previous coding experience.

“Our goal is to create new pathways and new opportunities for a diverse group of 21st-century tech leaders, and we’re proud to be working with Apple to bring this vision to life,” says Sarah Gretter, Michigan State University’s lead of the Detroit Apple Developer Academy. “I’m inspired by our first class of students and can’t wait to see where this journey takes them — whether it’s starting a new business, creating a new app, or developing marketable new skills.”

Earlier this fall, the academy hosted a smaller cohort of community partners — including Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan, the College for Creative Studies, and others — for a four-week foundation course to introduce the basic concepts of coding. The academy is expected to eventually teach close to 1,000 students each year through the foundation and academy programs.

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