Meratas Inc. in New York, a full-service income share agreements and software as a service platform provider, and Detroit’s Automation Workz Institute, a growth-stage technology training startup, have launched Detroit’s first Cisco Networking Academy training program offering income share agreements for funding.
Automation Workz is a Cisco Networking Academy providing IT certification courses. The goal of the courses is to increase income to more than $20 per hour for graduates of the program without college degrees. As Detroit works to create self-driving cars, cybersecurity experts will need to keep them from being hacked.
“Automation Workz Institute serves our students in what historically has been a difficult journey to a cybersecurity career,” says Ida Byrd-Hill, CEO of Automation Works. “Often, students have exhausted their Pell Grant and other federal programs when they come to us. They are left with the option of high-cost private loans to finance their tech education. We believe that all individuals should have the ability to economically grow through risk-free continuing education, regardless of credit history, co-signer availability, or other socio-economic factors.”
Income share agreements are a financing model designed to mitigate the financial risk of upskilling or pursuing continued education. Users agree to pay a percentage of their incomes for a fixed number of years in return for a fixed amount of money. Automation Workz’s adoption of the system is the first in Detroit.
The company’s goal is to empower social change by democratizing access to upskilling technology certifications such as Cisco Certified Entry Network Technician and Cisco Certified Network Associate Security for 50,000 residents.
“We are pleased to be working with Automation Workz Institute to launch their inaugural income share agreement student cohort, which is expected to bring high impact changes to a revitalized Detroit,” says Darius Goldman, founder of Meratas.
“Income share agreements represent a safer and more flexible alternative to private loans and are especially useful when combined with high-impact social programs such as designed by Automation Workz Institute. We are very proud of this partnership and look forward to following the program results, as well as the future success of the participating students.”
Graduates of Automation Workz attain 75 percent job placement rates into computer networking and cybersecurity careers.