Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation to Grant $2M to Aid Detroiters in IT Training and Job Search

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The Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation has donated $2 million to support the TechHire program, a four-year initiative that will provide IT training to hundreds of Detroiters.

The grant will be combined with federal and private workforce funding to provide a variety of IT training and apprenticeships that are designed to help Detroiters at multiple skill levels enter into IT careers.

The initiative will be overseen by Detroit’s Workforce Development Board and the region’s IT employers. Nonprofit organizations contributing to the program will include Detroit Employment Solutions Corp., Southwest Solutions, Focus:HOPE, and Detroit IT training leader Grand Circus.

TechHire is a White House initiative to expand local tech workforces by building talent pipelines in communities across the country. Detroit was designated a TechHire city by the White House in 2015, and the new grant allows the expansion of the initiative. The program also will assist employers like DTE Energy identify and hire qualified talent in the tech field.

The first tier of the training program is a 10-week accelerator designed to give trainees key math and reading skills, as well as the technical training and soft skills needed to move on to the more advanced tiers.

After completing the three-tier program, participants are ready for careers in database and network administration, computer programming, and software development. The first class of 24 students is currently underway, and additional classes will begin in January 2017.

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