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    It's your business: The Mill expands Code/IT Academy to Daviess, Dubois, Orange counties

    By Pat East,

    30 days ago
    https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=3ijhYX_0tLBTSWn00

    Next month, The Mill’s Code/IT Academy, an emerging key component of Indiana’s tech education landscape, will broaden its reach from three to six counties. This expansion reflects the Academy’s ongoing commitment to fostering accessible, high-quality tech education across the region.

    Started four years ago with a $100,000 investment from the City of Bloomington’s Recover Forward initiative, Code/IT Academy was established to reskill and upskill the unemployed and underemployed by providing adults with pathways to higher-paying jobs. Bolstered by a significant $1.37 million grant from Regional Opportunity Initiatives (ROI), the Academy now enters the second phase to expand its educational services across the entire Uplands region.

    The first phase of expansion began last summer when the Academy’s programs were extended beyond Monroe County to include Washington and Crawford counties. This move resulted in 125 new enrollments and marked a significant step in the Academy’s regional development. This summer, the educational frontier expands further to encompass Daviess, Dubois, and Orange counties.

    Digital equity remains a foundational goal of the Academy. In 2023 alone, our programs helped to upskill 54 women and 22 individuals from minority races, emphasizing our focus on inclusivity. Extending into the Uplands region, the Academy is set to address digital equity challenges prevalent in rural areas, ensuring that advanced educational opportunities are not bound by geographic limitations.

    Karen Barry, community and career coordinator at the Washington County Community Foundation Community Learning Center, highlights the transformative impact of the program: “I want to say what an awesome opportunity this is for students at Washington County. Travel can often be a barrier for those seeking opportunities to upskill in Washington County. Code/IT Academy helps to remove that barrier as well as the expense.”

    The Academy offers a robust curriculum with pathways in cloud operations, cybersecurity, project management, and web development. Classes are primarily conducted by Ivy Tech, complemented by additional online courses through Udemy and LinkedIn Learning.

    When prospective students apply, the application process is designed to guide them towards a clear career pathway, matching them with suitable certifications and classes based on their readiness and availability, ensuring a personalized educational experience.

    To ensure no student is left behind due to financial constraints, the Academy provides all necessary resources, including an onsite location equipped with facilitators and technical equipment at no cost to the students. Additionally, through a partnership with Ivy+ Career Link, the program enriches student experiences with tailored career workshops and individual coaching sessions.

    With aspirations to reach even more counties—Martin, Lawrence, and Brown by fall, and Owen and Greene next summer—the Academy aims to reskill and upskill 500 Hoosiers every year by 2025. It’s a significant impact from a program that initially started with just 30 students in a single class.

    We’d like to thank the IEDC, ROI, Tina Peterson and Michi McClaine, and everyone at the Community Foundation for funding this expansion. Thank you to City of Bloomington for getting Code/IT Academy started in 2020. And thank you to Bloomington Urban Enterprise Association who also provided additional grant funding.

    Finally, a huge thanks to our community partners in each county, our partners at Ivy Tech, including Adam Gross and the instructors we’ve worked with, especially Jason Endris. We couldn’t run Code/IT Academy without them.

    For more information on how to join or support Code/IT Academy, please visit codeitacademy.org.

    Pat East is executive director of The Mill, a nonprofit entrepreneurship center on a mission to launch and accelerate startups, and ultimately to become Indiana’s center of gravity for entrepreneurship.

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