The IU School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI, in collaboration with JPMorgan Chase, will launch a workforce development project called iDEW — Informatics Diversity-Enhanced Workforce initiative — with an event April 28 at the Chase Tower in downtown Indianapolis.
The event will feature a presentation of a $150,000 grant provided by JPMorgan Chase to support the initiative.
The iDEW program will teach information technology skills to local high school students to prepare them for academic and future career opportunities in the IT industry. It will engage 90 high school students from three area high schools — Pike, Arsenal Tech and Providence Cristo Rey — through a year-round enrichment program that will help them progress toward earning four-year college degrees.
The initiative consists of learning engagement modules focused on familiarizing students with core informatics and computing concepts, showcasing real-world application of those concepts, and introducing career opportunities. The learning modules have an overarching and interactive theme of “Computing for Social Cause.”
“Careers in information technology offer high-wage employment opportunities and yet more than 35 percent of these jobs go unfilled in Central Indiana,” said Al Smith, chairman of JPMorgan Chase Indiana. “JPMorgan Chase is excited to partner with Indiana University’s School of Informatics and Computing to pilot a program that allows high school students to earn dual college credit and industry-recognized credentials in this field and encourage diversity of the IT workforce.”
The iDEW initiative will also help students elevate their overall academic performance, including:
- Improving communication skills
- Obtaining skills in team-based work and collaboration
- Significantly improving self-esteem and confidence
“We feel a sense of responsibility in assisting with the preparation of the workforce of the future,” said Mathew Palakal, executive associate dean of the IU School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI. “There are over 1.2 million unfilled jobs in the IT industry, and there is an estimation of 39% will go unfilled by 2020. These jobs are high-paying and available all over the United States. We want to ensure the success of these high school students by inspiring their interest in informatics and computing and providing them with the necessary skills to secure these jobs.”
With additional support from the R.B. Annis Foundation, the Care Group, and Old National Bank, the iDEW initiative will begin in the fall of 2015 with its first learning modules.