The IU School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI, in collaboration with JP Morgan Chase, and the Care Institute Group, recently announced their plans for a workforce development project, an initiative to teach information technology skills to local high school students to prepare them for academic and future career opportunities in the IT industry.
The iDEW program – Information Technology Diversity-Enhanced Workforce Initiative — will engage 90 high school students from three area high schools, Pike, Arsenal Tech, and Providence Christo Rey via a year-round enrichment program that will facilitate their progress towards earning 4-year college degrees. The initiative consists of a series of learning engagement modules (LEMs) focused on familiarizing students with core informatics and computing concepts, showcasing real-world application of those concepts, and introducing exciting career opportunities. All learning modules will have an overarching and interactive theme of “Computing for Social Cause.”
The goal of the iDEW initiative is to increase a diversity enriched IT workforce where the jobs are plentiful, but there is a lack of qualified, diverse candidates.
“Careers in information technology offer high wage employment opportunities and yet more than 35% of these jobs go unfilled in Central 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,” said Al Smith, Chairman, JPMorgan Chase Indiana.
Through the iDEW initiative there will also be a focus towards elevating the overall academic performance of the participating students as well as:
- improving performances in reading, writing, and interpersonal communication skills;
- obtaining skills in team-based work and collaboration;
- significantly improving self-esteem and confidence.
Proposed learning modules span from basic programming to creation of web sites and mobile applications to understanding the data behind DNA.
“We feel a sense of responsibility in assisting with the preparation of the workforce of the future. There are over 1.4 million unfilled jobs in the IT industry, and the number continues to grow. These jobs are high paying and available all over the United States. We want to insure the success of these high school students, by inspiring their interest in informatics & computing and providing them with the necessary skills to secure these jobs,” said Mathew Palakal, executive associate dean of the IU School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI.
The iDEW initiative is scheduled to begin in the Fall of 2015.