Catapulting Tech Careers

February 17th, 2016

Today’s students are guaranteed a rich supply of tech jobs when they enter the workforce.

Central Indiana’s technical workforce is on track to continue the high trajectory of growth its enjoyed in recent years. By 2025, there will be 51,500 net new jobs spanning more than 270 technically oriented occupations. That’s the good news. Unfortunately, there is bad news. It is projected 45% of these jobs will go unfilled simply because there is not enough qualified talent.

To address this gap, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) as part of the Skill UP Indiana! grant program, today awarded $11 million to support the implementation of initiatives leading to increased skill attainment and career exposure opportunities for Indiana youth and adult students.  Anchored around sector focused regional partnerships, the funded programs will develop career pathway systems, create work and learn experiences, and integrate employability and technical skills.

Junior Achievement of Central Indiana, in partnership with Nextech, was awarded a grant from the DWD to ensure students graduate from high school with an actionable post-secondary plan. A portion of the grant will help fund Nextech Catapult, a comprehensive talent initiative that will connect high school students to the computer-related skills demanded by Central Indiana’s employers.

“As high school students acquire technology skills in the classroom, it is critical they be given opportunities to apply those skills to projects born out of real-world challenges,” said Nextech President Karen Jung.  “Not only do these projects further develop the students’ technical skills, they also cultivate critical 21st century skills such as collaboration, teamwork, critical thinking, creativity, imagination and problem solving.”

Launching in Spring 2016, Nextech Catapult is a work-based learning program that will combine classroom education, civic leadership training, 21st Century skills development and industry internships. Be sure to follow Nextech on Twitter (@nextech) to hear timely updates about the Catapult program.

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