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The City of Chicago Collaborates with Facebook to Supply a Tech Ready Labor Force

The City of Chicago Collaborates with Facebook to Supply a Tech Ready Labor Force

The City of Chicago Collaborates with Facebook to Supply a Tech Ready Labor Force

By Johanna Medrano In a recent press release, published by the Mayor’s Office on June 20, the City of Chicago announced their partnership with Facebook to train students and people in technology and digital fields. “Earlier this year, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership announced the creation of Chicago Codes, a new program designed to meet the growing need for computer programmers and strengthen the city’s growing tech sector. It is a technology development and coding academy launching on Chicago’s Southside,” said Parisa Zagat, a spokesperson at Facebook. In an effort to uphold Facebook’s new pledge to “train one million U.S business owners and equip more people with the digital skills, Facebook will support students participating in Chicago Codes and provide City Colleges of Chicago with additional digital marketing curriculums and training. These programs are expected to launch in Fall 2018. Chicago Codes is a technology and digital academy and development center located on the south side. Trainings are open to anyone 18+ and run anywhere between 12-32 weeks. The program is intended to meet the city’s increasing demand for computer programming and technology. Facebook is partnering with Chicago Codes to fund scholarships for 50 students to attend the Chicago Codes program at no cost. The scholarship will support students participating in the boot camp and provide additional mentoring from Facebook. Students will undergo industry-approved curriculums, obtain software development internships and ultimately achieve permanent full time employment. The academy hopes to encourage hiring based on individual skill as opposed to actual degree attainment. The Chicago Codes is being funded through a 500,000 grant from the Rockefeller Foundation and a 250,000 investment from the 2018 Mayor’s budget. Facebook’s partnership with the City Colleges of Chicago will afford students with Facebook marketing opportunities, a leading-edge digital multimedia design program and additional support from Facebook’s very own eLearning platform Blueprint. “Blueprint allows people to learn about Facebook and Instagram marketing at their own pace. So far, more than 60,000 US small businesses have been trained using Blueprint,” said Amy Brooks, Facebook business and education director. City Colleges has since expanded its technology programming to include nine boot camps in cybersecurity and coding across five campuses by the end of 2018. This expansion is designed to prepare students for the workforce and connect them to opportunities for work experience. “Through Facebook's support, City Colleges students are getting a leg up on the competition as they prepare for highly sought after tech careers,” said Juan Salgado, chancellor of City Colleges of Chicago. "I want to thank Mayor Emanuel and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg for investing in City Colleges students and recognizing the contributions they can make to Chicago's economy and our leading employers' bottom lines,” he said. “Chicago is an important city for Facebook,” says Zagat. “It’s also the city in which we’ve hosted many small business events in the past. The Chicago community is made up of many different people using platforms to build businesses, start causes and more,” she said. “Training in coding and interactive and multimedia design provides young people with the opportunity to learn the language of the future, sharpen their minds and develop the skill sets needed to compete and win in the 21st century,” Mayor Emanuel said. “I want to thank Facebook with supporting our students as they seek outlets to expand their horizons, explore their creativity and learn critical skills to succeed in today’s economy.”