A new initiative – Upskill Together – is aiming to help universities and employers expand access to “high-demand, industry-recognized technology credentials” both for corporate and educational partners, and with scholarships for groups that are underrepresented in the tech sector.
The initiative was formed by a coalition of universities, including Indiana Wesleyan University, Florida International University, Florida State University, Jacksonville University, University of Central Florida, University of Nevada-Las Vegas, and University of Tampa, and employers including Salesforce, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Pega.
Upskill Together is led by the tech talent accelerator SkillStorm, and includes a one-to-one match program that will provide free technology upskilling programs to learners from historically underserved communities for each individual who trains through the platform.
“For too long, the tech industry has treated widespread talent shortages and persistent equity gaps as separate and unrelated challenges – but in reality, they are two sides of the same coin,” said Joe Mitchell, chief operating officer of SkillStorm. “With the support of our partners around the country, Upskill Together match scholarships will accelerate economic opportunity for people from all backgrounds, providing pathways to the skills and industry credentials employers need to support their digital transformation initiatives today and into the future.”
For each participant who accesses training through one of the initiative’s university or corporate partners, Upskill Together’s one-to-one match scholarship program will provide the exact same training at no cost to a learner with demonstrated financial need. The program will focus the scholarship matching to support women, veterans, and others from groups that are historically underrepresented in the tech industry.
“The power of Upskill Together lies in its ability to create tighter connections between higher education and the workforce – while also solving the urgent imperative to address persistent issues of equity and inclusion in the tech industry,” said Jim Clark, provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs at Florida State University Panama City. “This is about providing learners with every opportunity to excel in their careers and earn higher wages to comfortably provide for their families.”