By Christina Lee Knauss
The $135,000 grant will support software engineering through the Create Opportunity initiative at Midlands Technical College. The equity-driven workforce development initiative partners with area employers to fund software engineering education and apprenticeship for diverse participants, especially those from non-technical backgrounds.
“The grant aligns with our core values: having a caring spirit and a passion for driven results,” Tim Arnold, president of Colonial Life, said in a news release. “We are proud to partner with Create Opportunity Columbia to support aspiring software engineers as they build skills that are critical to the success of businesses, government and nonprofit organizations throughout our community.”
Participants take part in six months of training to prepare them for a two-year apprenticeship with local employers. Create Opportunity’s second cohort launched at MTC in late August. The 10 participants will become fully employed software engineers after completing the course in March 2022, with two currently scheduled to start apprenticeships with full benefits at Colonial Life in April 2022.
“We are pleased about the impact this will have on our region’s economy,” said MTC President Ron Rhames. “MTC is proud to be a part of this effort to grow the software engineering workforce that the Midlands community needs to be competitive.”
Create Opportunity’s goal is to support the needs of employers in the Midlands through offering access and opportunity for people from all backgrounds to become professional software engineers, according to the release. Participants enter the program through aptitude-based screening that identifies their ability to become successful software engineers. No prior knowledge, educational background, or technical experience is needed.
To learn more about the initiative, visit www.createopp.com.