Accenture collaboration launches pilot programme to bring tech skills to rural Iowa
Accenture and agricultural chemical company Corteva Agriscience have teamed up on a collaboration that brings together non-profit groups, higher education organisations, and government leaders to help individuals and educators in Jefferson, Iowa, acquire technology skills while remaining in their rural communities.
Students and educators participating in the pilot project will gain high-demand, high-value software development technology skills while remaining in the community of 4,300 people.
“The vibrant collaboration between our business professionals and educators is preparing Iowans for cutting-edge careers in the ever-changing 21st-century economy,” Iowa Governor Reynolds said in a statement.
“Accenture and Corteva Agriscience’s investment in Jefferson sends a clear message that rural Iowa can be a tech hub to keep our young people here and attract others.”
Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) is the first education provider to be a part of the scheme. From September, 25 scholarships, funded by Corteva, will be given to the DMACC students studying on the Computer Languages programme, enabling them to receive computer science training.
Once they’ve graduated, a small group will be selected for a four-month commercial software development training programme at the brand new Accenture office, due to open in September 2019.
“Providing students and educators with technology skilling is good for business, good for Jefferson and good for Iowa,” said Senior Managing Director for Accenture, Midwest, Pallavi Verma.
“Together with Corteva Agriscience and other like-minded organizations, we’re looking forward to preparing Jefferson’s future workforce for the digital economy.”
Other companies involved in the initiative include Silicon Valley non-profit organisation, The Tech, will help the Greene County Community School District to better prepare students for careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics).
Their first outreach project started last week when The Tech staff carried out in-person professional development sessions for Greene County educators. They will also provide continued curriculum development throughout the school year, and support individual educators in their delivery of the course.
“Many people who grow up in rural America feel they must inevitably relocate to pursue their education,” said Linc Kroeger, Accenture executive who leads the skilling and workforce rural revitalization initiative in Jefferson. “We can keep talent in rural areas by helping students gain valuable technology skills, which are critical for the jobs of today and tomorrow.”