Public-private partnership prepares students for demand of software development

Public-private partnership prepares students for demand of software development

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A new program in Louisville is providing free training in software development. Those organizing the program say students will be ready for entry level positions upon completion.

InterApt, a software development firm, partnered with Transform Education Kentucky.

The goal of the program is to prepare high school students for an industry officials say by 2020 will have 10,000 open technology jobs in the Louisville area.

"With computer science and tech, the skills changes on a six month turn around cycle," Izaak Prats said.

Prats works for InterApt, and is the Director of Curriculum. He designed sessions that move faster than a traditional classroom. As a developer who also grew up Louisville, Prats says there is a tech education gap.

"I would have died to have something like this," Prats said. "These students will come out of this with at least eight projects."

InterApt and Transform Education Kentucky recruited students from JCPS and Shelby County. For four months, about 50 Seniors from 13 high schools are receiving free training in software development and coding.

"I had no idea what coding was about coming into is," Zemar Benitez said.

Benitez does not know exactly what he wants to do after graduating from PRP High School, but he is willing to work four hours every day to figure it out.

"I want to get a good resume, and be able to show what I've done," Benitez said.

Hands-on tech experience is lacking for many high school students in the area, according to Carrie Rodgers from Transformed Education Kentucky.

"For businesses, this is an easy way to contribute directly to the tech talent pipeline that we are building in Kentucky," Rodgers said.

Rodgers says the skills program is funded through a public private partnership.

"If we keep getting businesses that are willing to hire these students, then I have no doubts that this program can help Louisville," Prats said.

Prat says he wants to plan a second skills program but they need the community to support the future developers.

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