Via News Release
“MINNEAPOLIS — Summit Academy OIC and Atomic Data, a Minneapolis-based IT as a service company, today announced a new public-private partnership called “Summit Tech” to diversify the region’s information technology workforce and help address workforce shortage issues.”
Summit Tech is supported by an investment from Atomic Data and a matching grant of $191,604 provided by the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership Board. The grant is part of a program that brings together business and education in developing cooperative training programs for new or incumbent workers. Funds are used to develop and deliver training specific to business needs.
Summit Academy is located in North Minneapolis and primarily trains low-income adults from communities of color seeking a path to long-term employment. Summit Academy has a proven track record of success – training approximately 800 adults each year with marketable skills in the construction and healthcare industries, alongside a contextualized GED program. Summit Tech will add a third area of expertise to Summit Academy’s training programs.
A study conducted by Rainbow Research found a direct savings to taxpayers of $1.96 for every dollar invested in Summit. The average Summit Academy graduate comes to the program earning less than $10,000/year; average wages of Summit program participants are approximately $32,000/year and 82% are still employed 3 years post-enrollment.
“At Summit Academy our motto is ‘The best social service program in the world is a job,’” said Summit Academy President & CEO Louis King. “With our region facing IT worker shortages, we have an incredible opportunity to train people for good, long-term career opportunities and bring diversity to the IT workforce. We appreciate the support from the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership Board and we’re excited to be partnering with Atomic Data on this important venture.”
“Diversity is crucial to innovation. In Minnesota, as in the IT industry as a whole, workforce diversity is lacking,” said Atomic Data CEO Jim Wolford. “Our industry thrives on new ideas. Atomic Data’s partnership with Summit Academy will bring a new wave of experiences and foster growth in Minnesota’s tech community. We are looking forward to continuing our growth and hiring exceptional people through the Summit Tech partnership.”
Summit Tech will provide two sequential 20-week training programs to prepare graduates for employment as a Service Desk Technician or a Network Operations Center Technician. Approximately 50 students are expected to be trained in the first year, producing 35 graduates (75% retention rate). It is anticipated that 30 graduates will be eligible for placement in IT jobs at Atomic Data.