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STLCC, Bank of America and AT&T Foundation Support Career Opportunities in Tech for Black, Hispanic Students

Thursday, July 29, 2021

St. Louis Community College, in partnership with Bank of America and financial support from the AT&T Foundation, will offer a new program in fall 2021 focused on preparing Black and Hispanic/Latinx students for careers in cybersecurity, software development, web development or network engineering.

The STLCC Tech Academy will support inclusive growth and economic opportunities to increase job prospects and reduce racial disparities in income.

Prospective students will be recruited from area high schools – dual credit/dual enrollment or early graduation programs; from employment industries that were impacted by COVID-19 such as hospitality and retail, as well as by zip code analysis.

STLCC Tech Academy students will receive free industry certification exams, a laptop computer, tutoring, counseling, transportation assistance, child care assistance and a paid internship. The curriculum is project-based, which allows for experience as students learn.

Building upon an initial investment by Bank of America of $1 million, and its ongoing work in St. Louis to address the underlying issues facing individuals and communities of color who have been disproportionately impacted by the current pandemic, the STLCC Tech Academy is designed to advance racial equality and economic opportunity, and to enhance upskilling and reskilling for Black and Hispanic/Latinx individuals.

The AT&T Foundation granted $25,000 stipends for internships and/or apprenticeships for students so they can work at startups and smaller companies.

“The demand for skilled professionals who work in technology will continue to grow, especially as the digital age evolves. Through the STLCC Tech Academy, we are providing a clear path to careers that are in high demand now and will be in demand for years to come,” said Jeff L. Pittman, Ph.D. chancellor, STLCC.

“We are grateful for the College’s partnership with Bank of America and the support from the AT&T Foundation to make this a reality for students and employers. The impact of their grant funding and support will have an incredibly positive effect for those seeking high wage careers in the IT sector.”

“We’re excited about the early progress being made to advance racial equality and economic opportunity through the STLCC Tech Academy program,” said Marilyn Bush, president, Bank of America St. Louis. “This innovative program includes a strong focus on employer alignment and engagement which will help put diverse students on the path towards success.”

“We are pleased to support St. Louis Community College Tech Academy,” said Craig Unruh, president, AT&T Missouri.

“AT&T has prioritized education through its Believe St. Louis program that focuses on youth, economic empowerment and the digital divide. We know how important it is for students to be able to have hands-on experience and real-world training that will help set them up for success in their future careers.”

Need for skilled IT professionals
The Missouri Economic Research and Information Center estimates that long-term occupations in computers will increase by 9.1% by 2028 with an average starting salary of $59,012.

The STLCC Tech Academy will address a shortage of skilled IT workers by offering pathways for a credential or a degree. The academy will offer cohort groups of 20 and 40, each starting in fall 2021, 2022 and 2023. The limited-time academy will end spring 2025 with the goal of educating 240 students.

Who is eligible for STLCC Tech Academy?
STLCC Tech Academy students should meet eligibility requirements that include:

  • Be a Missouri resident
  • Enroll full-time with at least 12 credit hours per semester
  • Be eligible for need-based financial aid
  • Be proficient in reading and math OR need no more than two developmental courses
  • Ability to type 35 words per minute
  • Identify as Black/African American or Hispanic/Latinx

For more information about STLCC Tech Academy, contact Erin Kinsey, student retention specialist, at techacademy@stlcc.edu or 314-644-9395.

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