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JU, SkillStorm partner to train tech talent at downtown campus

Jacksonville University and SkillStorm, a tech talent accelerator that hires, trains, certifies and deploys IT talent, are joining forces to build an extensive pipeline of technology talent for Jacksonville. The partnership will provide customized training to meet the specific IT needs of commercial and government organizations in Jacksonville, greater Florida and the Southeast.

“We’re excited to partner with Jacksonville University to build a tech talent hub that can help the city, state and region. This partnership will not only help existing businesses expand their operations in Jacksonville, it will also help attract new companies seeking to access talent certified in today’s most in-demand technologies,” said Joe Mitchell, COO of SkillStorm, which recently relocated to Jacksonville as the city continues to grow as a technology hub and demand for talent intensifies. “Jacksonville University’s deep ties with businesses in the region will help accelerate conversations with executives so SkillStorm can assess their needs and deliver tech teams custom-trained for their specific IT initiatives.”

The program will target an untapped domestic talent pool including college graduates nationwide with or without a computer science background; veterans and their spouses; and under-represented communities such as first-generation college graduates, minorities and women. Underemployment continues to plague many of these groups, with 39% of recent college graduates currently employed in jobs that do not typically require a degree and 37% of veterans more likely to be underemployed than nonveterans.  

“In our close relationships with outstanding companies throughout the region, we’ve learned they want to hire versatile, agile, talented people with a drive to continue growing and learning throughout their careers, and that will only intensify in the current climate,” said Jacksonville University President Tim Cost. “Through our partnership with SkillStorm, Jacksonville University will add more than a thousand adaptable technology professionals into northeast Florida’s workforce over the next several years.”

The partnership helps close the tech skills gap, enabling college graduates and veterans to gain the skills and experience needed to access high-paying, in-demand careers while providing commercial and federal organizations with talent to support critical technology initiatives. Approximately half of the 3,000 tech professionals SkillStorm develops in the next three years will undergo training at Jacksonville University’s state-of-the-art downtown campus before being placed with organizations in the area or deployed to other parts of Florida, the Southeast and nationwide. Talent will largely come from Florida and the Southeast due to their proximity to the campus, and also from other parts of the country.

“Jacksonville continues to be recognized as an emerging tech city and the impressive addition of new and expanding tech companies proves that fact,” said Aundra Wallace, president of JAXUSA Partnership. “As the tech industry continues to mature in our region, we have an even greater credence to attract and retain these companies and develop skilled talent to make them successful.”

Jacksonville University and SkillStorm will offer college graduates and veterans two primary tracks, one for those with prior tech experience and one for those without. Upon acceptance, graduates and veterans with a strong technology background will be hired and paid by SkillStorm, allowing them to focus on training. During the 12-week rigorous program they will learn advanced skills and obtain certification in enterprise technologies such as Pega, Salesforce, AWS, Azure, Java, Robotics and ServiceNow before being deployed to a client.

Graduates and veterans without any prior coding experience are encouraged to complete SkillStorm’s series of free, self-paced, online introductory coding courses prior to applying to join SkillStorm. Candidates who successfully pass the tech screen may be hired by SkillStorm and take the same 12-week course before joining a client company.

For more information or to apply to the Training Pathway Program, visit https://skillstorm.com/ju.