Career Academy Launching in Flint – Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Frank Provenzano
APRIL 21, 2017 517-335-1821
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Online courses, certification available to IT job-seekers; sign-up deadline May 5
Training program expands to Flint; goal to connect employers with entry level IT talent with eye on promising career

LANSING, Mich. – In response to the increasing demand for information technology (IT) jobs, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation is partnering with “IT in the D” and Goodwill Industries of Mid-Michigan to provide funding for training and certification for entry level IT positions in Flint, including help-desk services, typically gateway employment for career advancement in the field.

“This is an opportunity for job candidates to get in at the ground level of an exciting profession that is expanding with the promise of a rewarding career,” said Cynthia Richardson, director, talent attraction and resources, Michigan Economic Development Corporation…

“By providing minimal or no-cost training, the field is immediately accessible to job seekers while promoting Flint as an attractive market for new IT jobs,” she said. “Serving as a catalyst for IT education and increasing the supply of qualified IT job-seekers clearly demonstrates the state’s commitment to foster a positive business and job-creation environment in Mid-Michigan.”

Through its partnership with MEDC and Goodwill Industries, “IT in the D” is expanding to Flint with the aim of eventually a statewide presence. Local partners include GST Michigan Works! And Flint and Genesee Chamber of Commerce.

“IT in the D,” a nonprofit established in 2001 as a networking group for IT professionals in Detroit, aims to provide a roadmap for training, certifications, job searches and career counseling. The Detroit chapter has 5,000 members.

IT-training funds, which come from a Goodwill Industries grant, cover costs for online courses through Career Academy and all or partial accreditation fee for 15 candidates. Deadline to apply is May 5, 2017. Registration is available through Goodwill Industries of Michigan by calling (810) 762-9960.

Instead of paying upward of $400 per class and as much as $5,000 for IT training and certification, job candidates have access – at minimal or no cost – to Career Academy’s online database of 1,100 courses, and up to 30 college credits.

“Goodwill Industries of Mid-Michigan appreciates the collaborations that have come together to continue our mission of assisting people with barriers to employment,” said Tami Bauchan, Director of Workforce Development at Goodwill Industries of Mid-Michigan.

“The opportunity to assist people with their path to self-sufficiency is one that Goodwill is excited by and one that will benefit the community as a whole,” she said.

Goodwill Industries of Mid-Michigan, a nonprofit with services to assist those with barriers to employment and self-sufficiency, is a credential certification center sanctioned through Pearson VUE, a global certification center that provides proctored testing environments.

While the training courses offered through the Career Academy prepare prospective job-seekers for entry level positions, such as computer support specialists, the IT field offers a range of advancement opportunities that lead to careers in programing, cyber security, and software development.

The focus on attracting IT jobs to Flint comes as IT-related employment is projected to increase by more than 15 percent by 2024, according to Michigan Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives.

“The sky is the limit when it comes to a career in information technology,” said Bob Waltenspiel, cofounder of “IT in the D.”

“We are excited to provide entry-level certifications to those that need them, and encouraged by these workers continuing to advance and grow while filling a much needed skills gap in the state,” he said.

Providing training and certification to IT prospects is the latest of MEDC-backed initiatives to attract business investment and jobs to Flint.

In the past year, Michigan Strategic Fund has supported the creation of 1,544 new jobs in Flint. Last month, the MSF supported the development of downtown Flint’s Ferris Building as a site for an entrepreneurial incubator. In addition, the MSF has supported the Health and Wellness District, and the Farmers Market – both landmarks in downtown Flint – and a micro-lending program in association with Huntington Bank that facilities small business growth.

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community and talent development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at Visit Pure Michigan Talent Connect at for more information on Michigan’s online marketplace for connecting job seekers and employers. Join the conversation on: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.