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Leveraging CARES Act Funding to Earn More $$

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by Emil Ekiyor, founder of InnoPower

The time is ripe to create an environment that encourages and supports people of color to explore ways to upskill into the growing and lucrative tech workforce. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics is forecasting a job growth rate of 22% for software developers between 2019 and 2029, compared with 4% for other occupations. The average starting salary for a software developer in Central Indiana is $54k, and this is just a starting point, as the earning potential only increases. We need to take advantage of opportunities that exist right now for individuals to make the leap into a career in tech. InnoPower, which means “the power of innovation”, was created to leverage innovation initiatives to accelerate economic advancement opportunities in Black Communities.

We must communicate a different message to students and professionals than what antiquated structures and society tell us. We must create an environment and secure resources that allow people to overcome systemic biases and artificial deficits. We must create revenue generating opportunities for people to own homes, land, businesses, and investments that yield positive returns. African Americans want to acquire transferable assets and generational wealth. Careers in Tech can be leveraged to help close the opportunity and wealth gap.

As the Government allocates economic and workforce development recourses to help people and communities rebound from the economic downturn caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, we are positioned to take advantage of these available resources with the availability of CARES Act funding through Eleven Fifty Academy.

Eleven Fifty Academy’s immersive, high-intensity, project-based boot camps provide an accelerated means to ramp quickly into a career in technology as a web developer, software developer, or cybersecurity professional. A large number of students begin Eleven Fifty with zero experience or exposure to coding before enrolling. Eleven Fifty provides an environment that welcomes and nurtures students from diverse backgrounds. Their career services team provides mentoring, internships and assistance with placement into high-paying jobs.

For anyone wishing to transition careers or grow professionally, the cost can be a huge hurdle to overcome. If someone wants to improve their professional skill set, this opportunity is open to everyone.  Eleven Fifty Academy students are benefitting from the extension of the CARES Act, which can cover the entire cost of one of their boot camps. The Academy is approved to accept the GI Bill for all of its courses and CARES Act dollars may cover up to 100% of tuition for any US Veteran who is underemployed or looking to improve their skillsets.

The CARES Acts Funding dollars are expected to be available until September of 2021, empowering graduates with a direct pipeline to the workforce of high-paying careers at a fraction of the cost and 16x faster than via a traditional 4-year college degree, with similar placement and salary outcomes. Eleven Fifty is currently enrolling both full-time and part-time classes for April and May, which allow students to be ready for a new career in as little as 90 days.

InnoPower is working with Eleven Fifty and other community organizations across Indiana to ensure that communities of color are aware and are in a position to maximize this opportunity. As people navigate the Covid-19 Pandemic and economic downturn we all need options to improve professionally and generate additional revenue and Eleven Fifty Academy gives people the option, especially with the CARES Act funding window.

For more information on Eleven Fifty Academy or to share enrollment information with someone please visit elevenfifty.org.

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