20Fathoms to Jumpstart Local Pipeline of Software Developers

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Traverse City, MI: Today, the Talent Investment Agency (TIA) announced the award of the Michigan Industry Cluster Approach (MICA 2.0) grant in the amount of $120,060 to 20Fathoms for their proposal to educate, train, and employ area software developers.
“Traverse City has experienced an impressive spike in startup activity in the last few years, and larger employers are also ramping up for new technologies and creating new tech solutions of their own. All of these opportunities are heavily dependent on talent that can code, program, and develop software, so we want to ensure that we have a talent pipeline that meets the demand,” said Andy Cole, 20Fathoms’ Executive Director. “Our proposed apprenticeship program will leverage the best of both classroom and real-life field experiences with local employers. Participants will take away practical skills that are immediately useful to startups and larger employers alike.”

The project creates a collaborative of employers that will partner with 20Fathoms to deliver training events and opportunities to area professionals and design pathways that grow new talent. Entry-level community workshops currently provided by 20Fathoms will expand, informing participants of opportunities, and facilitating connections to industry. Importantly, the effort will integrate with area K- 12 and postsecondary STEM initiatives to create a robust talent pipeline supporting accelerated growth in software development skills.

“The Talent Investment Agency is excited to work with the Traverse City tech community,” said Michelle
Cordano, TIA Talent Development Liaison. “The lack of software developer talent is constraining growth
in Traverse City and around the state. 20Fathoms has put together a solid plan that is demand-driven,
inclusive of all community partners and provides training and opportunities for Michiganders to gain the
skills needed to fill the high-wage, in-demand jobs available in the growing IT industry. Everyone wins.”

About 20Fathoms: 20Fathoms helps remove common barriers for startup teams by providing not only a productive workspace full of high-energy entrepreneurs, but also advanced educational programming, helpful business resources, and access to startup capital. Members work in an environment where they’re surrounded by other creative problem-solvers, tech experts, and mentors, spurring serendipitous ‘collisions’ and opportunities for collaboration. More information is available at 20fathoms.org.

About The Talent Investment Agency (TIA)
TIA is the agency that combines Michigan Unemployment Insurance and Workforce Development, and is responsible for their activities. Businesses need a talented workforce. Workers need the right skills to compete for available jobs. TIA programs are focused on job preparedness, career-based education,
worker training, employment assistance and unemployment insurance. Please visit our website to see all that we offer.