The International Technology Development Program, which operates as IBG Institute, has the goal of making world-class training opportunities and job placement services affordable. The non-profit tech-training institute believes the biggest opportunities for economic and career mobility comes in the areas of technology and software engineering.
The organization focuses on lowering the cost of training for technology skills; however, its mission became challenging to fulfill during COVID-19 because of the high demand for free technology training as a result of job-related shifts.
“We have been delivering free tech training for the underserved for quite some time,” said Diondre Lewis, President of the International Technology Development Program. “Many more people needed help and they could not afford other forms of tech training and boot camps.”
With the spike in demand for technology training, the City of Charlotte gave the International Technology Development Program a Workforce Partner Support Grant to continue serving the community.
The International Technology Development Program received funds from the Open for Business initiative to market its programs and cover the costs for student licenses, teaching assistants, lecturers, and technical support personnel. The funding also helped provide equipment for virtual group collaboration.
“The Workforce Partners Support Grant allowed us to increase our available resources to help deliver a deeper, more comprehensive support system and technology ecosystem for our students,” Lewis said.
As a result of the funding, the International Technology Development Program expanded visibility, supporting more than 250 students in the Charlotte Metro area. The grant gave students the opportunity to train and collaborate on world-class hardware and software aligned with industry standards.
Above all else, the International Technology Development Program provided hope for those in economic need during the pandemic.
“The program is nurturing my love of technology and learning as well as giving me the opportunity to elevate my economic status,” Tallah Willis, a participant of the International Technology Development Program, said. “I can truly say that I am learning the most incredible skills and feel excited about building not just functional software programs, but software programs that are optimized.”
Another student, Zachary Jackson, added: “The philosophy of what it means to be an engineer is the paramount value that has been imparted on myself and my virtual classmates.”
As the International Technology Development Program prepares for the future, the non-profit plans to continue building their capacity to deliver free vocational software engineering training to more than 25,000 students from low- to moderate-income communities in the Charlotte Metro Area. Additionally, the International Technology Development program has long-term plans to become a major force in changing the shape of the tech talent pool in Charlotte.
The International Technology Development Program received a Workforce Partner Support Grant from Charlotte Open for Business. Through the grant program, the City of Charlotte has awarded $3.5 million to workforce partners to provide programs for our community.