April 4, 2013

Mayor Emanuel and CCC Chancellor Hyman Announce Expansion of Innovative Partnership With Local Start-Up The Starter League

Expanded Partnership Provides Thousands of Students New Web Design and Coding Skills

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) Chancellor Cheryl Hyman today announced that approximately 1,000 CCC students will develop web design and coding skills through an expanded partnership with the local startup The Starter League. This announcement is part of the Mayor’s continued efforts to ensure students across the city have a quality education that provides them with the skills, knowledge and experience needed to succeed in 21st century jobs and the careers of the future, and is an expansion of a partnership between The Starter League and CCC to give students access to cutting-edge web development skills.

“From pre-k to college, we are working to ensure that every student in this city receives a high-quality education that helps them succeed in life, and this expanded partnership will ensure that our City Colleges students are learning the cutting-edge skills they need to excel in the careers of tomorrow,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Chicago is a digital destination – our startup and technology sectors are flourishing and our students deserve an education that helps them succeed in these fields.”

The Starter League is a Chicago-based startup that teaches beginners how to code, design, and ship web applications. In January, Mayor Emanuel announced that The Starter League will work with CCC to build tailored courses, craft a training program specially designed for CCC teachers and over the summer of 2013, and train 6 CCC teachers. The expanded partnership will:

  • Train 8-10 additional CCC faculty to deliver coursework in web development with HTML, CSS, Javascript, and Ruby on Rails;
  • Work with faculty on new and revamped courses in Information Technology, Computer Science, and Networking Technology pathways;
  • Allow qualified Starter League graduates or instructors to serve as CCC adjunct faculty members;
  • Provide City Colleges students access to Starter League activities that build critical IT skills including events, hack-a-thons and more.

“Information technology is fast becoming as important as reading and writing to success in most of today’s jobs,” said Chancellor Cheryl Hyman. “To ensure Chicagoans thrive in a 21st century workforce, we must equip them with the skills to work with large amounts of data, leverage technology to design new systems, and operate adeptly in fields as diverse as business and manufacturing.”

Building off its College to Careers program in IT anchored at Wright College, City Colleges plans to offer a full spectrum of relevant IT learning experiences to hundreds of students each year, including courses in:

  • IT problem-solving (lays the foundation to solve problems through the appropriate application of technology)
  • Programming (key programming principles and languages)
  • Creation and manipulation of data structures
  • Distributed Computing (cloud computing) Analytics (understanding how data is aggregated and analyzed)
  • Web development (development of functional and interactive web content)
  • Practicums (solving of unique, real-world IT problems)

Information technology skills tailored to specific non-IT careers will also be integrated into City Colleges’ programs in business, advanced manufacturing and health information technology. 

“We are thrilled to partner with the Mayor and the City of Chicago to expand access to these in-demand skills to more people across the city. The Starter League was founded on the idea that anyone, no matter their background, can realize their ideas through software development and design and solve meaningful problems through technology,” said Neal Sales-Griffin, co-founder and CEO of The Starter League. “As a native Chicagoan, I can’t think of anything more important than sharing this with more Chicagoans."

In those career areas for which Starter League offers coursework – computer programmers, application developers, and web developers – there are over 900 expected high-salary job openings each year in the Chicagoland region.

The partnership with The Starter League continues Mayor Emanuel’s commitment to providing Chicago students access to the skills, knowledge and training they need to excel in the careers of tomorrow. This past school year, five new Early College STEM Schools opened to CPS students that focus on the critical areas of science, technology, engineering and math. And in December 2011, Mayor Emanuel launched College to Careers, a nationally recognized initiative at CCC that partners industry experts with City Colleges faculty and staff to develop current and innovative curriculum, directly preparing students for careers in high-demand and high-growth fields and working to close the skills gap that often keeps people from filling currently available positions.


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