Discovery Partners Institute, CVS Health and technology services firm Interapt announced a new partnership that seeks to prepare thousands of Chicagoans for lucrative tech jobs.
The program, Chicago/Skills, will provide tuition-free technology training and paid apprenticeship opportunities to as many as 2,500 people over five years.
Individuals who pass the 12-week training curriculum and interview process will be offered a job. CVS Health has signed on to be an anchor employer of the effort, committing to hiring more than 200 successful participants over the next three years in the Chicago market.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Interapt to train Illinois talent for Illinois jobs,” said Omowale Casselle, director of DPI’s Pritzker Tech Talent Labs. “DPI’s Pritzker Tech Talent Labs already provides training to lucrative tech careers for hundreds of people in the Chicago area. This new partnership will expand these opportunities, while connecting companies with a diverse pool of highly trained and motivated potential employees.”
Computer and information technology are among the fastest-growing careers in the United States, with demand for these jobs expected to grow by 16% from 2018-2026. In Illinois, computing-related jobs make up roughly half of all STEM jobs — three times more than any other STEM field. But not everyone has equal access to opportunity: Black and Hispanic workers make up just 12% of Chicago’s tech workforce overall, and in 2020, only 14% of computer and data science graduates statewide were Black or Hispanic.
This partnership gives Chicago residents an opportunity to develop the technical skills needed to kickstart a new career in data science, software development, digital marketing, UX design, robotic process automation, information technology, and other tech-related fields.
“There are plenty of people out there with the aptitude and willingness to learn new skills and pivot into in-demand careers,” said Interapt CEO Ankur Gopal. “However, people often don’t know where to start or run into barriers. At the same time, companies are facing an unprecedented talent shortage and are looking for new solutions. With our new partnership with DPI and relationship with CVS Health, we’re not only able to provide Chicagoans the opportunity to change their lives and work in today’s most promising fields, but we’re able to build talent for CVS Health and Chicago companies at scale.”
“I’m proud of the work that CVS Health is doing to cultivate new and diverse talent within the Chicago community,” said Roshan Navagamuwa, executive vice president and chief information officer of CVS Health. “Through our expanded collaboration with Interapt, we’re able to open doors of opportunity for people across the region by creating high-quality career pathways to meet their needs, as well as those of the local economy.”
In addition to the immersive tech training, students will be eligible to participate in Interapt’s Registered Apprenticeship models with the U.S. Department of Labor, providing them with additional credentials as they enter the workforce. To date, Interapt graduates who have completed these Registered Apprenticeships have gone on to see their earnings potential increase to $100,000 just a few years out of the program.
Interested individuals can learn more and apply via the DPI website.