NPower Michigan Receives $250,000 2-Year Grant from the Rocket Community Fund to Provide Free Tech Training to Veterans and Young Adults from Under-Resourced Communities
The leading free tech training nonprofit, NPower Michigan, has announced it received a $250,000 grant that will provide free tech training to young adults and veterans from under-resourced communities in and around Detroit.
The grant from the Rocket Community Fund will support two NPower Michigan programs: the free, flagship NPower Tech Fundamentals job training program and a new Community Help Desk to assist Detroiters with digital literacy and access.
Laura Grannemann, Executive Director of the Rocket Community Fund, said NPower Michigan was given the grant because of the nonprofit’s steadfast leadership and consistent track record of supporting veterans and young adults.
“Digital connectivity is a critical part of today’s world,” said Grannemann. “Too many Michigan residents are caught in the digital divide, excluding them from opportunities for education, employment, and community. Every family deserves access to the internet and digital resources, and this grant to NPower Michigan is an important step towards that goal.”
The Rocket Community Fund has invested $2.8 million in partnerships to support Connect 313, an effort aimed at closing the digital divide in Detroit. NPower Michigan is actively involved with Connect 313, with representatives serving as Vice Chairs and members of the group’s community-led committees.
Under the grant, NPower Michigan will provide technical skills training, professional development, and job placement to veterans from under-resourced communities, their spouses and young adult Detroiters. The nonprofit has run the program in Detroit since 2020.
José Reyes, Executive Director of NPower Michigan, said the Detroit region is full of IT and tech jobs that are going unfilled because of the lack of digital access.
“IT occupations grew by 12 percent and are expected to grow by another 4 percent this year,” said Reyes. “We are in a unique position as an alternative pathway for young people to enter the tech job market. And with over 50,000 tech jobs in Detroit as of 2022 according to CompTIA, we at NPower are more than capable of training Detroit youth for future success in the tech world to fill those jobs.”
The Detroit Regional Chamber reported in their State of Education that, in Detroit, 53 percent of high school grads are deferring enrollment in postsecondary education. Consequently, this is leading to an ever-widening talent gap.
Trainees that graduate from NPower Michigan report an average starting salary of $36,164, representing a 234 percent increase over pre-program income.
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NPower Michigan is collaborating with Human-I-T on the design and implementation of a Community Help Desk and Hotline for Detroit residents having difficulty connecting with the digital community. The goal of the Community Helpdesk is to address the digital divide throughout Detroit and ensure that all residents have the digital expertise needed to access the internet with their devices. NPower alumni will support the program as Helpdesk Agents, utilizing their training with hands-on applications and problem solving.A portion of the Rocket Community Fund will provide the training and free community digital support to residents throughout Detroit.
About NPower Inc.
NPower is a national nonprofit, rooted in the community, that is committed to advancing race and gender equity in the tech industry through skills training, real-world experience, support, and mentorships. The organization has helped young adults from underserved communities and veterans move from poverty to the middle class by training them with a range of tech skills and placing them in quality jobs. Students who enter the free, six-month training program, earn industry-recognized certifications and graduate with the competencies of an IT professional with one to two years of experience. NPower also places students in paid internships and apprenticeships with corporate and nonprofit organizations. Eighty percent of NPower graduates get a full-time job or continue their education. NPower is a vital solution towards bridging the national talent gap that exists in the high-growth technology industry. Over the past decade, NPower has expanded its program reach and developed a robust network of Fortune 500 companies, mid-sized enterprises, government agencies, staffing firms, and a network of nonprofit partners that host its interns and hire its graduates full-time. To learn more about NPower, visit www.npower.org.
About Rocket Community Fund
The Rocket Community Fund aims to simplify complex and inequitable systems to ensure that every American has access to stable, healthy housing. It also invests in people and practices that provide meaningful opportunities for education and employment. Through its For-More-Than-Profit model, the Rocket Community Fund recognizes that business and community are inextricably linked, and it purposefully harnesses team member talent, technology, policy advocacy and philanthropic resources to invest in comprehensive community development in Detroit and across the country. Alongside financial investments, the Rocket Community Fund has organized Rocket Companies, Bedrock and other affiliated team members to provide more than 865,000 volunteer hours nationwide, including 430,000 in Detroit. For more information, visit RocketCommunityFund.org.