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We are in a remarkable era. Emerging technologies are reshaping everything from transportation to healthcare to manufacturing, and more. This impacts how we learn, how we work, and how companies discover and hire talent. Udacity is committed to connecting learning to jobs in this new economy, and together with some of the most forwarding-thinking organizations and companies in the world, we are developing new, agile, and effective ways to train workforces for the jobs of today, tomorrow, and beyond.
Across the U.S., local communities are taking it upon themselves to find innovative new ways to create local job opportunities, to skill up local talent, and to encourage the growth of tech sectors in their regions. Udacity is extremely excited to help spearhead such an effort in Nevada, specifically in the Reno-Lake Tahoe region. This first-of-its-kind effort represents a collaborative public and private partnership with local employers as well as workforce and economic development entities, including the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) and the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN).
Tech jobs have driven a significant portion of Nevada’s economic recovery, and companies like Tesla, Google, Apple, and Amazon are now opening facilities there. But despite this progress, Reno is still facing a skills gap for tech jobs. This is where Udacity can contribute significantly, through offering job-relevant learning programs with affordable costs and high returns, that empower local learners to join the new “knowledge-based economy.”
“Nevada is enjoying significant economic development success and the best companies in the world are coming here. Partnerships with innovation leaders are central to promoting job growth that is consistent, sustainable and diversified, and we’re excited to join Udacity, local employers and EDAWN for a program that will create powerful connections between our rapidly-growing technology sector and our local talent.” —Brian Sandoval, Governor of Nevada
Udacity Connect: Reno-Tahoe
Udacity will provide a blended learning program in Reno-Tahoe, known as Udacity Connect, that will offer a combination of online courses and in-person study sessions, to be held at The Innevation Center, University of Nevada, Reno. This program will initially train Reno-Tahoe residents to become full stack web developers—skills currently in high demand in Reno. As the program grows, we plan to add courses in robotics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and more.
“We share with Udacity a genuine excitement about the potential in this region, and we knew from the start this program presented a real opportunity not just to develop and support local talent, but provide them with exciting opportunities to advance their careers. Bombora can’t wait to begin hiring these graduates!” —Rob Armstrong, Co-founder and SVP of Product & Technology, Bombora
Every participant in this groundbreaking collaboration brings something critical to the table. Local employers are advising on the skills they’re looking for (allowing us to tailor curriculum to suit the needs of regional industry) and committing to hiring program graduates. Businesses throughout the region are signing on to sponsor current employees to add new skills. The Governor’s’ Office of Economic Development is providing merit and need based scholarships for qualified students, as part of a workforce development program funded through the Workforce Innovations for a New Nevada.
“We are excited about the collaboration with Udacity and the University of Nevada Reno on this new program which will provide Nevadans with the opportunity to train for high-wage technology jobs in our region – ensuring that Nevadans are put to work at our state’s leading companies is a top priority for Governor Sandoval and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.” —Steve Hill, Director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development
From innovative startups like Bombora, Cycle, No-IP, and ConvergenceHealth, to the largest IT employers in the area such as Renown Health, our hiring partners are making a concerted effort to encourage wage growth and solve for underemployment in their region.
“As a company committed to powering new innovation and harnessing the potential of emerging new technologies, we’re thrilled to see Udacity’s program launching in Reno—the opportunity to meet and review local candidates who possess the cutting-edge skills we’re looking for is very exciting.” —Michelle Sanchez-Bickley, Vice President of Human Resources, Renown Health
At Udacity, we know firsthand that learning has no boundaries. Our students come from all over the globe to learn with us, better their lives, and master the skills needed in today’s world. It is imperative we find ways for these lifelong learners to work locally, to become contributors to their own local economies, and to help encourage business growth in their own regions.
“Reno’s remarkable transformation into one of the country’s best performing economies highlights how innovative collaborations that bring technology together with both the public and private sectors can serve to close the opportunity gap. We are excited to partner with Udacity on this pioneering program that will further accelerate growth in our regional technology ecosystem, and provide a successful blueprint for other cities across the nation.” —Mike Kazmierski, President & CEO, EDAWN
We are extremely excited to replicate this inaugural initiative in other regions where similarly innovative collaborations are percolating, and Reno’s already-impressive successes make clear why this region is an ideal choice for a first launch:
- Today, Reno’s unemployment rate is 4.5%, down from 14% just 5 years ago.
- Reno is the #2 city for highest job growth for the year, according to the 2016 Milken Institute Best Performing Cities Report.
- Northern Nevada is expected to add 50K+ jobs by 2020.
“Udacity will contribute to our innovation ecosystem by helping to build the in-demand skillset and competitiveness of our region’s workforce.” —Mridul Gautam, Vice President for Research & Innovation at the University of Nevada, Reno
It is a happy coincidence that “Connect” should already be our program’s name, as this entire coordinated effort really is about connections. It is about connecting learning to jobs. It is about connecting employers to talent. It is about connecting businesses to their surrounding communities. Most of all, it is about connecting the present to the future.
As we look forward toward the rapidly-evolving future of work, we feel confident that across the country, even across the world, programs like the one we launch today in Nevada will help foster connections that promote local growth, local opportunity, and local success.
Learn more about Udacity Connect: Reno-Tahoe today!