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Detroit companies cooperate to train new IT workers

Flickr user PaulSh/Flickr

The Next Idea

Six years ago, an IT solutions provider outsourced their New Jersey jobs to ... Detroit. GalaxE.Solutionsinitiated their “Outsource to Detroit” campaign to encourage new technology workers to come to the Motor City.

Now, IT companies in the city are searching for every candidate they can. Ryan Hoyle, vice president of talent and business solutions for GalaxE.Solutions, said jobs continue to go unfilled.

“Detroit started to really have that turnaround,” Hoyle told Stateside. “We’ve exhausted the population of qualified IT resources.”

Hoyle is teaming up with area companies to train new workers with ExperienceIT, an eight-week program that aims to teach the skills that aren’t taught in a traditional classroom setting. Hoyle said over 90 percent of the last two cohorts landed jobs with the companies who gave them the experience they needed.

Among the companies in the partnership are DTE Energy, Titlesource and Quicken Loans. Hoyle describes the relationship between each company as a “co-ompetition.” After participants complete the training program, the companies look to hire new IT workers like Chandra Floyd, who described herself as having “nerdy inclinations” that showed at her former job as a special events manager for a Detroit venue.

“I was the designated person around the office to help troubleshoot things,” Floyd shared on Stateside. “Eventually, I became the system administrator for one of the databases. And I realized I absolutely loved it.”

But even though she found that love for IT, Floyd knew she lacked the experience to get into a full-time job. That’s when she found ExperienceIT and submitted an application for the program. She received her acceptance notice and resigned three days later from the job she had for 11-years.

Today, she works for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and tests software quality before it goes into the market. 

Here's a clip of Floyd talking about how the program helped her: 

“Take the leap and do it,” Floyd encouraged prospective IT workers. “What I saw in Experience IT … was something I needed in my life.”

Hoyle hopes that ExperienceIT can expand in the future to train more people like Floyd, and to continue filling the city’s growing IT job market.

“This is really a passion project for us. We are companies who have invested in Detroit, and we understand that we need to be part of this economic turnaround," said Hoyle. 

Ryan Hoyle is the vice president of talent and business development for GalaxE.Solutions, one of the seven companies behind ExperienceIT. Chandra Floyd is a graduate of ExperienceIT. She now works for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

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