High school seniors who want to learn how to write computer program code have just a few days left to apply for the Interapt Skills High School Program Initiative.
The goal is to get high schoolers into a career in technology even if they may not be on track to go to college. The program is in partnership with the nonprofit Transform Education Kentucky. Interapt teaches programs such as Java and Swift as well as business skills and life skills, such as budgeting.
Interapt CEO and Founder Ankur Gopal says there’s a shortage of skilled workers to fill technology jobs around the country. His company specializes in mobile and wearable app development.
“I want to create opportunities for people who are here at home that may just need a little bit of our expertise and training,” Gopal said. “And we’re very happy to be part of that solution.”
Students of the program will be divided into two groups: those who want to learn Apple’s operating system, and those who want to learn Android’s. Within those groups students will split into teams to work on specific projects. The program will accept 50 students for the first year. So far, 31 applicants have applied and have been accepted.
The semester-long program will staff four teachers, eight teaching assistants and 10-20 mentors, at a cost of almost $1,000,000, officials say. Brook Smith, founder of surety bonds company Smith-Manus, has pledged $500,000 to the program. Other funders include Verizon.
In addition, school systems with students in the program pay one-quarter of the district’s cost per student. Participating school districts include Jefferson, Shelby and Eminence Independent.
“When we had the opportunity to not only build this company in Louisville but also to potentially help build skills and jobs as well,” said Gopal, “I realize that this could be a really impactful program if our company was well suited to take it on — and we were.”
Students are expected to finish the program with skills to help them get an entry-level position in app development. Interested students should apply by January 3. The program begins January 8.
This post has been updated.