Economy

New funding will allow two Louisville community organizations to provide technology industry job training to more residents in the new year.

Officials including Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced AMPED and the Louisville Central Community Center (LCCC) will offer free, multi-week upskilling programs to dozens of adults in 2021. The organizations received funding from sponsors such as Humana and Microsoft.

Fischer said the goal was to increase participation of under-represented groups in tech and tech-related jobs. He said he hopes to see Louisville residents who are Black, women or low-income enroll in the programs.

“The training is going to help people build critical professional skills and obtain industry recognized credentials that will help them obtain jobs in data analytics, user experience design, digital marketing development and other fields,” he said.

Trainees will receive a stipend, job placement assistance and could also receive help getting access to laptops or other tools needed to complete the program.

There are already a number of tech training programs in Louisville, including through AMPED. Earlier this year, the city introduced a free online-only reskilling program in partnership with Microsoft’s Future of Work initiative in response to COVID-19.

AMPED executive director Dave Christopher, Sr., said what makes these programs different is the intentional focus on equity.

“This program is intentional about looking at those folks that have been ignored and pushed aside and given them an opportunity to do what we believe they can do,” Christopher said.

Kevin Fields, Sr., CEO of LCCC, said the choice of organizations to run these programs is telling.

“What demonstrates the intentionality of this effort is to have two community-based entities at the helm of it,” he said. “That creates innovation in community engagement, innovation in outreach and you know we want to really reach into the deepest pockets of our community to pull people into this pipeline.”

Some details remain to be finalized, so interested applicants may contact AMPED and LCCC for more information and to apply.

This announcement came on the heels of Fischer unveiling a plan to address racial inequities in Louisville. One focus area of that plan is increasing Black employment, which includes a commitment to invest in technology training.

Amina Elahi is WFPL's City Reporter.