Ryan Kelly| Crain’s Detroit

IT in the D today entered into a formal partnership with the Workforce Intelligence Network that will let IT in the D pursue 501(c)(3) nonprofit funding opportunities and build its programs.

The signing, at a Quicken Loans Inc. office in downtown Detroit’s Chase Tower, established the Southeast Michigan Community Alliance — the fiscal agency of the Workforce Intelligence Network — as the fiscal agency for IT in the D.

The change allows IT in the D to go after grants and other sources of funding as a 501(c)(3) designate, said Shiela Jones, operations director for IT in the D and information technology project manager at Quicken Loans.

The organization’s new financial goals are still being worked out, she said.

“We don’t have anything identified as of yet, but that’s part of the partnership,” Jones said. “As we move forward, we’re going to be looking at opportunities.”

IT in the D was founded by a group of technology companies in metro Detroit — Compuware Ventures, Quicken Loans, GalaxE.Solutions, Marketing Associates and Fathead. The organization started a 10-week program in June in which 15 trainers prepared about 20 students for the IT workforce in metro Detroit.

The Workforce Intelligence Network is a coalition of eight local community colleges and seven MichiganWorks agencies and economic development agencies that aims to retain young Michigan talent, partly by matching that talent with opportunities in metro Detroit.

The Workforce Intelligence Network was launched in November 2011 after receiving a $1.5 million grant from the New Economy Initiative, a division of the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

It in the D is currently funded by the five founding companies. The share of costs among the five varies by the project, Jones said.

IT in the D and the Workforce Intelligence Network have been working together informally for about a year.

Macomb Community College, Monroe County Community College, Mott Community College, Oakland Community College, Schoolcraft College, St. Clair Community College, Washtenaw Community College and Wayne County Community College District are all educational members of the Workforce Intelligence Network. Other members include the Career Alliance; Detroit Workforce Development Department; Southeast Michigan Community Alliance; Washtenaw County Employment, Training and Community Services; and Michigan Works agencies serving Livingston, Macomb, St. Clair and Oakland counties.

IT in the D’s inaugural program ran from June until August 2012. The second session, which started in October, is under way.

As a result of the program, five students have been hired in full-time positions, either by one of the five founding companies or elsewhere, Jones said.

In addition to its new lines on funding, It in the D is in talks with the Workforce Intelligence Network about possible expansions, Jones said.

“We’re going to be spending the next bit of time hashing out how we want to grow the program,” she said.


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