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Innovate Birmingham graduates second IT bootcamp class


By Jim Bakken

UAB News

Instructor Shirley Hicks shakes hands with Courtney Lewis during graduation.(Jessika Reed, Provided Photos)

Innovate Birmingham workforce program graduated its second cohort of students Friday, Sept. 8, at the Birmingham Museum of Art, 2000 Rev. Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd.

“The Innovate Birmingham graduation is a momentous event that brings together an entire community and changes lives,” said Innovate Birmingham Workforce Program Director Abby Guerin. “We are proud to have a program like this in Birmingham and proud to be a part of shaping the future of the city.”

The ceremony included employers that are hiring graduates. Graduates of the IT bootcamp class have gone on to secure employment with organizations such as Blue Cross Blue Shield, Honda, Protective Life, UAB and others.

The Innovate Birmingham Workforce Partnership is designed to establish a pipeline of information technology talent for the Birmingham Metro area.

The commencement ceremony featured addresses from University of Alabama at Birmingham President Ray L. Watts and Birmingham Civil Rights Institute President and CEO Andrea Taylor, as well as graduating students. During the proceedings, employers joined graduating students on stage to celebrate the beginnings of their new careers.

Innovate Birmingham’s second graduating class included students from the McKinsey Social Initiative Generation IT and IamBham programs. Candidates for the bootcamp programs are selected via rigorous interview and screening processes that assess motivation, competency and career vision.

Through the 12-week Generation IT class, students obtain the CompTIA A+ certification needed for positions in computer support. In the 14-week IamBham program, powered by Covalence, students prepare to obtain UAB certification in front-end web development.

“While attending Generation IT, the mock interview process aided me in building up interview confidence,” said Shauntoria Craver, a Generation IT graduate. “That’s how I feel I was able to land the job at Honda. All in all, I am more than thankful for a second chance and being able to land a job in my career field that will allow me to be financially stable for myself and my children.”

For more information about how to get involved with Innovate Birmingham, contact Haley Kendrick at haley@innovatebham.com.