Americans are so “plugged in” that it seems impossible to get through an hour of the day without reaching for and relying on some form of technology.  As our reliance on technology grows, so grows the employment sector for Information Technologies (IT)– a fact that recently inspired Congressman Keith Ellison to visit American Indian OIC.

AIOIC president Joe Hobot and key members of the AIOIC leadership team welcomed the opportunity to discuss workforce development strategies with the Congressman, who highlighted the fact there are many jobs available to individuals who possess knowledge and competency in specialized programming and coding languages currently in-demand in the IT sector. Congressman Ellison shared his first hand knowledge of employers who are struggling to find qualified IT professionals.

Congressman Ellison’s observations affirmed that AIOIC is on track to be a part of the solution, with their recent decision to add workshops on SQL, Java and Windows PowerShell, to the list of Takoda Institute IT courses. AIOIC President Joe Hobot explained, “Our hope is that these programs will allow people who possess previous computer knowledge to broaden their skill set in order to be highly competitive applying for jobs within the IT industry.”

Congressman Ellison also suggested that AIOIC partner with the #YesWeCode movement. #YesWeCode is an initiative to help train 100,000 low-opportunity youth to become highly-skilled programmers.  Another  new AIOIC initiative that aligns perfectly with #YesWeCode, includes offering an  IT track for students enrolled at Takoda Prep,  AIOIC’s alternative high school,.  The big idea behind the high school IT program is to provide teenaged students with an edge for becoming successful and self sufficient in the future, by exposing them to advanced training in computer programming and coding while still in high school. Also, the rigorous nature of IT coursework planned for Takoda Prep will provide graduates with the foundation necessary to pursue higher education opportunities available at the Takoda Institute. AIOIC’s goal is to provide Takoda Prep students an opportunity to follow an IT pathway starting in high school and continuing all the way through college, ultimately attaining a promising career position with the help of AIOIC Career Services counselors.

Reflecting on Congressman Ellison’s visit Prakash Adiani, Education Director at the Takoda Institute observed, “Congressman Ellison’s visit affirmed that our IT focused education and workforce development programs are right on trend with opportunity and demand in the IT sector.”