i.c.stars in the news

The i.c.stars Residency Program: Bridging The Gap Between Training and Career

2023-03-17T15:06:42-05:00March 16th, 2023|Alumni Support, Milwaukee, National, workforce|

by Koyoua Vang
i.c.stars Milwaukee Graduate

I am a graduate of i.c.stars, working for Northwestern Mutual as a technology operations specialist– the youngest on the team. It’s a job I love, with a company I respect, in a career that can grow. I.c.stars’ technology boot camp prepared me for the technical part of my job.  But the i.c.stars residency that followed added something more, something you won’t find in standard tech training curricula. It gave me a safe place to ask questions, gain confidence, find mentors, and make friends.

The i.c.stars residency bridged the gap between technology classes and practical applications. It’s one of the reasons that i.c.stars graduates remain in a tech field and advance faster than those coming from a conventional academic track.

When Blanca Gonzales, executive director of i.c.stars Milwaukee, asked me to help formalize their residency program, I was thrilled. The Milwaukee office was new—just two years old—but […]

A Volunteer Reflects on i.c.stars’ Hack the Dream Event, In Celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.

2023-03-03T11:05:53-06:00March 3rd, 2023|Chicago, National, workforce|

In January, i.c.stars Chicago hosted its annual social impact hackthon Hack the Dream event in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.

Read this summary and reflection from one of the event volunteers, Daviannah Schuh.

Forbes Article Highlights i.c.stars: Five Social Entrepreneurs Creating A New System of Opportunity In America

2023-02-06T14:53:54-06:00February 6th, 2023|Chicago, National, workforce|

Five Social Entrepreneurs Creating A New System Of Opportunity In America
By Abby Marquand, New Profit 

From the Great Resignation to the growing labor movement, over the past few years we have seen accelerated shifts in the labor market that are putting more power in the hands of workers. We now find ourselves with an unprecedented opportunity to reimagine economic mobility in America.

If we are to make the most of this opportunity, we need a multi-faceted approach that isn’t just about connecting workers to ‘good jobs,’ but about breaking down barriers to economic mobility to ensure that every worker has access to opportunities to learn new skills, advance in a career path, and build generational wealth.  Read more…

i.c.stars Graduate Nick Torres Selected for the Microsoft Leap Apprenticeship Program

2023-01-13T16:39:28-06:00January 13th, 2023|Apprenticeship, Chicago, National, workforce|

i.c.stars Graduate Nick Torres Selected for the Microsoft Leap Apprenticeship Program.
Microsoft Philanthropies shared the Microsoft LEAP opportunity with i.c.stars, which resulted in a life-changing opportunity for i.c.stars graduate Nick Torres.  

I remember the day I was accepted to the Microsoft Leap Program. I was excited and happier than I can say. I knew it was a competitive program, and hard work, but it also meant a solid career and future for me and my family. I.c.stars offered me the opportunity to apply for the Microsoft Leap program, set up mock interviews, and helped me prepare. I’m ready for it, thanks to Larry Cowans, Arely Dorsey, and all the instructors at i.c.stars. But, it almost didn’t happen. 

My wife was looking for jobs on Craigslist and she saw the notice about i.c.stars: […]

Chicago Crain’s Business Article Highlights i.c.stars: Big employers turn to apprenticeships for tech talent

2023-02-03T12:15:35-06:00December 20th, 2022|Chicago, Milwaukee, National, workforce|

CHICAGO – Dec 16, 2022

i.c.stars was highlighted in a story published in Crain’s Chicago Business about apprenticeships for technology talent.

Ten of Chicago’s largest employers—including United Airlines, JPMorgan Chase and Allstate—are teaming up to make better use of apprenticeships to tackle two problems that have long plagued the tech industry: a shortage of talent and inequality of opportunity.

More at: https://www.chicagobusiness.com/technology/united-allstate-chase-start-apprenticeship-program-p33-dpi

i.c.stars Announces $1 Million Gift from New Profit

2022-12-18T17:33:15-06:00December 6th, 2022|Chicago, Milwaukee, National|

CHICAGO – New Profit, a venture philanthropy organization, has awarded $1 million to support i.c.stars’ priorities including technology training, leadership development, career readiness, and job placement for young adults from underserved communities.

“This incredible gift will help us scale the program,” said Sandee Kastrul, CEO and co-founder of I.c.stars, “so that we can respond to requests for training and help more young adults secure opportunities in the tech sector.”

“i.c.stars transforms the trajectory of individuals facing significant barriers to economic mobility by offering a combination of workforce skill training and intensive leadership development. Our financial investment and strategic support are aimed at helping them hone and execute their strategy to achieve greater impact, scale, and influence,” said Kevin Greer, New Profit Partner and Chief Administrative Officer, who recently joined the i.c.stars Board of Directors. “We […]

Molson Coors and i.c.stars Develop Partnership that Delivers

2023-01-18T12:55:03-06:00November 1st, 2022|Chicago, Milwaukee, National, workforce|

Molson Coors and i.c.stars develop a partnership that delivers

We spoke with Jonah Turner, head of emerging technologies for Molson Coors which is based in Chicago and Milwaukee. Turner works closely with i.c.stars to mentor and develop students—and provide a talent pipeline to Molson Coors.

You are a true believer in the power of the i.c.stars program and its participants. Why?

I joined Molson Coors during the pandemic. As the company was expanding from beer to beverages and growing its Milwaukee workforce, we were looking at unique ways to build our innovation and talent pipeline for IT. I was already a champion of i.c.stars having attended different events and being a workshop sponsor with my previous employer, so I knew that there would be significant value for Molson Coors to become a partner.

The participants going through the program are extremely dedicated, hardworking, and ambitious. Not only do they develop transferrable technical and leadership […]

Regional focus on innovation ensures bright future for Northwest Indiana

2022-10-18T18:21:34-05:00October 18th, 2022|Chicago, National, workforce|

HOBART — Northwest Indiana, and indeed the entire urbanized coast of Lake Michigan from South Bend to Milwaukee, is perfectly positioned to become a national and international center of technology and innovation.

That was the message delivered by a variety of speakers Thursday to more than 500 entrepreneurs, community advocates, and business and municipal officials during the annual One Region luncheon at Avalon Manor in Hobart.

Natalie Vargas: Profile of an Inner-City Computer Star – August 2022

2022-10-18T18:17:46-05:00August 25th, 2022|Milwaukee, National|

BY TOM JENZ AUG. 08, 2022 10:33 A.M.
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