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i.c.stars in the news

IT program i.c.stars hopes to get underrepresented communities in Milwaukee the training, experience they need

2022-02-28T17:45:16-06:00February 28th, 2022|National|

Ismael Lopez was working at a restaurant in Chicago when he was laid off due to the pandemic. He moved home to Milwaukee to find another job.

Lopez, 38, spent most of his career in the restaurant industry. He also had a talent for solving issues on smart devices and decided to get serious about a career in IT and computer science.

While attending classes at Milwaukee Area Technical College, Lopez was approached by a recruiter from i.c.stars about joining its program in Milwaukee.

 “I thought it was a scam,” Lopez said, adding after talking to a few graduates of the program he decided to apply and is now halfway through the program.

Read more at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel…

From i.c.stars to Cloud Developer to Creating An Award-Winning Employee Resource Group

2022-02-08T12:05:47-06:00February 8th, 2022|National|

Jeremy worked at a factory for five years before i.c.stars, making just a dollar over minimum wage at the time of his departure. “I looked at my boss– the manager and a nice guy—he had worked there for 26 years doing the same thing all that time. I thought, wow, there’s no career ladder here, no better future. I knew I had to do something, but school would have been tough to do while working.”

Always interested in technology, Jeremy saw an article in the newspaper ‘RedEye’ about a technology networking event called: ‘OpenGov Hack Night’.  He attended, met people in the field and was introduced to i.c.stars. “There was no cost for training, and we got a stipend. While the stipend wasn’t much, through an upcoming income tax return and some savings, it was possible for me to make this change. I was accepted into i.c.stars and joined Cycle […]

i.c.stars Milwaukee Graudate Angel Delgado Cambray

2022-01-26T15:40:48-06:00January 26th, 2022|National|

I had been a waiter for ten years, before i.c.stars, working full time while also going to college. I was
studying Electrical Engineering, but the student loans just kept piling up and I couldn’t continue. I decided to try i.c.stars because I like technology, there was no cost to train, and trainees receive a stipend. If not for all that, I could not have made the move.
I thought that working in technology—starting with i.c.stars—would be a good fit for me. I enjoy working with organized systems, I’m comfortable with the software, and I like the creativity of problem-solving. The hardest part of the program is the long, twelve-hour days. The best thing is the help and support that you receive from instructors, fellow cohorts, alumni, and tech professionals. I had questions but there was always someone there to help me. I learned software,

i.c.stars Graduate Michael on Corporate Culture and Growth

2021-12-08T00:21:15-06:00December 8th, 2021|National|

I found out about i.c.stars from my girlfriend—she’s my fiancé now. I liked their non-conventional approach, self-teaching, problem solving and learning by doing. It was right for me. They teach you how to find answers and that’s a skill that doesn’t go out of date. One of the things that impress me was the ability to network with truly influential people. This was a constant around i.c.stars and we were encouraged to make the most of their time. They opened my eyes to the endless opportunities that we had, options that I didn’t know even existed. They gave clarity and perspective to what we were doing and pointed out the best ways to accomplish goals. They helped us find the same leadership in ourselves. I learned how to help others, to see their point of view and lift them up. That’s helped me see the customer’s point of view […]

‘Fairness and Justice also Move my Spirit’ – i.c.stars Graduate Sherronda

2021-11-19T13:01:03-06:00November 19th, 2021|National|

Before i.c.stars I was working and volunteering at my son’s school. Money was tight but I was getting by, then Covid hit and everything shut down. I had to find something but didn’t know what was out there.

I first learned about i.c.stars from a friend of mine. She’d graduated from the program and told me it was great, life-changing, even. I thought, hum I wonder if this is something I could do? My son was taking a coding class for middle school and that was very interesting for me. I was always good at solving puzzles. I loved puzzles and I could see where the code was off, even if I didn’t know coding. In my house, I was called Ms. Electronics because I could fix anything, set up the internet or TV. So I was interviewed for the i.c.stars program and I was excited right […]

i.c.stars president participates in Accelerate Chicago with Microsoft, the Mayor and other partners

2021-11-09T12:53:35-06:00November 9th, 2021|Uncategorized|

CHICAGO – Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and Microsoft Corp., in collaboration with corporate, learning and community partners, today announced the launch of Accelerate Chicago. The program aims to reach 300,000 Chicago residents to provide a pathway from skilling to employment for community members to bridge the digital skills divide and route people to diverse and equitable hiring and re-employment opportunities. Job seekers in Chicago can start their journey toward their career reinvigoration today, with programs, events, and opportunities available now at microsoft.com/accelerateskills

“As Chicago builds its economy back in the wake of COVID-19,” said Deb Cupp, President of Microsoft U.S. “the Accelerate program expands economic opportunity and provides the skills needed to support an inclusive, equitable recovery. We’re proud to work with our civic, learning, and corporate partners to bring this program to Chicago.”

“Especially given the socioeconomic fallout of this crisis, we have been laser-focused on identifying […]

i.c.stars ‘Changed What was Possible’ for Graduate Miguel

2021-09-29T14:55:53-05:00September 29th, 2021|National|

Miguel, an alumnus of i.c.stars, firmly believes his growth as a professional and as a person stems from his mentorship and experience at i.c.stars.

Miguel had never been through a program as rigorous as i.c.stars, where it instantly became evident the true value was the growth mindset he developed and valuing himself. i.c.stars provided doors and Miguel opened each one and saw it as an opportunity to deepen his skills further. For every guest who came through i.c.stars doors, Miguel ensured he listened carefully to how they reached their highest potential and success. He took notes, applied what he learned, and never got discouraged by any mistakes. He realized each opportunity was a door for him to walk through, learn from and make decisions that would benefit his growth.

Miguel came from a family where he was expected to lead a blue-collar work path. It’s what his family knew […]

i.c.stars Op-Ed in Crains: Colleges alone can’t fill the skilled worker needs

2021-09-29T14:58:47-05:00September 29th, 2021|National|

i.c.stars authored an Op-Ed in Crains: 

A recent Crain’s Equity story on the lack of diversity in the tech field pointed out several issues that have kept minority participation low. A lack of strong STEM programs in high schools with predominantly minority enrollment, the tribal nature of hiring or the limited recruiting pool are just a few issues that were mentioned.

We agree with everything in the story, but we’d like to add a sense of urgency to the comments made, a call to arms over this issue. Because in our world today, in almost anything you do, there’s an IT professional backing you up in some way, keeping the process working. In fact, it is hard to think of anything today that is not dependent on the work of IT professionals. It’s a crisis that we can’t afford to ignore.

A degree in computer science […]

i.c.stars Milwaukee recognized with the Champion of Diversity & Inclusion in Tech Award by the Milwaukee Business Journal

2021-05-17T12:49:31-05:00May 14th, 2021|Uncategorized|

The Milwaukee Business Journal will honor 11 Milwaukee-area companies and individuals as part of our inaugural Tech Awards.

Among the winners are GE Healthcare, which is being honored for its “Artificial Intelligence in MRI” initiative, Sojourner Family Peace Center, which is being

honored for its “Centralized Data System” and Waterstone Mortgage, which is being honored for its “Digital Mortgage / Remote Online Notorization eClosing”

system. Neal Sample, Northwestern Mutual’s executive vice president and chief information officer, was chosen as “Technologist of the Year.” Sample leads the

technology  organization at Northwestern Mutual, which includes approximately 2,500 employees and makes up more than a third of the company’s home office

workforce.

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