i.c.stars|*COLUMBUS has executed a three step plan since officially launching in 2017. First, we operated three cohorts over 2017 and 2018 to learn and iterate in real-time what i.c.stars operating in Columbus meant and how we needed to adjust accordingly. We learned a lot and also had significant impact. We received tremendous support from community and corporate partners, and achieved a placement rate of 95%. Second, we took the learnings, impact, and market dynamics into consideration in 2019 as we spent the year working on a long-term strategic plan to set us up for long-term sustainability. Thank you to Accenture, for providing talent to conduct the research and analysis to produce the strategic plan. As the strategic plan was being finalized in 2019, we started to work with i.c.stars national to discuss becoming part of the new national organization. Third, in early 2020 the decision was made by the i.c.stars|*COLUMBUS Board to officially join the i.c.stars national organization in the best interest of both i.c.stars|*COLUMBUS and i.c.stars national. The move better aligns Columbus to national and other locations for better information sharing and national fundraising efforts. After completing this initial, three step plan, i.c.stars|*COLUMBUS is ready to execute cycle 4 in 2020 and is putting in place the foundation needed to mirror i.c.stars’ 20 year legacy of training and empowering the generation of untapped technology talent. ---Ryan Frederick, Board Chair, i.c.stars COLUMBUS
In 2018, we conducted a feasibility study in Kansas City, with support from the William G. McGowan Fund and the Will to Succeed Foundation, to assess demand for technology talent and community need. We are now on a trajectory to launch in Kansas City in 2021.
In 2018, with the support of our anchor sponsor, Dohmen Company Foundation, we launched i.c.stars in the Milwaukee market and it has been thriving ever since! Our partnerships help us provide impact beyond our doors including employers who are seeking diverse and resilient talent such as Children’s Hospital of WI, Northwestern Mutual, and von Briesen & Roper, s.c.