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i.c.stars Chicago Ribbon Cutting – Press Release

2024-01-02T12:36:25-06:00October 4th, 2023|Chicago, National, workforce|

i.c. stars – a Chicago-based workforce non-profit organization focused on tech training and leadership for low-income adults – officially opened its new office space with a ribbon cutting ceremony and announcement of its program expansion.

i.c.stars hosted a ribbon cutting formally opening its new headquarters space in the heart of Chicago (750 N. Orleans) this week allowing the nonprofit to double its capacity operating two cohorts simultaneously in its learning studios. The new office allows i.c.stars alumni to work remotely as well as future program expansion.

i.c.stars shared details of its expanded hiring partnership with United Airlines, and a new pilot program with New Moms, a fellow Chicago nonprofit organization.

“Now we’re able to grow not only our enrollment, but our alumni on staff, our impact, and innovation,” said Sandee Kastrul, a former teacher who founded i.c.stars.

i.c.stars provides low-income young adults the skills and network they need to secure careers in […]

Yahoo Finance: CompTIA Member Communities, Advisory Councils select 11 organizations for financial support in annual philanthropic endeavor

2024-01-02T14:09:44-06:00August 2nd, 2023|Chicago, Kansas City, Milwaukee, National, workforce|

LAS VEGAS, Aug. 2, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Eleven non-profit organizations in six countries will receive financial support from the member communities and industry advisory councils of CompTIA, the nonprofit association for the information technology (IT) industry and workforce. The announcement of the 2023 award recipients was at ChannelCon 2023, the technology industry’s premier annual conference for vendor-neutral collaboration, innovative ideas and actionable advice.

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I.c.stars co-Founder Sandee Kastrul Inducted Into the Chicago Innovation Hall of Fame

2023-07-31T09:51:47-05:00July 31st, 2023|Chicago, National|

Chicago, July 31, 2023— i.c.stars announced today that CEO Sandee Kastrul will be inducted into the Chicago Innovation Hall of Fame at the In-Gala on August 3rd. Ms. Kastrul was one of four distinguished leaders in innovation who were honored for their accomplishments in Chicago’s innovation community.

Ms. Kastrul, i.c.stars founder and former teacher, brings a personal awareness of the range of problems and barriers faced by marginalized communities. Her continued relationships in underresourced neighborhoods help assure that program goals remain relevant and impactful. “Diversity is the ultimate driver of innovation” said Kastrul. “Through technology training, community leadership, and wraparound support, we prepare young adults for the jobs and opportunities of the future.  We help employers see the value in non-traditional talent pipelines—value to their bottom line and our society. It’s a win-win approach that helps build Chicago’s innovation community.”

“The Chicago Innovation Hall of Fame […]

WisconsinInno: Molson Coors taps i.c.stars alumni to help design innovation spaces in Milwaukee, Chicago offices – July 2022

2022-08-25T12:03:47-05:00August 25th, 2022|Chicago, Milwaukee, National|

By Will Romano – Editorial Intern July 26, 2022, 10:10am CDT

Molson Coors Beverage Co. expanded its partnership with technology training nonprofit Inner-City Computer Stars (i.c.stars) this month by soliciting ideas from i.c.stars alumni for new innovation spaces in Molson Coors’ Chicago and Milwaukee corporate offices.

The alumni competed in small groups to present their ideas for the space, which all focused on cutting-edge technologies, according to a press release. Alumni students Angel Delgado and Khalil Hall won the competition on July 15.

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MIT Article Mentions i.c.stars + Amsted Rail Partnership: “Practical Ways to Tackle Manufacturing’s Labor Crunch”

2022-05-16T18:17:44-05:00May 16th, 2022|National|

Pandemic-era worker shortages have been pegged to mass resignations, but the manufacturing sector’s current talent and expertise gap has earlier antecedents.

Decades of labor cost reductions — through hiring caps, lower or stagnant wages, and anemic investment in technology and training — is coming back to bite the industry, according to experts who spoke at the recent 2022 MIT Manufacturing Conference.

Compared to other industries, the share of open job positions as a percentage of overall manufacturing jobs has continued to rise well beyond the impact of ongoing resignations sparked by the pandemic.

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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 […]

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