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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. 

I THOUGHT I.C.STARS WAS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE
My wife was looking for jobs on Craigslist and she saw the notice about i.c.stars: […]

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 […]

Between Worlds: My Journey into Design, Tech, and Science

2022-08-24T16:07:07-05:00August 24th, 2022|Chicago, National|

I was born on Chicago’s South Side. I’m an artist, who loved writing stories and studied film at the University of Illinois at Chicago. I assumed I’d find a job in that area but found it’s not so easy to make a living as an artist! My cousin graduated from i.c.stars and told me about the program. He now had a great job in the IT department at DeVry. He told me to try, telling me that core IT principles could lead to countless positions in many different industries.

Technology is everywhere, in some way or another. Being comfortable with tech can be the start of anything you want to do. I applied to i.c.stars and started in cycle 31.

I.c.stars teaches technology through real-world applications. Combining high expectations with a high level of structure and support makes the work challenging but memorable. I pushed through and, when I finished, landed a […]

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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