Employment gains continued through Q2 2015 with 20,000 jobs added and online job postings reaching peak levels of 122,000 throughout the nine-county region – the highest levels ever recorded, according to a new report. Chief among the industries remaining in high demand: information technology, where postings continue to far outpace jobs created. How do we bridge that gap? Prominent local IT employers are investing in ExperienceIT.

Now in its second year, ExperienceIT is a training program developed and put forth by Detroit’s leading IT-focused companies, including: Quicken Loans, GalaxE.Solutions, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, DTE, Fathead, Marketing Associates and Title Source along with workforce agencies WIN and Detroit Employment Solutions Corp. The goal: deliver, through an intense, specialized 10-week training program, an IT training experience offering opportunities for employment, while keeping IT talent in Detroit.

Focusing on soft as well as hard skills, ExperienceIT seeks to train, through specially developed and delivered curriculum, the next generation of IT professionals. Students are prepared for real software development and quality assurance jobs that are available today.  From Day 1 of the program, host companies and student participants begin the process of getting to know each other. Throughout the program, students not only learn but also work on real-world projects as they are embedded into partner projects and work cultures.

After the 10-week initiative is concluded, qualified students who successfully complete the program interview to compete for employment opportunities at partner companies. In 2014, more than 80 percent of the students were offered jobs as a result of their training. ExperienceIT’s 2014 class, with more than 40 participants, will conclude in mid-September.

In order to remain competitive, it is imperative that Michigan and Metro Detroit cultivate and retain top IT talent.  With a roughly 4 percent unemployment rate in the field nationally, however, there is simply not enough qualified talent to go around. ExperienceIT is positioned to be sustainable and poised for expansion in the long term. It is supported by contributions from the New Economy Initiative, Rock Ventures and DESC to ensure no tuition cost to students.

As Detroit continues to build upon its growing reputation as an international IT hub and center of innovation, opportunities abound. To realize those opportunities, ExperienceIT partners promote their mission of preparing Detroit residents, and those seeking to work in downtown Detroit, with high-quality training opportunities. ExperienceIT partners are committed to organic job growth, offering rewarding careers and bright futures.

To read the original article, click here.