The Metro Detroiters looking for a boost in their career prospects have a potential new path.
Stiegler EdTech, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, which provides free “upgrading” and technology training to undereducated and low-income adults, announced plans Monday to bring one of its programs to Detroit. . Stiegler will offer its Career Technology Apprenticeship Cohort, or CTAC, program in the city. The hybrid course will initially be offered to 20 students, with plans to increase the number of places, according to founding partner and COO Pasha Maher.
During the 24-week program, students learn computer programming and are prepared for the rigors of the workplace in areas such as time management.
Students receive a $17,500 stipend while in the program, along with needs-based resources such as child care, housing, laptops and equipment, as well as access to mentoring from 159 graduates of the program, according to Maher.
Four sessions of the CTAC course have been completed, all in Charlotte, over the past three years.
Stiegler guarantees placement with one of his 14 sponsors, who also fund the program. These sponsors include Detroit-based Ally Financial, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Truist, Ernst & Young, Lowe’s, Coca Cola Co., US Bank and Stiegler himself.
Ally partnered with Stiegler EdTech in 2017. Since then, dozens of graduates from the program have joined the bank and immediately contributed, according to Dan Lemont, Ally’s executive director of technology strategy.
The Detroit CTAC program will open up another critical talent pool for Ally, Lemont told Crain’s in an email, while helping the company pursue its mission to support workforce development and promote upward mobility at the local level.
Detroit’s program is scheduled to begin on March 6. The deadline to apply for the March course is January 9.
Between 5% and 10% of applicants are accepted into the program, according to Maher. About 90% of those admitted to the program graduate. CCAT’s most recent cohort graduated 46 students.
“CTAC’s longer-term goal is to one day serve hundreds of graduates each year, like the growth and success we’ve seen in Charlotte,” Maher told Crain’s. “These candidates are expected to be based in Detroit. We have seen several CTAC graduates either move into a virtual role or be later relocated by their company depending on a number of factors.”
Maher estimated that Stiegler will invest around $2 million in 2023 in Detroit. This includes student stipends, need-based resource assistance, and setting up a boutique in a yet-to-be-determined location to support the in-person component of its hybrid model.
Armand Brown, founding partner of Stiegler EdTech and chief marketing officer, declined to disclose the program’s total investment in each student. Brown in a text message said student needs vary, but no one has been turned away because of their resource needs.
The investment goes a long way in helping students progress. About 80% of CTAC attendees are people of color, according to Maher. Most students who enter the CTAC program earn around $20,000 and work multiple jobs, leaving them little time to invest in themselves. Half of these students are unemployed at the start of the program.
Employability is Stiegler’s primary goal, according to the company’s website. Stiegler guarantees graduates an average annual starting salary of $55,000, with projected average salary growth placing graduates at $90,000 per year within three years of completing the program.
“Education is a critical part of upward mobility, but that doesn’t mean everyone has to climb the same ladder or have the same narrative,” Maher said in a statement. “At CTAC, we don’t just provide a degree or a piece of paper, but the actual skills necessary for graduates to be employed as successfully as those who may have gone the traditional route.”
The CTAC program will be a valuable workforce development initiative for the region, Lemont said in a statement.
“It will allow Ally and other organizations to bring diverse voices and new ideas to the table,” he said, “and it gives us the opportunity to include the Detroit community in our work. to bridge the digital divide, just like we did in Charlotte.”
Stiegler EdTech is named in honor of Rick Stiegler, former Chief Technology Officer of LendingTree, who was committed to supporting the career advancement of underserved communities. LendingTree Founder and CEO Doug Lebda is a founding partner of Stiegler EdTech and serves on its board of directors.
In addition to the CTAC course, Stiegler offers a four-week Youth Tech Apprentice Camp and a three-week Internship Tech Apprentice Cohort.