STEAM Train, Inc. is a Middletown-based nonprofit that provides science, technology, engineering, the arts and math (STEAM) training for women and minorities. The organization recently introduced Fast Track, a new program that will offer low-cost website services to Connecticut businesses.
Fast Track will provide basic web design and development training for single parents and others looking to move out of low-income situations. Fast Track has contracted with LearnToProgram.tv, a Connecticut company that has trained more 1 million people in web design and development skills.
Students participating in Fast Track will go through an intensive eight-week training program where they will earn certificates in HTML, CSS, and WordPress.
The training is the first of three parts to the Fast Track program. Unlike other programs, Fast Track requires students to complete a capstone project and a 100-hour apprenticeship. Students will interact with participating Connecticut companies to complete these requirements.
A WIN-WIN FOR CONNECTICUT BUSINESSES AND THE COMMUNITY
“Businesses in Connecticut have repeatedly expressed that they are finding it hard to find tech talent in the state,” emphasizes Tim Laubacher, Owner of Sound Web Solutions, LLC and Partner at STEAM Train.
“Fast Track is designed to provide potential employers with low-risk access to talent that could potentially fill their hiring gaps. Because of Fast Track’s focus on underrepresented demographics (in STEM), talent from the program can also help businesses reach their diversity goals,” he adds.
Businesses can engage the Fast Track students in one of two ways. The first is to provide a project a student or group of students can complete as their capstone project. Good projects would include the setup or redesign of a small website, content design, simple development projects, and creating basic forms. Students are teamed with a professional web development firm to ensure quality and provide ongoing support if needed. The work is done at a rate much lower than market norms and the funds are paid to STEAM Train to help support the training program.
Businesses can also engage with students by hiring them as apprentices. Students are required to apprentice with a business for a minimum of 100 hours, but the student and business can work together longer than that if they so choose. The goal of the apprenticeship is to provide students with real-life work experience on web design and development projects and to work with teams within a business to solve problems and accomplish objectives.
Applications for businesses to engage through capstone or apprenticeship are now open. The current cohort of Fast Track students will be completing their training early in July. Businesses are interested in applying to have their project considered for a capstone project or interested in hiring an apprentice can apply now by contacting Tim Laubacher at 860-305-5690 or firstname.lastname@example.org