November 19, 2021 - 8:00 am

20Fathoms awarded $250,000 grant for tech education and workforce development in the Grand Traverse Region

By 20Fathoms

Funding will support the expansion of tccodes and tccyber programs; introduce a new data analytics program

20Fathoms is pleased to announce that the organization has been selected to receive a $250,000 grant to support their technology education and workforce development programming. The Michigan Industry Cluster Approach 3.0 (MICA 3.0) grant was awarded by the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, Workforce Development (LEO-WD).

“In our first two years offering tccodes and tccyber programming, we provided training to more than 250 people in the Grand Traverse Region,” said Eric Roberts, Executive Director of 20Fathoms. “Some of those people were starting down a new career path and learning the fundamentals. Others have been working in tech for years and learned new skills that positioned them for promotions. We’re grateful to Michigan LEO-WD for this grant funding to help us continue this work and the advancement of tech careers in our region.”

The grant funding will support the growth and expansion of 20Fathoms’ tech learning communities, a program that began in 2019 with the support of MICA 2.0. Specifically, 20Fathoms is planning the following:

  • Continuation of the successful tccodes learning community for software developers.
  • Expansion of the popular tccyber learning community for cybersecurity professionals.
  • Introduction of a new learning community focused on data analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.

Courses are slated to begin in February and options will be available for those at all stages of their careers.

In addition to providing tech education, 20Fathoms will work with community partners to develop and expand workforce development programs that address the region’s critical need for qualified tech professionals. Partners include Northwest Michigan Works!, Northwestern Michigan College, Michigan Tech University, Traverse Connect, Newton’s Road, TCNewTech, and local employers.

Tech professionals like software developers are some of the most in-demand professionals in the United States. However, businesses in rural areas like Traverse City often find it difficult to hire enough qualified tech professionals locally due to a limited talent pool – a challenge that can stifle business growth.

Michael Carey, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of ATLAS Space Operations in Traverse City, describes this need and how 20Fathoms’ programs are offering a solution: “Over the next three years, ATLAS projects the need for an additional 10 hires in our technical functional teams including full-stack software development, data science, network operations, security, and technical sales writing with a preference to locate these positions in Traverse City. The tccodes and tccyber programs will continue to provide a pathway for these positions and further strengthen the Grand Traverse Region as a healthy ecosystem for supporting growing tech businesses.”