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Press Release: Ada Announces Scholarship Program That Teaches Rural Residents New Digital Skills

9/22/2020 by Jessika Leatherbury
Tags: skills, James Eldridge, scholarship

Ada Jobs Foundation Announces Scholarship Program That Teaches Rural Residents New Digital Skills

Residents of Pontotoc, Garvin, Seminole, Coal and Johnston Counties are Eligible to Apply



ADA, OKLAHOMA - Ada Jobs Foundation (AJF) announces its involvement in The Future is Digital Challenge, an initiative focused on upskilling rural Americans interested in learning new digital skills to help them participate in the nation's growing tech economy. AJF is partnering with the Center On Rural Innovation (CORI), a national nonprofit action tank working to advance economic prosperity in small towns across the country, and Udacity, a worldwide digital career advancement education platform, to make Udacity Nanodegree Program scholarships available for residents living in one of CORI's Rural Innovation Network (RIN) areas.  For Oklahoma this includes residents of Pontotoc, Garvin, Seminole, Coal, and Johnston Counties.

"This initiative is about equipping people who have little previous experience in these areas with technical knowledge and skills," said Mark Rembert, Director of the Rural Innovation Network at CORI. "Especially during this uncertain time, we hope to reach learners from all backgrounds, whether they are young adults looking to build technical skills or established workers exploring a potential career change. The digital tech economy is the fastest growing industry in this country, and rural workers are underrepresented-we want to change that." 

In the first phase of the challenge, participants will learn the fundamentals of either digital marketing, business analytics or front-end development through a self-paced foundational course, sponsored by Udacity. Once the course has been completed, participants can be certified after completing an assessment that tests their knowledge in their corresponding track. Participants will then qualify for a Udacity Nanodegree Program scholarship in one of the aforementioned programs by taking a final assessment to test their knowledge, which will set them up for success with a scholarship. CORI and Udacity will sponsor 3,000+ seats for the foundational courses and 300 scholarships in the corresponding Nanodegree Programs, based on foundational course performance. Scholarships, each valued roughly between $1200-$1600, will be distributed across CORI's entire RIN network.
 
"As a local employer in the technology field, this program is just what I'm looking for employees to come to me knowing," shared Jake Cantrell with Cantrell Solutions. "There's obviously a need for degree programs, but this program provides experiences where skills are learned and used prior to them stepping through my door.  Based on this, less on the job training will be required because they already have a strong foundation and knowledge of the position they are being hired to perform."  
 
"We are working on making Ada's workforce more competitive on a global scale and being able to offer our residents access to higher-paying jobs in the digital economy," said James Eldridge, President and CEO of the Ada Jobs Foundation. "We believe that this program can offer people in our region with a unique opportunity, and we are proud to be part of the Rural Innovation Network and offer this opportunity to our friends and neighbors."

To learn more about the scholarship program and sign up for a foundational course, visit the Future Is Digital landing page at https://ruralinnovation.us/the-future-is-digital-challenge/  
 
 
 About the Ada Jobs Foundation
The Ada Jobs Foundation (AJF) contracts with the City of Ada to promote and recommend economic development opportunities with the city. AJF was established in 1998 to create and retain quality jobs for the Ada area. AJF serves as a "one-stop-shop" for economic development by coordinating with the city and other entities for Ada, Oklahoma's benefit. The Ada Jobs Foundation is a non-profit organization, funded in part by membership dues and tax deductible contributions. In addition to membership dues, funding is provided by a contract with the City of Ada.    www.growada.com 

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