Developing Rhode Island into an IT hub

A collaboration that includes the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) aims to increase the number of information technology education and career opportunities in the state — and it could serve as a model that the partnering international company may use in other states.

CCRI is teaming with India-based technology company Infosys on a new center that will develop educational programming to prepare students for the growing number of jobs in the digital economy. Announced Tuesday by Gov. Gina M. Raimondo, the new Digital Economy Aspirations Lab (DEAL) — which also will include the Rhode Island School of Design as a partner — will serve as the primary training center to develop the workforce needed by Infosys and other technology companies. 

The lab will be housed at Infosys’ Providence Center, with plans to open more labs at CCRI campuses and expand nationally. The company will form a joint task force with CCRI to develop programming that will support pathways to four-year degree programs and careers in IT.

“This partnership aims to enable and develop workers for the ‘new collar’ digital jobs of the future,” said Infosys President Ravi Kumar.

Infosys has already hired more than 100 Rhode Island residents toward its goal of creating 500 jobs in the state by 2022.  Since spring 2017, the company has hired more than 7,600 workers in the U.S., with a goal of hiring and training 10,000.

In its first year, DEAL will support 15 to 20 CCRI students through an IT mentorship, plus an additional 200 CCRI students through various exposure opportunities at the innovation hub.

About the Author

Matthew Dembicki
is editor of Community College Daily and serves as publications director for the American Association of Community Colleges.