A new curriculum will be starting up at the Perry DMACC VanKirk Career Academy this fall, which is a step towards bringing more technology companies and jobs to small-town Iowa.

The new Computer Languages Academy is a 30-credit, one-year diploma program that will be offered to both high school students and graduates. The class is part of the initiative that began in Jefferson with Accenture’s “Rural Forge” operation. Perry DMACC Director Eddie Diaz says the goal of the course is to empower, energize, and encourage young people to build high-tech skills that will allow them to pursue high-paying careers while staying in their small towns. Diaz says he’s heard from many students that this type of program interests them, especially since there will be little to no cost to take part.

He points out that the course is eligible for the Iowa Last Dollar Scholarship program, which covers any tuition gaps for people entering targeted high-demand careers and technical programs offered through DMACC. He adds, once students complete the program, they will have a chance to take a four-month commercial software development training program at the Forge in Jefferson, and potential job interviews with leading technology companies. The program has garnered support from Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and California Congressman Ro Khanna, who represents the Silicon Valley Area.

The course will be instructed by Edwin Martinez, and will include classes such as C# Developer, C++, Java Application, Python Application, and SQL Application. Students at Perry, Adel-DeSoto-Minburn, Dallas Center-Grimes, Ogden, Panorama, and Woodward-Granger can take the Academy classes through their high schools. To learn more about the Computer Languages Academy, click the link below.