Four Athens & Athens Tech Partner for Web Ed

Staff Report From Athens CEO

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

Athens Technical College’s Economic Development Services Division and Four Athens, a community nonprofit dedicated to expanding entrepreneurship and IT education in the area, announced today a partnership that will bring unique adult coding and web software development classes to the Athens area.

ATC’s Economic Development Services serves a ten county area in and around Athens. Through its offer of non-credit workforce development programs and a large variety of continuing education classes, the department helps to provide area businesses in all industries with qualified, capable employees.  Similarly, Four Athens’ mission is to encourage and support start-ups and entrepreneurs as well as to help grow and sustain established small businesses in the community. One way Four Athens accomplishes their mission is by offering instruction on the key essentials of information technology. The idea for the partnership was hatched when Dr. Ilka McConnell, Vice President for Economic Development at Athens Technical College met with Jordan Burke, Executive Director at Four Athens.

Dr. Ilka McConnell said, “We exchanged ideas and discussed our individual missions. We discovered that our organizations are striving to reach several of the same crucial goals.” Both agreed that providing a greater number of area entrepreneurs and workforce professionals with software and web development skills designed to give them greater control of their businesses’ IT needs was an immediate, reachable goal. McConnell continued, “We want to help foster the technology workforce in our area by offering accessible and affordable classes where people can learn to code and develop their skill set.”

Additionally, while many entrepreneurs have been afforded some amount of digital literacy in high school, college or the workplace, the skills needed to successfully meet the demands of an increasingly technical business environment are constantly evolving. McConnell and Burke agreed that ongoing coding education is crucial for a business’s long-term success.

The first class to be offered by ATC and Four Athens will be Web Fundamentals. The class is designed to educate students in the basics of web and software development while preparing them for the next-level environments. Topics will include Command Line Interface, Source Control with Git and Github, using a code editor and an introduction to Integrated Development Environment editors, explanation of high-level databases and much more.

"I'm excited about working with Athens Technical College,” said Jordan Burke of Four Athens. “This partnership is vital to helping Athens develop a workforce with the technical skills to support the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region." Burke is also the author of the Web Fundamentals curriculum and will be teaching the pilot class.