Apple opened its first US Developer Academy in Detroit this week, offering students courses on coding, design, marketing and project management, "with an emphasis on inclusivity and making a positive impact in their communities," the iPhone maker said in a release Thursday.
The effort was launched with Michigan State University, and is part of Apple's Racial Equity and Justice Initiative, which is geared toward addressing systemic racism while making opportunities available for people of color around the country.
"We believe apps for everyone should be designed by everyone, and that all aspiring developers and entrepreneurs should have the opportunity to be a part of the thriving app economy," Lisa Jackson, Apple's vice president of environment, policy, and social initiatives, said in a statement. "Detroit has an incredible entrepreneurial spirit, powered by creativity and inclusion, and we're thrilled to welcome this inaugural class of creators as we start classes at the Apple Developer Academy, the first of its kind in the US."
Detroit's first Developer Academy class consists of 100 students ages 18 to 60. They'll spend 10 months learning app development and getting entrepreneurial training, with a curriculum "designed to ensure graduates have the full suite of skills to find and create jobs in the iOS app economy." Enrollment is free, and no previous coding experience is needed. The Developer Academy is located in a custom-designed space in the First National Building in downtown Detroit.
"Our goal is to create new pathways and new opportunities for a diverse group of 21st-century tech leaders, and we're proud to be working with Apple to bring this vision to life," Sarah Gretter, Michigan State University's lead of the Detroit Apple Developer Academy, said in a statement. "I'm inspired by our first class of students, and can't wait to see where this journey takes them -- whether it's starting a new business, creating a new app, or developing marketable new skills."