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Innovation, Digital Proficiency Goal of New Partnership with College of Technology, Microsoft

October 22, 2020

The University of Houston College of Technology is partnering with Microsoft and other Texas innovation entities in a statewide initiative to bring digital and technical skills to students and the workforce. Part of Microsoft’s Accelerate program, the collaboration will create training in innovation skills and digital technology proficiency, and opportunities for economic recovery in communities impacted by COVID-19.

“The University of Houston is proud to be part of an effort to prepare strong professionals and leaders in Texas who think innovatively and are equipped with next-generation skills to be successful,” said Paula Myrick Short, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost at the University of Houston. “The College of Technology is well-positioned to strengthen this workforce pipeline and create a stronger Texas.”

Working with the Texas Education Agency, the college, Microsoft and the Accelerate program will develop pilot training programs to address a variety of needs, including STEM engagement for students in K-12; professional development for K-16 educators and other professionals; workforce development for high school and college students, as well as parents seeking opportunities to enhance business and technical skills.

“The College of Technology is working with Microsoft to provide Texas communities with resources to create meaningfully unique opportunities,” said Dean Anthony Ambler. “From high schools to professionals across the state, our programs transcend the classroom to support workforce creation and upskilling. These activities champion Texas communities with a focus on digital equity among underserved areas that solve problems and improve lives.”

David Crawley, professor of practice with the College of Technology, said the programs will strengthen underserved communities across the state. “Texans are some of the brightest, most productive people in the world. It is exciting to work to establish a statewide innovation ecosystem to support a sustainable culture of opportunity,” he said.

Other partners supporting the alliance include the Texas Education Agency, STEMuli, The Ion, NASA, the Dallas Independent School District, Bell, Big Thought, Stedman Graham and Associates, Tribute to Valor, National Math and Science Initiative, Dallas Regional Chamber and the Irving Chamber of Commerce.

The announcement expands the Accelerate Houston program, an alliance unveiled in August to innovate in big data, artificial intelligence and the digital economy. The effort represents the continued implementation across the U.S. of Microsoft’s Global Skills Initiative to help 25 million people worldwide acquire new digital skills by the end of the year.

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