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Apple – Houston Community College partner in an historic initiative

FP_HCC_Apple Main Participants

Council member Amanda Edwards, Apple’s Vice President of Environment and Social Initiatives Lisa Jackson, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, HCC Chancellor Cesar Maldonado, Council member Karla Cisneros , Eva Laredo, Chair, Houston Community College Board of Trustees, Council member Jack Christie, Bob Harvey, President and CEO of the Greater Houston Partnership (Photo credit: Jacob David)

by Jacob David

HOUSTON, TX – Houston Community College has teamed up with Apple, the Computer and Tech giant, in a first of firsts to develop a course that will benefit future app developers, and teach them to thrive in the iOS and app developers community.

The event took place at the Houston Public Library’s Julia Ideson Building in Downtown Houston on May 24, 2017. Main speakers included HCC Chancellor Cesar Maldonado, Apple’s Vice President of Environment and Social Initiatives Lisa Jackson, Houston’s Mayor Sylvester Turner and Bob Harvey, President and CEO of the Greater Houston Partnership. Madeline Burillo-Hopkins, President, HCC Southwest College has been instrumental in the development of this curriculum for app development and coding.

Eva Laredo, Chair, Houston Community College Board of Trustees, started the event by welcoming the attendees. She thanked Apple for providing this historic opportunity for Houston’s students. In his opening remarks, HCC Chancellor Cesar Maldonado said that this fulfills one of the 4 pillars of the HCC strategic plan, innovation. Industries today are dependent on coding. This supports the growth of the entrepreneurial culture in the city of Houston. HCC plans to integrate this course into their full degree programs in the Fall of 2017. “Apple’s products and operations define innovation. This collaboration creates another pathway for student success, the ultimate experience at Houston community college.” Coding helps students with critical thinking and problem solving skill sets, he added. This course will help provide certified developers to companies who depend on coding and software abilities to run their business.

Caleb Hicks, Apple, explains the coding steps in developing an app to Madeline Burillo-Hopkins, President, HCC Southwest College. (Photo by Jacob David)

Caleb Hicks, Apple, explains the coding steps in developing an app to Madeline Burillo-Hopkins, President, HCC Southwest College. (Photo by Jacob David)

Lisa Jackson, Apple’s Vice President of Environment and Social Initiatives, said she was thrilled to be able to empower the next generation of app developers and coders coming from the Houston Community College system. “Diversity is a huge part of what makes Apple great, In 2008 there was no such thing as an app, it just didn’t exist ten years ago.” Apple hires a lot of bright students who are creative, ingenuous and intelligent. Swift Playgrounds, a new curriculum started by Apple engages students in coding basics as early as Kindergarten. Apple has created 2 million jobs in the United States. 1.5 million are app related jobs. This historic tie up with HCC is an economic investment into the long term development of the Houston jobs economy, she said.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner welcomed Apple’s Lisa Jackson to Houston. He thanked all of the staff affiliated with Apple and Houston Community College System for bringing investment and innovation to the city of Houston. This enhances learning opportunities in the most diverse city in the United States America. The world calls Houston a knowledge capital, because of the incredible mix of ideas and innovation. Houston ranks in the top 15 cities among I.T jobs. The mayor affirmed that there is an incredible need for coders and software developers. This new curriculum would give students the ability to learn and get high paying jobs in relevant fields of technology and the digital world. Houston will be one of the most aggressive cities in the deployment of innovative technologies, he added. “We look forward to creating the city of tomorrow by starting today” he said.

Bob Harvey, President and CEO of the Greater Houston Partnership, thanked Apple for creating opportunities and initiatives for Houstonians in the workforce development effort. “Success does not require a four year degree, but it requires skills, credentials, in areas where the market needs capabilities, such as in the fields of digital systems and technology.” Innovation is increasingly on digital platforms and this will open opportunities to develop not only consumer related apps but also industrial apps.

This collaboration between Apple and Houston Community College Systems is set to create fast pathways to digital jobs that pay well in the city of Houston.


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