National nonprofit offers free tech classes and paid internships at its new Detroit base

August 22, 2021, 4:20 PM

Military veterans and young Metro Detroiters can apply for 17 weeks of no-tuition digital career training that starts Sept. 7 in Detroit's New Center area.

Classes are offered by NPower, a Brooklyn-based nonprofit working to boost diversity in the tech industry. It came to Detroit in 2019 and trained over 150 young adults before moving this summer from space shared with Davenport University on West Grand Boulevard.

Its new suite has two classrooms, conference rooms and study spaces at Lothrop Landing, a Bedrock property near the Fisher Building. "We are ready to welcome our next wave of students," says a statement from Camille Walker Banks, Michigan region executive director. 

The organization prepares veterans and "underserved community" residents aged 18-25 for entry-level information technology jobs. Trainees get paid internships or a project-based learning experience for seven weeks after the Tech Fundamentals program. Alumni also can apply for specialized classes in cybersecurity and cloud computing.

► Apply here. "After a short pre-screening questionnaire, complete the full application and someone from our team will call or email."

Who qualifies: Local residents aged 18-25 with a high school diploma or equivalent who're legally authorized to work in the U.S. Also active-duty service members over 21 who are transitioning through the Defense Department SkillBridge program,  honorably discharged veterans and members of the National Guard or Reserves.

Trainees in New Jersey. (Photos: NPower)

Applicants can attend a virtual orientation to meet the staff and recent graduates before enrolling. Nearly 85 percent of students completed the program since 2019, NPower says, "and a majority secured careers in tech-related fields." Some work at Rock Central, Microsoft, Google, Shift Digital, RT Software Systems, Blue Cross Blue Shield, TCF Bank, Little Caesars Enterprises, Accenture and for the state, a media release says.

These are among details at a FAQs page:

  • Most classes run four hours each weekday.
  • There's no financial aid. "Many of our students also work part-time. Our staff can help you find programs that may assist with covering financial responsibilities such as housing, utilities, food or child care."
  • "While no prior knowledge of technology is needed, it is recommended that you have basic ability to use a computer such as browsing the Internet, creating, deleting, saving and copying files and folders on your desktop, hard drive, or USB drive."
  • "You will need access to a laptop or [home] PC to participate."

The Tech Fundamentals program covers these skills:

  • Managing computer components and peripherals
  • Software installation and management
  • Installing, configuring and managing Windows, Linux, and Apple operating systems
  • Project management, agile, customer services and ticket management
  • Workforce readiness (communications, teamwork, customer service)

It says "graduates’ average yearly salaries can range from $40,000 – $60,000." NPower posts trainee testimonials.

Questions? Contact or call (313) 217-9161.

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