Prepping workers for roles in an ever-updating tech space just got easier for Kansas Citians, declared Mark Hurlburt.
“We do that through immersion learning,” said Hurlburt, president and co-founder of Prime Digital Academy. “We have a program that we’re excited to bring to Kansas City.”
Key dates for Prime Digital Academy
Jan. 28: Application Deadline
March 4: Online portion of the first cohort begins (6 weeks)
April 15: In-class portion of the first cohort begins (14 weeks)
July 19: Graduation of the first cohort
Click here to apply.
Minnesota-made in 2014, Prime Digital Academy — a 20-week program that propels its participants through curriculum designed to prepare them for technology jobs in such areas as development, coding, and software engineering — is making Kansas City its first home away from home south of the Land of 10,000 Lakes, as the company begins to scale.
“I think what made [opening an academy in Kansas City] attractive to us was a lot of parallels between the Kansas City market and our home market in Minneapolis, Saint Paul,” Hurlburt said of the decision making process. “We felt like there was a lot of shared values between the two cities … kind of what we see as potential within the tech community [in Kansas City.]”
Leading the Kansas City-based class are Rachel and Scott Bromander, Minneapolis transplants eager to plug into the local startup scene, said Rachel Bromander, head of community engagement.
“We came to Kansas City — and Scott and I visited several times before we made the decision — and I can’t tell you enough how much we love the people here,” she said.
Eager for launch, the Bromanders are currently wading through applications for the academy’s first Kansas City cohort, which is set for March, said Scott Bromander, head of campus development.
“We’ve talked with several organizations who are very interested in helping us out and we’re really excited about some of the nonprofits that we’ve already talked to and some of the help that we think that we can provide them,” he added.
Click here to apply for the first Prime Digital Academy cohort by Jan. 28.
Innovative in its own right, Prime Digital Academy is disrupting the education realm in a collaborative way, Hurlburt explained.
“It’s … really kind of a supplement to the stuff that’s already happening,” he said. “But people — who are coming to Prime and who are getting up to speed and getting ready for a career in development — are often not the people who are going to be the target for a traditional kind of four-year program.”
Prime Digital Academy aims to serve as an intermediary platform, offering students in midlife transitions the opportunity to develop new skills in a setting that is less traditional and offers access to opportunities in professions where local talent is often difficult to source, Hurlburt elaborated.
“[Our students] are not necessarily in a position where they’re saying, ‘Well, maybe I’ll go back to school and get another bachelors,’ What we see is — and it certainly is disruptive — that, adding a lot to the industry and then kind of providing this whole other pathway for people to get on board,” he said.
Building connections with neighboring startups that might have an interest in hiring Prime Digital Academy graduates will be among the top priorities for the Kansas City launch, Hurlbert added.
The company is firm in its stance that its model can further build the talent pool within the startup ecosystem, he said.