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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (Feb. 25, 2016) Skyward, a K-12 administrative software company, has partnered with area K-12 and higher education institutions to provide students of all ages an early start on discovering the careers of the future within the information technology sector. By working with the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP), Mid-State Technical College (MSTC), and area K-12 school districts, Skyward has helped educate local students about career paths and job opportunities available in this rapidly growing profession.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, by 2020 an estimated 1.4 million jobs will be available in computer science fields, yet universities are projected to produce qualified graduates who will fill less than one-third of those positions. Skyward’s executive leadership collaborated with UWSP and MSTC to shape computer science curricula and promote the field to ensure more students graduate with computer science, information technology, or comparable degrees. Skyward also works with these institutions to promote its current internship and job openings to college students nearing graduation.

Skyward CEO Cliff King helped create and now chairs the Central Wisconsin IT Alliance (CWITA), which had its inaugural meeting on June 23,2015. King looks forward to expanding information technology and computer science development in the region. “It is important that we continue to educate our students and promote employment prospects in computer science, which will have a great economic impact on our local community,” King said. “This initiative helps area students, educational entities, and employers like Skyward, as computer science and other technologies continue to develop.”

Through a Wisconsin Fast Forward grant from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, Skyward
implemented a program that pays select applicants to study and complete training in computer science and programming. Skyward intends to hire graduates of this Fast Forward program for full-time positions in the company.

To further promote this initiative, Skyward regularly gives tours and presentations to area students ranging from 3rd grade through 12th grade. The company worked with administrators at local school districts to expand computer science curriculum to help students learn about computer programming at an early age. Skyward also plans to participate in the upcoming Central Wisconsin 8th Grade Career Fair, which will provide more than 1,600 area students with the opportunity to speak with technology professionals and explore careers in information technology and computer science.