UAB IT welcomes graduates of Innovate Birmingham

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Two new staff members joined UAB IT last month after graduating from the Innovate Birmingham Workforce program, a unique grant-funded program designed to connect young adults in the Birmingham area to high-demand IT careers.

The inaugural class of Generation IT students graduated from the Innovate Birmingham Workforce program on May 5 during a graduation ceremony held at Railroad Park.

For Allante Jowers and Tristian Scarborough, the opportunity is one they don’t take lightly. Both are new technicians on the AskIT help desk, which recently earned a fivefold improvement in its customer service rating.

Jowers said he is prepared to “carry (the opportunity) to the finish line.” He aspires to merge his love for cooking and technology to create a business that innovates Birmingham.

Prior to enrolling in the Innovate Birmingham program, Jowers was a student at UAB majoring in information systems with a minor in business management. Scarborough has been working on a second novel. Their new roles in AskIT are only a first step in helping them to achieve their ultimate goals of owning their own business.

“This puts my life and family’s life in a better position by creating a better direction for all of us,” Scarborough said. He is still figuring out his next steps in life, but knows he wants to “be impactful and push the limits as far as he can go.”

Jason Johnson, associate director for AskIT, said, "UAB is honored to have the graduates from Innovate Birmingham on our team. They are very eager to contribute and have already started using their skills learned in the program. We are very excited to have this opportunity for Tristian and Allantè to grow their information technology career with UAB."

The inaugural class consisted of 18 students, all from the Birmingham area. Other graduates had secured job offers from companies including Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama and Regions Bank.

“Invest in the talent of young people, and they will rise to the moment,” Josh Carpenter, director of external affairs at UAB and principal investigator for the America’s Promise grant, told those assembled at the graduation.

UAB President and Birmingham Business Alliance Chairman Ray L. Watts said, “An opportunity like this for our area young adults through the Innovate Birmingham Workforce program is just one of many ways Birmingham is making sure innovation will thrive in the coming years. I want to thank all our partners for their leadership and congratulate the talented graduates for their hard work. We all wish them the best in their new and exciting careers.”

The graduates completed the 12-week program that involved intensive technical and professional training at Innovation Depot. The Innovate Birmingham Workforce will train and prepare young adults to fill 925 high-wage jobs by 2021.
Last modified on May 26, 2017