Corteva Agriscience, Accenture Collaborate on Pilot Program to Bring Tech Skills to Rural Iowa
Accenture and Corteva Agriscience have announced during a press conference with Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, a collaboration bringing together non-profit groups, higher education organizations, and government leaders to help individuals and educators in Jefferson, IA, acquire technology skills while remaining in their rural communities.
Together with the Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC), the pilot program is designed to train students and educators in rural Jefferson – a community of 4,300 people 65 miles northwest of Des Moines – in high-demand, high-value software development technology skills.
“The vibrant collaboration between our business professionals and educators is preparing Iowans for cutting-edge careers in the ever-changing 21st century economy,” said Gov. Reynolds. “Accenture and Corteva Agriscience’s investment in Jefferson sends a clear message that rural Iowa can be a tech hub to keep our young people here and attract others.”
Starting in fall 2019, Corteva will fund 25 scholarships for students in DMACC’s Computer Languages program where they will receive computer science training. Upon completing their studies, select graduates will participate in a four-month commercial software development training program at a new office Accenture is opening in September 2019.
“Providing students and educators with technology skilling is good for business, good for Jefferson and good for Iowa,” said Pallavi Verma, senior managing director – Midwest, Accenture. “Together with Corteva Agriscience and other like-minded organizations, we’re looking forward to preparing Jefferson’s future workforce for the digital economy.”
“We are proud to provide 25 rural scholarships to Des Moines Area Community College and fund training for local teachers in the types of critical thinking skills and software development programs that will be necessary for today’s youth to drive the future of sustainable agriculture,” said Jim Alcombright, IT Digital and Platforms Lead, Corteva Agriscience. “We’re looking forward to teaming with Accenture and expect the students who participate in the company’s technology training program to one day contribute new valuable digital tools that better the agriculture industry.”
The Jefferson skilling and workforce development pilot program has also attracted participation from Silicon Valley non-profit organization, The Tech, which will help the Greene County Community School District to better prepare students for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) careers. The Tech will conduct an in-person professional development session sponsored by Corteva for Greene County educators on June 6, 2019. The organization will continue to support curriculum development and individual educators throughout the 2019-2020 school year.
“Many people who grow up in rural America feel they must inevitably relocate to pursue their education,” said Linc Kroeger, Accenture executive who leads the skilling and workforce rural revitalization initiative in Jefferson. “We can keep talent in rural areas by helping students gain valuable technology skills, which are critical for the jobs of today and tomorrow.”
The pilot program was initiated by Pillar Technology, which was acquired by Accenture in 2018 to strengthen its Industry X.0 capabilities. Industry X.0 is the digital reinvention of industry where businesses use advanced digital technologies to transform core industrial operations, worker and customer experiences, and business models. The new Jefferson location will be designed as a Pillar Technology “Forge.”