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Michigan State University and Apple partner for new tech program in downtown Detroit

Posted at 8:33 AM, Oct 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-08 08:33:50-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Campus Martius is opening its doors to any students 18 and older in search of a career opportunity in tech.

The downtown staple will be offering job training skills for careers in technology in a partnership with Apple, Michigan State University, and the Gilbert family of companies.

“To see the education and learning taking place already was so impressive," MSU president Dr. Samuel Stanley said. "Detroit now is the only place in the United States that has this program.”

“We believe apps for everyone should be designed by everyone, and that all aspiring developers and entrepreneurs should have the opportunity to be a part of the thriving app economy,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives. “Detroit has an incredible entrepreneurial spirit, powered by creativity and inclusion, and we’re thrilled to welcome this inaugural class of creators as we start classes at the Apple Developer Academy, the first of its kind in the US. Through the power of technology and innovation, we are proud to be helping prepare these innovators for new opportunities.”

In his first television interview after touring the downtown Apple academy, Dr. Stanley is talking about new opportunities that come with a cutting-edge one-year program.

“The diversity of this group is also amazing. Can’t tell you how excited I am," he said. "They also learn business, entrepreneurial skills, marketing, and communication. All things where they can become successful. Getting good jobs, starting their own companies.”

The Detroit academy is part of Apple's Racial Equity and Justice Initiative. According to Apple, the academy curriculum is designed to ensure graduates have the full suite of skills to find and create jobs in the iOS app economy, which supports over 2.1 million jobs across all 50 states and continues to provide new economic opportunities for developers and their teams.

Also in Detroit, MSU is proud to deliver an update on a partnership with Henry Ford Health System.

“We’re combining research, education, and clinical care," Stanley said. "The research is off to a great start. We have 100 faculty from Henry Ford now getting joint appointments at MSU to work on research together with our scientists. They want a side of medical school there and have the physicians and expertise to help train people.”

With a background in infectious disease research, Sr. Stanley says MSU will continue to be a leader in health and safety on campus advocating for the most effective policies and better coordination by applying lessons learned from COVID-19.

“We can also be reassured though at how well we responded with the vaccine. That is a big plus for our nation,” Stanley said.

As for funding research at MSU, there are clear goals being pursued.

“Right now we do $725 million in sponsored research expenditures. We want to take that to one billion dollars," Stanley said. "We are very strongly advocating for increases in funding from the Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, and National Institutes of Health.”

In the automotive field, MSU and Ford also are developing lighter materials for use in electric cars and mobility is a top focus.

And at the heart of all MSU's endeavors, Dr. Stanley says having the best possible culture comes first.

“We’ve developed a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion plan. Put together in a very exclusive way with 27 separate action items we’re working on. We have a safer campus for everyone. We’ve made it much easier to report if someone has an assault or something takes place and we have extensive follow up," he said.

Inspired by success stories from Detroit to East Lansing he says the rewarding work that’s happening is life-changing.

Dr. Stanley says more exciting partnerships are already in the works, as MSU works to continues to grow momentum throughout the state.