Apprentice School Aims to 'Supercharge' Tech Talent

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Chok Ooi (pictured center) is co-founder and CEO of Kenzie Academy. Chok Ooi (pictured center) is co-founder and CEO of Kenzie Academy.
INDIANAPOLIS -

A new school in Indianapolis is focusing on apprenticeship as a way to skill-up the next generation the tech work force. Kenzie Academy, which is located at the Speakeasy Downtown, says it provides training with an emphasis on networking and job experience through paid projects as a consultant for employers. Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Chok Ooi says the apprenticeship model helps keep costs down for students, while providing valuable connections and prioritizing job placement after completing the two-year program.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business Multi-media Journalist Mary-Rachel Redman, Ooi says Kenzie Academy is different than typical training structures. Students work under senior technologist mentors who guide the projects and learning "so as they're working on it, there's someone over their shoulders helping them with reviewing their code, giving them instructions on how to do things better, and we feel like this is actually the best way and the fastest way to group someone's skills and career." He says the projects could be with local companies or with other partners located throughout the country.

Ooi hopes students come away with high-demand skills, as well as industry connections and "power skills" to create a well-rounded technologist. "Indiana has a vibrant and emerging technical system. We want to do our part to supercharge that," Ooi said.

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