Education Groups Partner on Tech Apprenticeships

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Jason Beutler (left) is the co-founder and president of EduSource. Jason Beutler (left) is the co-founder and president of EduSource.

Indianapolis-based EduSource a Crossroads Education are teaming up in an effort to fill the talent pipeline in Indiana's tech sector. EduSource has acquired an DEVshop apprenticeship program from Crossroads, and says it is now the only Indy company offering an apprenticeship approach to training Indiana residents to work in software and data analytics fields. As a result of the deal, Crossroads founder Kevin Berkopes has joined EduSource as co-owner and chief scientific officer.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, EduSource co-founder and president Jason Beutler said the goal is to help companies find talent, which isn't happening fast enough.

"Technology changes so quickly as it is anyway, so it's difficult for universities to keep up with that kind of transition and that kind of change," said Beutler. "We think a really good stopgap from that standpoint is to partner up with these universities at this point and train (students) in professional environments at the same time that they're actually going through schooling so by the time they graduate, not only do they have real projects under their belt doing real stuff on real technology, they also now have a degree. Not to mention, they get to pay down some of their debt along the way."

EduSource launched in 2011 specializing in work-based learning and preparing college juniors and seniors through apprenticeships. Crossroads Education launched in 2016 and uses its Learning Commons model featuring in-school coworking spaces and tech-based learning platforms such as DEVshop.

EduSource says moving forward, it will continue to focus on higher education while Crossroads will focus on K-12 programming. Beutler says Berkopes' idea of a "Cradle to Career" model is part of the long-term vision of the partnership.

"To be super effective in getting people spun up on this, we want to start looking at what opportunities and how are we teaching and training people from the time that they are first getting into the education community to the time that they're actually in their careers, so we want to look holistically," said Beutler. "Crossroads uses a lot of near-peer education models and that's the same thing the apprenticeship is doing is utilizing the apprentices to work with one another."

Crossroads Education recently announced plans to invest $16 million for a new mixed-use office, charter school and retail building in Indianapolis. EduSource will be a tenant in the building once it is complete.

Beutler says the goal is to help companies find talent, which isn't happening fast enough.
Beutler says the needs of tech companies are two-fold.
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