Kentucky City Council Considers App Training Program

The proposed plan would cost nearly $2 million to train 50 high school students and 50 adults on developing mobile computer apps.

by Melinda J. Overstreet, Glasgow Daily Times / February 27, 2018
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(TNS) – GLASGOW, KY. – The Glasgow Common Council — and its finance committee before that — heard from teachers, students and their fellow council member, Patrick Gaunce, Monday regarding all of the advantages of a proposal to bring an Interapt Skills training program here.

The plan, as initially proposed, would cost $1.89 million for 50 high schoolers and 50 adults to participate in the training on how to develop mobile computer applications for Android and Apple devices.

Gaunce wrapped up the presentation by saying that he hadn't talked to anyone who was against bringing the program here, but he acknowledged the price tag and said he also hadn't talked with anyone who knew the source for all the money.

Barren County High School sophomore Savannah Moon, who had also spoken at last week's Barren County Fiscal Court meeting, advocated for the semester-long high school program. She said she knew “next to nothing” about computer science before she began taking a coding class, and she would take what she could learn through Interapt and use it toward her dream of becoming a game designer.

Justin Browning, who teaches computer science at Barren County High School, said Barren County Schools was one of 13 districts that was chosen for an Interapt preinternship program.

“We're really on the front end of this,” he told the council, “and we're ready to push further.”

The Interapt Skills program for adults is geared toward displaced employees and would provide a $425-per-week stipend for those students for a six-month program.

Whether the high school students or adult students, he said, this would prepare the local workforce for higher-paying jobs the United States does not have anywhere close to enough trained individuals to fill. He said one study projects a million-person shortfall by 2020 with regard to the number of jobs versus the number of people to fill them.

These jobs can be done from here, regardless of where the client needing the application is based, which would provide more reasons for youths to stay in the community and would keep their earnings here, circulating through the local economy, which would become more diversified.

Browning said that with a workforce with those kinds of skills, more technology companies could be interested in locating here.

The council members received copies of an abbreviated summary of the proposed agreement, a proposed budget and payment timeline spread over nine months as well as copies of an Insider Louisville article discussing Interapt's launch of an IT apprenticeship program in Louisville.

He said he hopes for Interapt CEO Ankur Gopal to be at the next council meeting in two weeks to answer any questions they may have after reviewing the material.

With all 12 council members present, other agenda items for the rest of the full council meeting included:

  • Certified public accountant Belinda Coulter presented Taylor, Polson & Co.'s audit report for the city's financial statements for the 2016-17 fiscal year, with action on accepting the audit report tabled, although it was “a clean audit.”
  • At least three council members – Freddie Norris, Gary Oliver and Marna Kirkpatrick – voted in opposition in a voice vote approving to begin a new three-year contract with Carr, Riggs and Ingram to conduct the financial audits for the Glasgow Electric Plant Board after the council's finance committee recommended awarding the contract to that company, which has conducted the audits for the past three years. Only one other auditing firm, ATA of Jackson, Tenn., submitted a proposal. Three local firms sent notices they were declining to submit proposals, one of which was due to a conflict of interest in that an employee, Tag Taylor, is a member of the GEPB's board of directors.
  • The council gave unanimous approval for a second reading of an ordinance amending the budget to appropriate $50,000 for a Glasgow Economic Loan Fund loan for an expansion project for Federal Mogul Motorsports.

©2018 the Glasgow Daily Times (Glasgow, Ky.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.