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Akron, Ohio, Turns to ‘Gym Membership’ Model of IT Training

To better prepare their IT workforce, officials in Summit County and the city of Akron are partnering with an experiential learning program with a familiar membership model.

(TNS) — A training space described by its organizers as a "gym" for information technology professionals will celebrate its launch Monday with a private ribbon-cutting ceremony and a public open house.

DriveIT, on the fourth floor of the current Stark State Akron location at 755 White Pond Drive, will offer monthly programs on subjects such as data science, cybersecurity, business intelligence, software architecture and cloud computing, the local startup announced in a news release.

Eric Wise, co-founder and CEO of DriveIt, said CEOs and IT leaders with whom the company has spoken say such topics are crucial investment areas. "They simply have no choice," he said.

Eight to 12 different experiential learning programs will be offered each month, two nights a week for two to four weeks at a time.

The programs, designed for professionals already working in entry and mid-level positions, are available on a membership basis for individuals and organizations.

DriveIT has already announced partnerships with Summit County and the city of Akron.

"DriveIT's unique perspective of a gym membership enforces engagement in the learning process with social groups, interactivity, assessments and follow-up," said Mark Petit, chief information officer for Summit County and the city of Akron. "Information technology is ever-changing; constant learning is required for positive career progression."

Ian Schwarber, DriveIt co-founder and chief strategy officer, said the goal is "to raise the bar on how Summit County, and Northeast Ohio in general, is viewed, in terms of the quality of IT professionals we have here."

"The innovation economy is making the world a much smaller place, and far more competitive; we're here to do our part to see Akron punch above its weight," Schwarber said.

Open house will take place at 5:30 p.m. Monday, with free, one-hour workshops titled "Open Data Literacy" and "Cyber Security & Resiliency," and 5:30 p.m. Wednesday with "Data Science" and "Blockchain" sessions. Light refreshments will be served.

©2018 the Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.