GE Capital Launches Partnership with University of New Orleans to Develop a Stronger Technology Workforce
GE Capital Technology Center CIO Mike De Boer, University of New Orleans President Peter J. Fos, and representatives from Louisiana Economic Development held a reception Thursday evening at the Westin Canal Place to announce the launch of GE Capital’s Software Engineering Apprenticeship Program, or SWEAP, which aims to develop a stronger technology workforce through the UNO and GE partnership. In addition, the Technology Center celebrated GE Capital’s growth in New Orleans, which has created 125 jobs since opening at Place St. Charles in 2012.
“We are providing a world-class software apprenticeship program to undergraduate students,” added Charles Galda, CIO for Technology Centers and Services at GE Capital. “They will get the work experience, mentorship and industry training that will set them apart from other graduates.”
GE Capital will launch the program in January 2014 by hiring a class of 10 to 15 students. By the end of 2015, GE Capital plans to grow the program to more than 40 apprentices. The training that students receive will position them for better engineering opportunities with GE Capital or other employers in the area.
“We’re excited about this partnership with UNO,” commented Martha Poulter, Vice President and CIO for GE Capital. “This is the first software apprenticeship program that GE Capital has established, and we are excited about the development of a stronger IT workforce in New Orleans.”
In addition to providing apprentices with industry mentorship from GE Capital technology professionals and real-world experience, the partnership with UNO will include GE Capital’s investment in UNO’s computer science curriculum to ensure that this pipeline of talent remains vibrant into the future.
“To expand career opportunities in the regional workforce, the State of Louisiana committed $500,000 per year for 10 years to enhance higher education programs for software development in the New Orleans area,” said Jeff Lynn, LED Executive Director of Workforce Programs. “Joining our LED FastStart® recruiting and training efforts, this additional apprentice program at UNO will be an invaluable tool in securing well-prepared employees with select skills – professionals who can contribute significantly to the success of GE Capital and other employers through the greater New Orleans region.”
“We feel strongly that this program will grow the future pool of highly skilled software development workers in the New Orleans area. Forbes recently named New Orleans the No. 1 metro for IT job growth, and this program will create a strong workforce pipeline to fill those jobs,” said De Boer.
“The University of New Orleans is thrilled to partner with GE Capital,” Fos said. “Thanks to the funding from LED our students and faculty, GE Capital and the community will benefit from this program. It will offer our students real-world software engineering experience that they won’t be able to get anywhere else. This will enhance our curriculum, and we believe the program will serve as a powerful recruiting tool in helping us attract students who are looking to gain a competitive edge in the technology industry.”
Since its move to the city in 2012, GE Capital has hired 125 IT professionals from across the region and is looking to bring even more dynamic IT talent to downtown New Orleans. By 2015, GE Capital plans to produce a total of 300 jobs with salaries ranging from $60,000 to $100,000, plus benefits that will support the company’s continued growth as a leader in New Orleans’ growing technology sector.
About the SWEAP program
For an overview of what the SWEAP program is and what it offers, an informational video can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/18lv6GE
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About GE Capital
GE Capital is one of the world's largest providers of credit. For over one million businesses, large and small, GE Capital provides financing to purchase, lease and distribute equipment, as well as capital for real estate and corporate acquisitions, refinancing and restructurings. For our 100+ million consumer customers, GE Capital offers credit cards; retail sales finance programs, home, car and personal loans and credit insurance.