Posted on November 25th, 2020 in Community, Eleven Fifty Academy

Here at Eleven Fifty, our relationship with students never ends with graduation. Our Career Services team works one-on-one with students to identify their career goals, specific strengths in coding, areas of passion, and other vital information. This lets us support them in a career they love throughout their professional lifetime. This comes as they depart our highly-motivated learning environment where students acquire everything they need to know to succeed in web development, app or software development, cyber security, and beyond.

Our educational programming and career services support would not be possible without so many partnerships that Eleven Fifty appreciates and treasures. We and our students are supported by a wide array of community organizers, educators, financial donors, educators, and hiring partners. These partnerships are mutually beneficial due to Eleven Fifty’s commitment to strengthening the tech talent pipeline by serving career seekers and career changers. We extend our endless gratitude to all of our partners. Today, we’d like to introduce you to….

The Wabash Heartland Innovation Network (WHIN)

WHIN is an established consortium of 10 counties in Indiana working together to fuel connectivity, innovation, and education to develop our region as an epicenter of Internet-enabled agriculture and next-generation manufacturing. The consortium includes Pulaski, Benton, White, Cass, Carroll, Tippecanoe, Warren, Fountain, Montgomery, and Clinton Counties. By promoting smart technology in each of these counties, the Wabash Heartland Innovation Network aims to become the first-recognized smart region in the United States. 

WHIN envisions these ten counties becoming a literal “living laboratory” for education and scientific research related to Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. Specifically, they seek to remain true to Indiana’s cultural and economic roots with a three-pillared approach:

  • Next-Generation Manufacturing: Enable real-time analytics of manufacturing processes and the supply chain network to ultimately increase employee satisfaction and productivity.
  • Digital Agriculture: Implement sensors across the region and develop agricultural test beds to study how data and real-time insights can improve yield and productivity. 
  • Regional Cultivation Fund: Invest in innovative place-making and increase regional education, vitality, and prosperity. 

The Wabash Heartland Innovation Network advances these three goals through the support of community partners like Purdue University, Ivy Tech Community College, the Indiana Manufacturing Institute, and WHIN’s primary funder, the Lilly Endowment. 

In October 2020, Eleven Fifty Academy was honored to be included on this list of community partners. This was when the WHIN Board of Directors voted to allocate $5 million from the Regional Cultivation Fund for a three-year e-learning project. This initiative was also supported by North Central Health Services (NCHS) who awarded WHIN a $1M grant. 

As WHIN shared in a press release, significant areas of the region do not have Internet access or have service that cannot meet the demands of e-learning. Furthermore, 48% of the public K-12 students in the counties of the WHIN region served by NCHS, are identified as economically disadvantaged. This means even when Internet access is technically available, financial stress may contribute to a lack of Internet access in homes.

As part of the initiative to correct these disparities, Eleven Fifty Academy has been awarded a $100,000 research grant to conduct a training needs and opportunities analysis in the 10 counties that WHIN calls home. The outcome of this research will hopefully be an exciting expansion of our opportunities to provide life-changing education to recent graduates and job changers alike. 

Tech jobs represent some of the highest-paying and most in-demand jobs in the economy today, and coding bootcamps like the ones at Eleven Fifty are an ideal way to skill up and become qualified for a tech career in just a few months. This represents a means for economic disparity to be addressed. It also means that tech and IoT companies attracted to the living laboratory WHIN is creating will have ready access to high-skilled talent that is already at home in the area. 

We look forward to working with WHIN to conduct our research, and to execute on findings in a way that adds value and improves the vitality and prosperity in each of these ten counties. If you’re a resident who is curious about pursuing these opportunities now, we invite you to attend one of our free introductory courses and learn more about the many exciting tech jobs waiting for you. 

To learn more about WHIN, visit their website here



Sign up for a FREE course today!  Enroll Now!