Project Hometown is a Reach Higher Shasta initiative. The goal of Project Hometown is to get all local businesses in Shasta County online. Which includes training high school kids to help the businesses achieve this goal..
Are you a business interesting a new website or selling online? Visit the Project Hometown website and contact us!
The Redding Record Searchlight recently ran a piece about a young Redding Workforce finding avenues to good jobs. This piece is on the forms of non-college education people engage in to find the technically skilled jobs that make up today’s economy. Cloud Wise Academy, and Chris Webber, a graduate of our school, were both featured in the article.
The Local organizations
Several local organizations were showcased in the piece, all trying to make a difference for young people entering the job market.
For instance, the Shasta Union Fire Academy, which teaches high school students the skills and procedures they need to become fully-qualified firefighters. About 80 percent of graduates of this program receive job offers from state and federal firefighting agencies.
One firefighter, Alex Golden, expressed his deep appreciation for the training, saying “I would have been lost without the academy.”
Golden has received a job offer from a local fire station.
The article also mentioned the Career Technical Education Pathways program, which helps students gain first-hand experience in many different professions, Reach Higher Shasta, Shasta College, and Cloud Wise Academy.
Cloud Wise Academy in the News
The article discusses how Chris Webber, a navy veteran, was having trouble finding good-paying work after leaving the military. An injury sustained in the navy forced him to abandon gunsmithing after it provided too physically taxing.
Around that time, he was contacted by Joe Mckenna from Cloud Wise Academy, who wanted him to take the very first coding class.
About a year later, Chris Webber supports his two daughters with his own web-building business. He describes the process of learning to code as much simpler than he thought it would be, and a skill that’s very much in demand.
“There’s so much coding work to do, and not enough people to do it,” he says.
The Redding Record Searchlight recently published a video showcasing people who found local jobs out of high school through paths that were somewhat out of the ordinary. They interviewed Alex Golden from the Shasta Union Fire Academy, and Cloud Wise Academy’s most famous graduate, Chris Webber.
Shasta Union Fire Academy
His junior and senior year of high school, Alex Golden attended the Shasta Union Fire Academy, which allowed him to become qualified for all state and federal firefighting jobs by the time he graduated. After graduating, he found a job with “I decided to go into the workforce before going to college because I discovered nothing made me happier than being a firefighter,” he says.
Alex Golden has been offered a job at a local firefighting station.
Cloud Wise Academy
Nathan Solis, the reporter from the Record Searchlight, also talked to Chris Webber, a graduate of several Cloud Wise Academy classes. “After I got out of the Navy,” Chris recalls, “the job market was horrible. I went into gunsmithing for a few months, but my injuries got so bad I had to quit doing that.”
Later on, he says “Joe from Cloud Wise Academy asked me to take the first Cloud Wise Academy class and offered to pay for the whole thing.”
This was in June of 2016. Approximately a year later, Chris now owns his own web design business – Chriswebber.org.
“Because of my medical conditions,” he explains, “I wasn’t really interested in working for anyone. Especially because of time restraints, medical restraints. So I decided to start my own company and here I am.”
August 3rd, 2017 – Redding, California – In a short ceremony held at the Shasta Regional Community Foundation offices, Cloud Wise Academy received a donation from the Leadership Redding Class of 2017. This money, paid to the Cloudwise scholarship fund, is intended to help female students take Cloud Wise Academy’s accelerated technology courses. The goal is to encourage young women to succeed in the increasingly important field of technology.
Cloud Wise Academy
Cloud Wise Academy held its first class in July of 2016. Since then, it has trained approximately 100 students in the high-demand technology skills that matter so much, including WordPress, HTML, and Search Engine Optimization.
The classes are accelerated – from three to six weeks – and teach only the skills that employees might need, cutting out theory from the curriculum. These classes are also taught by professionals in web development and other technological fields.
Since the inception of the school, many graduates have gone on to launch prosperous careers in technology. For instance, Chris Webber, of Chriswebber.org became a web designer after taking several Cloud Wise Academy Classes.
“The goal of Cloud Wise Academy is really to help Shasta County, by making sure we have the type of workforce we need,” said Jake Hinton, as he accepted the check. He is the Project Manager at Cloud Wise Academy, and a former student of the program.
Leadership Redding and women in tech
Numerous important individuals in the community attended this event, including the Shasta County District Attorney, Stephanie Bridgett. There were also representatives from many local businesses.
Megan Conn is the development manager at Turtle Bay and a member of the Leadership Redding class of 2017. “Every year, Turtle Bay sends someone to be in Leadership Redding – I’m lucky that this time it was me,” she said. Conn described the team’s decision to fund a Cloud Wise Academy student this way:
“Every year, the current class of Leadership Redding does a project,” she says. “For ours, we decided to focus on a problem we heard about throughout the year, at all the different events we attended: Low educational attainment in Redding and Shasta County. We wanted to help with efforts designed to keep young people there and to develop better paying jobs. During our economic development day we attended an event called Amplify, and many of us were very interested in the speakers from Cloud Wise Academy.”
“We talked it over,” she continued, “and we thought it was a valid and wonderful alternative for people in terms of career paths. Also, we noticed there weren’t quite as many women speaking at Amplify that day, so we decided our project would focus on that aspect as well. The money for the donation came from the pockets of all of the students in the Leadership Class, who were really inspired by the work Cloud Wise Academy is doing and wanted to pay it forward.”
The donation to Cloud Wise Academy is only one part of the project. “Later in the year,” Megan explains, “we’re going to be gathering some professional clothing to donate for job interviews at the career day for Pioneer High School – which is the continuation high school in Redding.”
As Cloud Wise Academy is a private company, rather than a non-profit, the Shasta Regional Community Foundation administers the scholarship fund. The scholarship completely pays for student classes – many of the students who were most successful in the program were able to attend because of a scholarship.
Students interested in applying for a scholarship to Cloud Wise Academy should apply online.
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Cloud Wise Academy was founded in 2016 to teach “learn to earn” skills that workers and company owners can use to succeed in today’s e-commerce economy. Classes are purposefully held in the evenings so people with jobs and families can attend conveniently. Courses are taught by experts in the field, who use those skills in their own professions.
September 23, 2016 – Redding, CA – A student at Cloud Wise Academy has gotten an internship with Adjoy, a technology firm in the area that creates non-invasive advertisements for games on the web and on mobile devices. The student, Joe Wallace, is a high school senior who has completed one six-week web design course with Cloud Wise Academy, and is partway through a second. Before he took his first course, he had no prior programming experience.
Joe Wallace got a scholarship to attend Cloud Wise Academy through the Smart Business Resource Center, which has been working with the Academy to get people interested in technology – especially young adults – to enroll in Cloud Wise Academy courses.
“Cloud Wise Academy just makes sense,” says Debbie Decoito, executive director of the Smart Center. “It’s short-term training that’s very relevant to the technological trends occurring not just in our area, but everywhere right now. And there’s a lot of interest in taking these kinds of classes. They’re helpful to the people taking the training, of course, but they’re also helpful to businesses in the Shasta area who want to hire people with technological skills. Not to mention helpful to those who want to start their own businesses and have the opportunity to live here in Redding and work outside our general area. This partnership is an all-around great opportunity. We’re very excited about it.”
When asked if he thought a year ago that he might work in web development, Joe laughs. “I didn’t even think four months ago that I would go into web development.” As of now, he wants to make a career of it.
Joe Wallace graduated from the Academy’s first six-week course, Websites for Beginners, and is currently taking the second course, Advanced Web Development – Learning the WordPress Ecosystem. He got a scholarship to take these courses through the Smart Business Resource Center.
“The Smart Center has been really helpful to me,” he says. “They’ve taught me a lot about how to reach out and communicate with businesses in the area.”
Joe did not have a firm idea of what he was going to do with his life before he attended the Cloud Wise Academy, but was neighbors with Eric Casequin, the chief technology officer at Adjoy and the founder of the Redding Area Designers and Developers. Eric encouraged Joe to take the course. “After that,” he says, “I went to the Smart Center to get the scholarship.”
Help from the Smart Business Resource Center
The Smart Business Resource Center in Redding has been working recently with Cloud Wise Academy to offer scholarships for those interested in web development training. Debbie DeCoito is thrilled that the web design course yielded a good job for Joe in such a short period of time. “It’s great. It’s a great opportunity for him as he works towards his diploma. Cloud Wise Academy is a wonderful learn-and-earn model of training. We’re happy to have the opportunity to participate in it.”
Debbie pointed out how helpful programs like Cloud Wise Academy could be for the Shasta area as a whole. “I think it’s a chance to expand and also to keep our younger people here in the area, while still making good wages. Capturing the younger adults is really important. It’s something that we currently have some programs for, and our partnership with Cloud Wise Academy allows us to expand those opportunities for our youth.”
The Joy of Adjoy: A Redding Technology Firm
Adjoy shares the enthusiasm of both the Smart Center and Cloud Wise Academy for creating opportunities for Redding. The purpose of the platform Adjoy created is to make advertising in games more favorable to gamers and to small businesses, but when asked about the mission of Adjoy, Eric Casequin immediately focused his answer on the local community. “Adjoy is a self-service advertising platform that allows both merchants and game developers to get and deliver what they want. Adjoy does not do banners, pop-ups, or videos. It doesn’t interrupt the gameflow,” he says. “However, it’s something bigger than that. I see it as the future of many jobs. The dream is to create a business that brings a high amount of revenue to Redding and creates ample jobs.”
Eric pushed Joe to take the Cloud Wise Academy course because he says, “he had the aptitude.” But he offered him a job because he saw the level of passion Joe brought to learning web development. “He took it upon himself to take the next class. I did not tell him about WordPress. That meant to me that he sought more knowledge. And he worked in his free time, too, not only in classes. This all indicated that he was thirsty for knowledge. And that’s what I look for.”
As for what Joe would be doing, Eric answers very simply: “Everything. In three months, he’ll probably know enough to teach a class.”
For his part, Joe Wallace has become very enthusiastic about the world of programming. “I love it,” he says. “What can I say? It’s fun to create things. If anyone is looking for a practical career in a field that will definitely be expanding in the future, then they should get in on this.”
Cloud Wise Academy will hold another Websites for Beginners course beginning on October 12th. These classes will take place on Mondays and Wednesdays, from 6-9 in the evenings for the convenience of those with jobs and families. Prices are intentionally affordable; only $275 per class. Scholarships are available. For more information about applying for a scholarship, see the scholarship information page. Interested students can register for courses at CloudWiseAcademy.com.
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Cloud Wise Academy was founded in 2016 to teach high-demand technology skills. The Academy works closely with businesses in the area to make sure that the courses teach skills that companies are hiring for. A sister company to Cloud Wise Academy is 24-Hour Cloud Support, which helps company managers solve web, cloud, and e-commerce problems, on-demand. www.cloudwiseacademy.com
Cloud Wise Academy
4300 Caterpillar Road
Redding, CA 96003
Joe Mckenna, CEO, Cloud Wise Academy
530.515.9851 [email protected]