UMSL serving as educational partner with Generation USA on Verizon Skill Forward Initiative

A student works on his laptop inside the Thomas Jefferson Library

UMSL’s Office of Workforce Integration and Department of Computer Science are partnering with Generation USA and will provide training for area students interested in careers as junior full stack java developers through a free, fully online, 16-week program. (Photo by August Jennewein)

The University of Missouri–St. Louis’ newly implemented and launched Office of Workforce Integration has established a new partnership with Generation USA to provide free training for students interested in starting careers as junior full stack java developers, made possible through the Verizon Skill Forward Initiative.

Led through the Office of Workforce Integration in partnership with instructors from UMSL’s Department of Computer Science who will provide instruction through the fully online, 16-week training program, offered by Generation USA as part of the initiative created to deliver technical and soft skills training for high-demand technology careers.

The first cohort will begin training on May 18.

“We are excited to announce that UMSL is entering a new partnership with Verizon and Generation USA to serve the St Louis community and beyond by providing accessible opportunities for training while providing a nontraditional pathway into the technology field,” said Natissia Small, the vice provost for access, academic support, and workforce integration in Academic Affairs at UMSL. “Our collaborative workforce integration efforts will continue to demonstrate a commitment to inclusive prosperity while providing unique opportunities in partnership with corporations like Verizon/Generations USA that align with our mission to transform lives and support economic growth in this region.”

Students who enroll in the program will engage in practical, hands-on learning in an accelerated format, and they’ll receive instructional support and career and life coaching. They’ll be prepared to step into apprenticeships, internships, continuing education or full-time employment after graduation.

Generation USA is a nonprofit organization that provides free career training, placement, and support to help people find life-changing careers. To date, more than 40,000 people have graduated from its programs around the world.

“We’re thrilled to partner with UMSL to empower its students to create a unique new pathway to career success,” said Richard Clemmons, Generation USA COO. “These programs will not only provide students with the knowledge and skills needed for jobs in the digital world but, through mentorship and social support services, they’ll have the opportunity to learn from others who have been in their shoes before.”

Verizon entered into a multiyear strategic partnership with Generation USA in 2020 with a goal of closing the opportunity gap for American workers and expanding access to digital skills. Verizon committed more than $44 million to significantly increase access to free, technology-focused career training program to help reskill workers. The company has a goal to prepare 500,000 individuals for jobs of the future by 2030.

“With the rapid growth in technology, and more on the horizon, employers and governments are looking for innovative ways to increase the technology workforce,” said UMSL Professor Cezary Janikow, who chairs the Department of Computer Science. “Partnerships between education and business are the trending solutions, already in existence in some other countries. At UMSL, Computer Science is standing up to the challenge to participate in the new workforce development. We are also revising our curricula to provide more and better opportunities to integrate such trainings with work and further education opportunities.”

This partnership follows another established and launched partnership through UMSL’s Office of Workforce Integration recently finalized with Amazon to provide educational opportunities to its employees in the St. Louis region through the Amazon Career Choice program. Both partnerships align with UMSL’s commitment to promote equitable workforce development.

For more information about the Junior Full Stack Java Developer program, visit: or contact the Office of Workforce Integration at


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