The FINANCIAL — Apple on December 12 announced that it is working with the city of Chicago to bring coding opportunities to Chicago’s nearly 500,000 students through a citywide expansion of Apple’s Everyone Can Code program.
The initiative in Chicago was designed in collaboration with the Mayor’s Office of Chicago, Chicago Public Schools, City Colleges of Chicago, local businesses and non-profit organizations. Together, Apple and local organizations are helping expand opportunities for students to build the skills they need to pursue careers in the app economy by becoming proficient in Swift, Apple’s easy-to-learn programming language that empowers anyone to create world-class apps, according to Apple.
“At Apple we believe coding is an essential skill, so we’ve designed Everyone Can Code to give everyone the power to learn, write and teach coding,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We’re thrilled to be working with our friends and partners in the great city of Chicago on this initiative. Together with Mayor Emanuel, Chicago Public Schools and City Colleges, we look forward to helping students learn Swift and build the skills they need to thrive in today’s workplace.”
Starting this spring, Chicago Public Schools and City Colleges of Chicago will expand Everyone Can Code curriculum and materials to reach students citywide. For the first time, City Colleges of Chicago will offer the innovative App Development with Swift curriculum, helping students build skills around coding and app development.
Chicago Public Schools will also offer new Swift Coding Clubs, which bring coding education to after-school programs. Swift Coding Clubs guide students through key coding concepts, introduce them to Swift and walk them through an app design and prototyping project.
Apple and local businesses, including GE Transportation, IBM, Jellyvision, Lextech, McDonald’s, Rush University Medical Center, Ulta Beauty and United Airlines will add volunteer opportunities for their Chicago-based employees to help support students. Additionally, 1871, One Summer Chicago and other Chicago-based businesses will offer more than 100 internships to high school and college students who have completed the Everyone Can Code curriculum.
“Coding is not just a critical skill in today’s economy, it is another outlet for students to expand their horizons and explore their creativity,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Everyone Can Code is an incredible opportunity for young people across Chicago to learn the language of the future, sharpen their minds and develop the skill sets needed to compete and win in the 21st century.”
“Everyone Can Code gives students opportunities to learn new skills and develop a strong foundation in STEM to prepare them for a successful future in the 21st-century economy,” said Dr. Janice K. Jackson, acting Chief Executive Officer at Chicago Public Schools. “This initiative introduces coding curriculum that develops core skills, creativity, collaboration and problem solving, which will help lay the groundwork for a successful future.”
Apple provides learning experiences for coding in all Apple Stores. New App Development Design sessions also premiered at Apple Michigan Avenue this fall.
Everyone Can Code is a program designed by Apple to help everyone learn how to code, creating opportunities for all students and preparing them for the workforce. The comprehensive program includes a range of free resources, from helping students explore basic coding concepts to building fully functional apps.
Swift is Apple’s powerful and intuitive programming language that gives developers the freedom and capabilities they need to create the next generation of cutting-edge software. Popular apps including Airbnb, KAYAK, TripAdvisor, Venmo and Yelp are all created with Swift.
The app economy has generated more than 1.5 million jobs in the US and more than 64,000 jobs in Illinois alone. The demand for coding skills continues to grow, with more than 500,000 programming and coding positions available in the US as of August 2017. Since the launch of the App Store in 2008, US app developers have earned over $16 billion in App Store sales.