Learning Alliance Obtains Work Together Grant from UpWork

Work Together Talent Grant

For Immediate Release 6/30/20Learning Alliance Newsroom

Learning Alliance received a grant award from UpWork through their Work Together Talent Grant initiative. This initiative was put together to help aid in development related initiatives during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our project will ensure veterans find structured apprenticeship programs in the wireless industry that blend e-learning, hands-on competency, and instructor-based methods,” said Fred Arnold, Director of Operations. “We built an initial Learning Management System at the start of COVID-19, but we need to continue to evolve that technology to best fit our students.”

UpWork put together the initiative to help small and medium businesses tackle tough problems that remote work can cause. Their website states, “Right now, we’re all facing the same challenge and our network of top-rated professionals have the skills to meet it head on. From tech to creative and operations, there’s talent to tackle it from any angle.”

By connecting small and medium businesses to funds and IT/Design/Development talent, they are impacting multiple industries during the crisis. For Learning Alliance, this grant will help provide new iterations to current learning management systems, single sign on functionality for internal employees to become more productive and for research and development into virtual gaming simulations that aid in technical training.

“What we produce through this grant funding initiative will have a direct impact on the race to 5G.”

UpWork connected with Learning Alliance last week, let’s see what they had to say!

Upwork: Can you tell us a little bit about how the project came to be? What motivated you and your team? What is the end goal or intended impact? How do you hope it will help people overcome the impact of the pandemic?

    • Learning Alliance is a licensed private institution through the Commission of Independent Education. We run hands on oriented broadband and wireless programs to assist in workforce development for the Telecom industry due to its skilled worker shortage. Due to COVID 19, we had to take our programs – which were predominantly instructor led – and build a blended e-learning component. This meant we could still assist the industry during the pandemic. Our team rallied around the cause and we produced an initial MVP of our LMS within 3 weeks. We partnered with WIA, NATE and SafetyLMS to produce a TIRAP (Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeship Program) aligned learning management system which provides a competency framework directly in line with a Federal government initiative for Telecommunications.
    • Our goal is to continue to expand our blended programs to serve more students to bridge the 20,000 job shortage gap to build out 5G. With the launch of our LMS, we have tripled our enrollment capacity. Utilizing our grant with UpWork, we will create robust student experiences where they can obtain their credentials through user profiles, build out competency checklist and resumes and be able to reach our instructors for mentorship. This expands to our faculty as well by building out our internal solutions to allow for Single Sign On approaches – maximizing everyone’s productivity.
    • We currently have 180 students enrolled in our e-learning platform which is on Version 1.2. The grant will focus on Versions 1.3, 1.4 and finally version 2.0 which completes our phone application for technicians to use in the field for continued education. Solid server infrastructure also needs to be built to handle the concurrent users as we expand.
    • The Telecom industry is an essential business that has not slowed down on hiring. Our training program combines the perfect mix of hands on, instructor led and e-learning to give someone the skills and certifications necessary to succeed in the industry. Our graduates average $18/hour starting with our employer partners. What we produce through this grant funding initiative will have a direct impact on the race to 5G.

Upwork: How is the team feeling about undertaking this project?

    • We have a current team of developers we work with on a continuous basis within UpWork, and they are excited to continue to produce our next iterations of technology for our institution.

Upwork: What type of talent do you need to achieve your project goals? Skills, unique experience, quantity/duration, etc. How will Upwork talent augment your existing team/company?

    • We require web developers with knowledge of key programming languages. Network and System gurus who understand Amazon Web Service scaling infrastructure. We also require professionals well versed in design methodologies for instruction, VR and other simulation related technology.

UpWork is a phenomenal company that adds value to any small or medium business. This grant initiative is another way that UpWork gives back to its employers and developers.

News Contact: Fred Arnold, Director of Operations
Phone: 813-261-6018 ext. 711

Interested in becoming a partner?

Do you want to discuss grant opportunities with one of our grant specialists? We can answer all of your questions from when grant funding is allocated, the process of obtaining a grant reward and how we reimburse you fund. If you are interested in discussing the IWT/EWT grant, contact us today!