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JEFFERSON, Iowa — A new rural Iowa scholarship program will allow students to be a part of a pilot program to train rural-based students in high-value, high demand software development and technology skills.

The Forge, located in Jefferson, will serve as a learning hub for students awarded this scholarship opportunity through Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC). Students will be enrolled in a fourth-month, tuition-free software development training provided by Accenture and designed to prepare rural area students for high-demand, software development jobs in Iowa.

“It really helps our young people start to see the cutting-edge careers that they can have right here in our communities no matter where they live,” said Gov. Kim Reynolds.

Corteva in partnership with DMACC created the Rural Scholarship program committing $187,500 to support 25 scholarships to qualifying applicants. Students will also be eligible for internships, jobs, and mentorship opportunities with partnering companies Accenture and Corteva. 

“Rural communities like Jefferson … this is close to us and we are not just in the community … we Corteva are part of the communities that we are in,” said James Alcombright, executive IT digital platform leader at Corteva.

Safura Kahn, a student from Glidden, is the program’s first scholarship recipient. Kahn is hoping to learn new software and technology skills that will propel her into a career in engineering. She says a major draw to The Forge is the opportunity to learn new skills without accumulating any debt. 

We want to keep encouraging other businesses to participate and encourage our kids to come here and take advantage of this opportunity. So they are learning a skill for a cutting-edge career with little to no debt and that is a win-win for everyone,” said Reynolds.

The Forge’s major goal is to bring top technology training to untapped talent in cities such as Jefferson.

“Iowa is the center of the country. It’s got wonderful education institutions, [Jefferson’s] proximity to Des Moines, and frankly it’s a city that’s hungry for future development,” said Chad Jerdee, global head of Responsible Business Corporate Sustainability in Citizenship at Accenture.

Another round of scholarship applications will be accepted until Nov. 1, 2019. For more information or to apply, visit DMACC’s website.

“If you don’t want to be in debt, you should definitely try it out. It’s been a good experience, don’t hesitate, give it a shot and you’ll love it,” said Kahn.