Local high schools partnering with Microsoft

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KIMBERLY, Wis. (WBAY) Back in November, Action 2 News told you the number of open IT jobs in Wisconsin is expected to grow steadily.

And in an effort to build skills for those jobs, Microsoft and some area high schools are teaming up.

Now in more than 30 states, Technology, Education And Literacy in Schools -- or TEALS -- is launching in Wisconsin.

Teachers will receive curriculum and platforms needed for computer science.

Kimberly High School, which already has a computer science program, is most excited to co-teach alongside IT professionals.

"By offering the perspective from IT professionals that we can't necessarily give as teachers,” Ryan Brandt, Kimberly Math and Computer Science Tech said. “They live in the day to day of what computer science is."

Greg Levenhagen from Skyline Technologies in Appleton is one of two volunteers who will come into the classroom at Kimberly.

His goal is to increase interest in IT careers and give students a better idea of what kinds of jobs are available.

"You either think you're a heads down programmer or you can go work at a place at Best Buy,” Levenhagen said. “In reality there are dozens and dozens of different career options in the IT umbrella."

It's not just the students that Levenhagen wants to impact, it's also the teachers.

"We end up giving the teachers there enough to teach those classes in the future," said Levenhagen.

"I'll definitely have a better view of being able to explain something in the context of their fieldwork," said Brandt.

While students at Kimberly won't receive certification or college credit, Levenhagen says the program still serves an important purpose.

"Whatever it may be, there's going to be computers in our day to day lives and at least having a base knowledge of computer science is beneficial," said Levenhagen.

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