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Detroit Labs adds a dozen people for apprentice program

Hiring software developers, especially those that specialize in mobile apps, is such a competitive task that Detroit Labs is looking to fill its talent needs in a new way. It's going to make its own mobile app developers.

The downtown Detroit-based mobile app firm has launched an apprentice program that will train new mobile app developers over a three-month period. During that time the apprentices will serve as full-time employees of the company and have the opportunity to become full-fledged members of the firm at the end of the program. Detroit Labs has a dozen members in its first class right now.

"At the end of three months, I expect most of them to be ready to be promoted and attached to a client team," says Nathan Hughes, co-founder of Detroit Labs.

The first month of the program is spent on classroom learning about writing software and mobile app development. The second month allows the apprentices to focus on internal projects. The last month pairs the apprentice with an mobile app developer at the firm immersed in the developer’s day-to-day.

The Detroit Labs' apprentice program aims to give real-world experience to its participants. It also will become a talent pipeline for the company. The program is open to anyone interested in pursuing mobile app development as a career.

"We have a lawyer who wants to drastically change his career," Hughes says. "We have folks right out of school."

The Detroit Labs' apprentice program will focus on iPhone mobile development this spring and focus on Android mobile development during the fall session. The training will take place at Grand Circus' space in the Broderick Tower overlooking Grand Circus Park. The program is funded by a grant from Automation Alley. For information, click here.

Detroit Labs launched out of the M@dison Building three years ago in May as the first investment of Detroit Venture Partners. It has grown to 54 people and established its own offices a few doors down on Woodward Avenue in what is now being branded as the M@dison Block. Detroit Labs has hired 18 people over the last year, not including the 12 people in its apprentice program.

Source: Nathan Hughes, co-founder of Detroit Labs
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.
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