Austin Community College and Apple announce new coding partnership

From left: Austin Mayor Steve Adler, state Sen. Kirk Watson, ACC President Richard Rhodes, Apple CEO Tim Cook and ACC IT employee Keelee Moseley do the hand sign for the Riverbat, ACC's mascot.

From left: Austin Mayor Steve Adler, state Sen. Kirk Watson, ACC President Richard Rhodes, Apple CEO Tim Cook and ACC IT employee Keelee Moseley do the hand sign for the Riverbat, ACC's mascot.

Austin Community College and Apple CEO Tim Cook announced a new partnership Friday morning at the Capital Factory in downtown Austin. Starting this fall, the college will offer Apple’s new app development program, which instructs students in application coding and design.

ACC is one of more than 30 community college systems across the country that will be offering Apple’s App Development with Swift curriculum. Swift is the coding language developed by Apple and designed to work with its products. The aim of the program is to provide education and training that will help community college students access middle-skill job opportunities in the tech sector.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler introduced ACC President and CEO Richard Rhodes at the news conference, telling the crowd that the college is creating economic opportunity for everyone in Austin.

“We’re riding a wave right now,” Adler said of the city’s tech industry and job creation rate. “But this rising tide doesn’t lift all boats.”

This partnership, however, will allow Central Texas residents to obtain certificates and two-year degrees that will help them break into the information economy at home, he said.

Rhodes oversees more than 76,000 students annually as president of the ACC system.

“Their dreams are to get great jobs, to provide for their families,” he said, before introducing Keelee Moseley, an ACC graduate who studied programming while enrolled at the school.

“It has changed my life,” Moseley said. She is the first person in her family to graduate from college and now works for ACC’s IT department.

Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, also spoke at the event. Addressing Mayor Adler, he said Apple shares Austin’s values.

“For many people, community college is the gateway to opportunity,” he said, which is why Apple developed this curriculum.

Since the company’s App Store launched in 2008, U.S. developers have earned more than $16 billion from app sales, Cook said.

This year marks Apple’s 25th anniversary in Austin. Since opening in 1992 with 100 employees, Apple’s Northwest Austin office has grown into the company’s second largest campus in the world, with more than 6,000 employees.

Mayor Adler, Rhodes and state Senator Kirk Watson praised Cook and Apple for their corporate leadership in Austin.

“Unfortunately, we have Hurricane Harvey that’s hitting the coast,” Watson said. “Fortunately, we have Hurricane Tim that hit Austin, Texas.”
By Emma Freer
Emma Freer began covering Central Austin for Community Impact Newspaper in 2017. Her beat includes the Travis County Commissioners Court and local business news. She graduated from Columbia Journalism School in 2017.


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