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Apple co-founder launches Arizona-based tech education program

(KTAR News Photo/Tom Perumean)

PHOENIX — The co-founder of Apple is launching a program that will help revamp higher education for the tech industry in an effort to fill the employment gap for high-paying jobs in the field nationwide.

Steve Wozniak’s Woz U launched Friday in Scottsdale. Woz U is a program that is “designed to get people into the workforce quickly and affordably, creating long-term financial stability for a new generation of tech workers.”

Woz U will include multiple platforms to teach and train prospective tech employees. One of the platforms will work with tech companies to recruit and train a solid work force, while another will cater toward students in grades K through 12.

“I wanted my own name on a technology university that would attract the right kind of people.  So this was just ideal, this was what I really wanted,” he said.

The program offers online options. Wozniak said he also plans on adding campuses in more than 30 cities across the country.

“Our goal is to educate and train people in employable digital skills without putting them into years of debt,” Wozniak said.

“People are often afraid to choose a technology-based career because they think they can’t do it. I know they can, and I want to show them how.”

The school will also open an accelerated campus in the Valley for graduate-level work. The top 5 percent of Woz U students will be offered a chance at the year-long program.

Woz U will incorporate the latest technologies and skills demanded by tech employers. The program will also include comprehensive career services.

In honor of Thursday’s announcement, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey declared Oct. 12 as Technology and Innovation Day.

KTAR News’ Tom Perumean contributed to this report.

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