National Initiative Brings Together Universities and Employers to Double the Impact of Tech Training

Suzanne Remedies

National Initiative Brings Together Universities and Employers to Double the Impact of Tech Training
SkillStorm’s Upskill Together project will expand access to in-demand industry-recognized credentials; provide free training to individuals from historically underserved communities

Today, SkillStorm announced the launch of Upskill Together, an initiative led by a coalition of universities and employers including Salesforce, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Florida State University, and California State University Fullerton that aims to expand access to high-demand, industry-recognized technology credentials. Led by the tech talent accelerator SkillStorm, Upskill Together includes a unique one-to-one match program that will provide free technology upskilling programs to learners from historically underserved communities for each individual who trains through the platform.
“For too long, the tech industry has treated widespread talent shortages and persistent equity gaps as separate and unrelated challenges — but in reality, they are two sides of the same coin,” said Joe Mitchell, COO of SkillStorm. “With the support of our partners around the country, Upskill Together match scholarships will accelerate economic opportunity for people from all backgrounds, providing pathways to the skills and industry credentials employers need to support their digital transformation initiatives today and into the future.”
The launch of Upskill Together comes at a critical inflection point for the U.S. workforce: as the pace of technological change continues to accelerate, half of information technology (IT) decision-makers report that the number one reason they continue to face skill gaps is difficulty recruiting and retaining job candidates with relevant expertise. Upskill Together aims to tackle this challenge by providing online, instructor-led training for learners at partner universities to earn in-demand industry-recognized credentials in fields like cloud computing, Salesforce, and automation.
For each participant who accesses training through one of the initiative’s university or corporate partners, Upskill Together’s one-to-one match scholarship program will provide the exact same training at no cost to a learner with demonstrated financial need, with a focus on supporting women, veterans, and others from groups that are historically underrepresented in the tech industry.
“Upskill Together is a creative approach to help close the cloud skills gap by better distributing access and opportunity to underrepresented talent,” said Kim Majerus, Vice President, US Public Sector Education, State & Local Government at AWS. “The program showcases the potential of our higher education AWS Academy members and SkillStorm, an AWS Training Provider, working together to address this industry-wide crisis.”
"We are excited to partner with Authorized Training Provider, SkillStorm to expand their workforce development program and unlock new sources of talent by driving Salesforce skills that lead students to career pathways in the Salesforce ecosystem,” said Amy Regan Morehouse, Salesforce Senior Vice President, Global Salesforce Ecosystem Enablement.
“Through the first seven months of this year, U.S. employers listed approximately 3.1 million job postings for technology occupations — an increase of nearly 50% over the same period in 2021. The widening gap between employer demand for technology workers and candidates to fill these roles necessitates new thinking and innovative approaches to bring more people from more diverse backgrounds and experiences into the tech workforce,” said Graham Hunter, CompTIA’s executive vice president for global sales. “The Upskill Together program led by SkillStorm and its academic and industry partners holds great promise. CompTIA is pleased to be a part of this important initiative.”
Upskill Together and its Founding Partners welcome inquiries from employers or higher education institutions interested in joining the initiative and making a commitment to accelerating economic opportunity. To learn more or apply for a scholarship, visit
The initiative’s university Founding Partners include:

  • California State University Fullerton
  • Indiana Wesleyan University
  • Florida International University
  • Florida State University
  • Jacksonville University
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of Nevada Las Vegas
  • University of Tampa

“The power of Upskill Together lies in its ability to create tighter connections between higher education and the workforce — while also solving the urgent imperative to address persistent issues of equity and inclusion in the tech industry,” said Jim Clark, provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs at Florida State University Panama City. “This is about providing learners with every opportunity to excel in their careers and earn higher wages to comfortably provide for their families.”
“In today’s increasingly volatile economy, higher education institutions have an opportunity – and a responsibility – to step up to the challenge of preparing students to navigate a complex world of work,” said Debra Leahy, Dean for Extension and Associate Vice President for International Programs at California State University Fullerton. “Through Upskill Together, we’re taking action to help more people learn the skills today to succeed in the jobs of tomorrow.”
“As one of Florida’s largest and fastest-growing institutions, we have a responsibility to prepare our students to navigate a rapidly evolving and increasingly digital labor market,” said Bridgette Cram, Interim Vice President, Innovative Education & Student Success at Florida International University. “Initiatives like Upskill Together, which draw on the unique capabilities of both higher ed institutions and leading tech employers, are helping us realize that mission — and fulfill our role as an engine of economic mobility throughout the state.”
“UNLV and its leadership are always in search of new approaches that can help bridge the gap between learning and work, particularly as we evolve to support a growing population of nontraditional learners,” said University of Nevada Las Vegas Executive Vice President & Provost, Chris L. Heavy. “Our role in Upskill Together reflects our mission of expanding access to technology certification courses that can help our students, alumni, and community members access careers in the region’s fastest-growing industries as the demand for diverse tech talent continues to grow.”
“Jacksonville University is proud to serve as inaugural partner in Upskill Together. Today’s employers are seeking very specific skill sets. Partnerships between industry and higher education institutions are creating a new ecosystem for learning. The courses are an experiential, project-based learning paradigm leading to a ready-made pool of talented students for entering the workforce,” said Dr. Christine Sapienza, Jacksonville University Provost.
“IWU leadership and staff remain committed to our long history of catering to non-traditional students with programs designed and tailored to help them reach their goals,” said Vice President of Innovations and Partnerships Andy Miller. “As the labor market continues to evolve, our partnership with SkillStorm will help us provide learners with comprehensive and job-aligned training in the most in-demand skills to prepare them for careers in tomorrow’s world of work.”
“Building a more equitable, inclusive tech industry will depend on new approaches that bring together employers, higher ed institutions, and forward-thinking training providers,” said Alexander Cartwright, University of Central Florida President. “This coalition represents a first-of-its-kind effort to better align universities’ program offerings with employer demand — and will serve as an example for other employers and institutions looking to close skill and access gaps.”
“Upskill Together enables the University of Tampa to enhance the entry of highly talented and diverse alumni in the tech industry, in perfect alignment with our commitments to education in technology and to diversity and equity for our students,” said Dr. David Stern, the University of Tampa’s Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.
About SkillStorm

SkillStorm is building the elite tech force for organizations in need of highly skilled, specialized tech talent. By hiring, upskilling and deploying professionals to work on advanced technologies and platforms such as Pega, Salesforce, and ServiceNow, SkillStorm equips companies with a ready-made domestic tech workforce. An innovation and opportunity accelerator, SkillStorm provides U.S. businesses and government agencies with fully formed and trained teams with all the required experience, skill sets, certifications, and clearances, either directly to its client sites or working from its own delivery centers. Visit to learn more.