Corteva Agriscience, together with Des Moines Area Community College, has awarded the first of 25 scholarships created as part of a pilot program to train rural-based students in high-value, high-demand software development and technology skills. Corteva contributed $187,500 to fund 25 scholarships of up to $7,500 each.
Safura Kahn of Glidden, Iowa, is the first rural scholarship recipient. Kahn will participate in a 10-class computer science program offered through DMACC. Upon completion of the classes, Kahn will be eligible for a four-month training program at The Forge, a high-tech facility in the heart of Jefferson, Iowa, that Accenture opened Sept. 7.
“Corteva Agriscience doesn’t just serve the community, it is part of the community,” said Debra King, Corteva Agriscience chief information officer. “This scholarship aligns with our vision to improve the lives of generations to come by investing in rural renewal and in the diverse and talented students who will solve the challenges of the future. When students graduate from The Forge they will be ready for a cutting-edge software development career and collectively can contribute back to the growth of their local communities.”
The September Forge event emphasized the importance of investing in rural renewal. It featured several high-profile guests, including Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and California Congressman Ro Khanna who represents the Silicon Valley area, along with tours and programs for interested students and parents and a community barbecue.
“This is just the beginning,” said James Alcombright, executive information technology leader, Digital & Enterprise Platforms, Corteva Agriscience. “We have $180,000 in rural scholarship funding remaining to help students build the skills and competencies necessary to succeed today and contribute in a digital world—and in particular in the digital agriculture field.”
Another round of scholarship applications will be accepted until Nov. 1 for the spring semester.
The pilot program was initiated by Pillar Technology, which was acquired by Accenture in 2018 to strengthen its Industry X.0 capabilities. Industry X.0 is the digital reinvention of industry where businesses use advanced digital technologies to transform core industrial operations, worker and customer experiences, and business models.