PROVIDENCE, RI - Governor Gina M. Raimondo today joined Infosys, a leader in next-generation digital services and consulting, to launch the company's new Design and Innovation Center in Providence. The Governor and Infosys also announced a new partnership with the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) to create the Digital Economy Aspirations Lab (DEAL) to develop educational programming that helps prepare students for the growing number of jobs in the digital economy.
"Infosys is a global leader in information technology, and I'm so excited that they've chosen Rhode Island as the home of their new innovation center," said Governor Gina Raimondo. "In partnership with RISD and CCRI, Infosys will be helping train today's Rhode Islanders for tomorrow's jobs. Our state has some of the top designers in the world, and it's a testament to the strength of our workforce that Infosys is looking to tap into, and further develop, our talent."
"Critical thinking led by the practice of strategic design is critical to building the world-class, human-centric solutions our clients need to accelerate their digital transformations," said Salil Parekh, Chief Executive Officer, Infosys. "We are excited to inaugurate our flagship Design and Innovation Center in Providence and continue our partnership with the state of Rhode Island. The demand for talent with strategic design skills will only rise, and Infosys is training American workers in these skills, keeping them and our clients on the front lines of innovation."
"Today is an exciting day for Rhode Island," said Rhode Island Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor. "Infosys could have selected any location for this new Design and Innovation Hub, but the company chose Providence in order to draw upon our state's deep pool of talented designers and to establish pioneering partnerships with our innovative higher ed institutions -- including RISD and CCRI. Infosys will be training the next generation of forward-thinking global design leaders and professionals right here in Rhode Island."
The Design and Innovation Center, located at 75 Fountain Street, will help close the gap for design and human-centric skills in technology fields and enhance Infosys' ability to provide digital technologies and breakthrough innovations at the intersection of industry and design for its clients. The center offers early-career designers and design graduates unique training opportunities with in-demand digital skills-including exposure to systems, platforms, strategy and organization domains, to make them more employable in today's digital world. By studying everything from user-experience to how people interact with systems, these design-focused hires will be equipped to create 360-degree solutions to business challenges. Infosys' clients and industry partners will likewise benefit from increased access to top-tier designers and subject matter experts.
Infosys has already hired more than 100 in Rhode Island toward its goal of creating 500 jobs in Rhode Island by 2022.
"Infosys is pleased to announce our hub and our partnership with the Community College of Rhode Island. This partnership aims to enable and develop workers for the 'new collar' digital jobs of the future. Together, Infosys and CCRI will design and launch DEAL, which will serve as the principal workforce development technology hub for community college and industry collaborations," said Ravi Kumar, President, Infosys. "DEAL represents the coming together of two organizations at the forefront of education and workforce development. Through education, training and exposure, these community college students will be enabled to enter and advance careers in the digital economy."
The Digital Economy Aspirations Lab will be housed at Infosys' Providence Center, with plans to open more labs at CCRI campuses and expand nationally. Infosys will form a joint task force with CCRI representatives from across the state to develop programming to support pathways to four-year degree programs and careers in information technology.
Through this partnership, Infosys and CCRI will bring together industry experts to develop labs where students will learn relevant skills and engage in strategic networking that leads to advanced education and high-quality employment.
The Digital Economy Aspirations Lab at Infosys will include:
•Physical innovation spaces to showcase next-generation technologies required for the jobs of the future.
•Research and development of customized curriculum tied to a four-year degree pathway with a focus on in-demand industries including healthcare, defense, advanced business services and manufacturing.
•The creation of a mentor program that will engage Infosys business teams to bolster career guidance and support résumé preparation and interview coaching for students.
In its first year, DEAL will support 15 to 20 CCRI students through an information technology mentorship, plus an additional 200 CCRI students through various exposure opportunities at the innovation hub.
In addition, DEAL will foster the creation of two task forces, consisting of CCRI faculty and industry leaders to co-develop content and identify capacities in technology and innovation that draw on digital content and real-world case studies from Infosys.
The first task force will focus on identifying entry-level roles across industries suitable for community college graduates, the competencies associated with those roles and the skills needed to meet those competencies. This work will establish clear pathways for students to move from community college to livable wage jobs to opportunities for further education and career advancement.
The second task force will focus on helping colleges recognize experiential learning and provide standardized credits within all degree programs at the community college level that would articulate to four-year college programs.
"We are thrilled to partner with Infosys to launch the Digital Economy Aspirations Labs, or DEAL, to deliver our students meaningful learning, relevant skills, valuable work experience, and access to professional connections necessary to pursue quality careers in the digital economy," said CCRI President Meghan Hughes. "In Infosys, we have found a bold and visionary corporate partner who understands the talent community college students possess and recognizes the essential contributions community colleges must make to grow the digital economy and the middle class."
Infosys has been approved for incentives under Rhode Island's Qualified Jobs Incentive Act, the Rebuild Rhode Island program, and the state's First Wave Closing Fund.
Infosys' commitment to education also extends to the company's charitable foundation, Infosys Foundation USA. In Rhode Island, the Foundation has provided multiple grants for classroom technology and computer science training to teachers and schools. To date, these grants have reached 1,070 students, 29 teachers and 14 schools across the state. The Foundation has invested in professional development (training) for teachers, hands on workshops for students and new technology and teaching aids for classrooms, with an emphasis placed on underrepresented groups such as young women, African American, Native American, Latino, urban, rural and autistic student groups.