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Apple partners with Dream Corps to expand Swift coding lessons to larger audience

Beginning in Oakland, Calif., Apple is partnering with Dream Corps to expand "educational and workforce development opportunities" across the U.S., and has Swift programming at the core of the expansion.

The emphasis will be on teaching Apple's Swift programming language, primarily used to code for iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS. The target audience though is broad, ranging from middle schoolers to college students "and beyond." For its part Apple will supply technology, support, curriculum guidance, and advocacy efforts.

The plan builds on Apple's Community Education Initiative and Dream Corps' #YesWeCode — the latter of which is committed to helping at least 100,000 people from "underrepresented backgrounds" make progress in the tech industry. To date it has only graduated about 100 people, but 60 percent are said to be in tech jobs.

The choice of Oakland as a starting city owes to Dream Corps being founded there. The city is directly across from San Francisco however, where Apple and other Silicon Valley firms have a major presence.

The joint partnership will launch in the broader Bay Area later this year, Apple said. Dream Corps is meanwhile working with the City of Oakland, including the Mayor's Office, to find a dedicated space for the program and "other related workforce development and social entrepreneurship efforts."

Founded in 2015 with the help of musician Prince, the organization's agenda extends well past the tech industry. Its goals include transforming the criminal justice system, building "an inclusive green economy," and shrinking "the culture of intolerance, fear and division."

To help sell the partnership Apple highlighted the case of Gerald Ingraham, a former Marine who had trouble finding decent-paying work for 15 years after his service. The situation was only made worse when his oldest son was diagnosed with brain cancer. Thanks in part to Dream Corps, Ingraham learned to code and found work as a game programmer. His son recovered from brain cancer and is now in college.