Apple's first US developer academy is now open in Detroit

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Apple this week opened the doors to its first developer academy in the U.S., an initiative that teaches developers and entrepreneurs how to contribute to and benefit from the iOS app economy.

Launched in partnership with Michigan State University, the Detroit Apple Developer Academy invites 100 students from different backgrounds to receive 10 months of app development and entrepreneurial training, Apple says. Illustrating the diversity of the inaugural class, the company notes that participants are aged 18 to 60.

The Detroit academy is the latest project in Apple's Racial Equity and Justice Initiative and was announced in January.

"Detroit has an incredible entrepreneurial spirit, powered by creativity and inclusion, and we're thrilled to welcome this inaugural class of creators as we start classes at the Apple Developer Academy, the first of its kind in the U.S.," said Lisa Jackson, Apple's vice president of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives. "Through the power of technology and innovation, we are proud to be helping prepare these innovators for new opportunities."

Like other Apple Developer Academies, Apple is providing hardware and software for program activities, and students can enroll at no cost. Participants are not required to have previous coding experience to take part in classes.

The Detroit program is located in a custom-designed space in the First National Building and that will host in-person sessions. Apple expects the academy to host nearly a thousand students each year through the Developer Academy and smaller four-week Foundation courses designed to introduce coding to new learners. The Foundation program held a session earlier this fall with community partners including the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan and the College for Creative Studies.

Supporting Apple's efforts in Detroit are the Gilbert Family Foundation and Rocket Companies, which will help fund academy initiatives into the future.