> Summit Academy OIC
Where academic rigor meets marketable skills
Where academic rigor meets marketable skills
Located in the Heritage Park neighborhood, Summit Academy OIC is an accredited, nonprofit Career and Technical Education (CTE) Institute in North Minneapolis.
Summit offers specialization and industry certifications for in-demand careers in Information Technology (IT), Construction (Carpentry and Electrical specialties), and Healthcare through 20-week accredited programs, delivering academic rigor alongside marketable skills and connections to employers. Summit’s workforce-driven model also offers accelerated 10-week GED training.
More than 1,000 students enroll at Summit Academy each year from across the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan area. Summit’s mission is to empower individuals to develop their ability to thrive and to become contributing citizens in their communities, as well as economic drivers of the State of Minnesota.
In 1996, two established training and job placement programs joined forces: Twin Cities Opportunities Industrialization Center and Two or More. The merger created Summit Academy OIC, a vocational training center focused on giving low-income adults access to skills for the jobs of today and tomorrow. Embracing a comprehensive community focus, we located ourselves in the heart of North Minneapolis, where we remain today.
We support the development of self-sufficiency in every person, regardless of background, economic status, or level of ability. We strengthen our community by preparing individuals to assume their roles as workers, parents, and citizens.
Our fundamental belief is: The best social service program in the world is a job.
In conjunction with our vocational model, we have also recently partnered with 10 of Minnesota’s most accomplished African-American education and community service institutions and established a partnership to inspire and nurture STEM talent in North Minneapolis. This Northside STEM District builds a pipeline of talent that starts in preschool, moves into K-8, is complemented by summer and out-of-school experiences, and culminates with STEM credentials. This network’s collective emphasis on awareness, access, education, and training is preparing workers of today, tomorrow, and the future.
The goal of this initiative is to provide access to equipment, materials, and STEM experiences to increase connections with African-American STEM professionals; to include employers as partners in volunteering their time, talent, and jobs; and to engage parents and neighbors as supporters, leaders, and advisors.
As a partner in the Northside STEM District, Summit Academy is spearheading several initiatives:
Workers of Today: Adult Education Program Expansion
Summit Academy is expanding its IT training program. In the first year, we trained 79 students, in partnership with Atomic Data, for high-demand, high career–growth jobs. In the second year, Summit will train 125 students and partner with more Minnesota employers to integrate an employer- driven curriculum model.
This expansion is timed to help meet the expected demand for middle- skill jobs that don’t require 4-year degrees. There is an urgent need for increased technology skills, including data analytics, IT, mobile, and web design. Our service desk technician and network operation center technician training tracks are uniquely designed to address this demand.
Workers of Tomorrow: Best Buy Teen Tech Center
Summit Academy is excited to welcome middle and high school students ages 13-18 to its Best Buy Teen Tech Center (BBTTC). The center gives teens access to cutting-edge technology, allows them to explore and express themselves artistically, and discover career pathways. Teens will explore a range of activities including graphic design, film production, robotics, and music production. The goal is for teens to be creators and inventors, not just consumers of technology.
Workers of the Future: STEM Fest & STEM Saturdays
This spring, Summit Academy will introduce STEM Fest, a day of hands-on demonstrations that will serve as a kickoff to monthly all-age STEM Saturday events. These community-based events will be free to those who qualify for free or reduced lunch programs and rotate to different locations throughout the Northside STEM District.
STEM Saturdays will feature fun and educational hands-on opportunities for children and their parents to explore STEM topics like chemistry, magnetism, and renewable energy. Experiential learning activities will lay a foundation of STEM principles and inspire career pathways.
Lastly, we value our relationship with employers Atomic Data and Design Ready Controls, who partner with us to offer internships and hire our students after graduation. Additional partnerships like these, which address workforce shortages and prepare students to be successful in careers with family- sustaining wages, are being developed.
“Each day I get to witness our students, many of whom come from low-income backgrounds and under-resourced communities, gaining the skills and education they need to enter the middle class. Summit is the vehicle that helps them begin that journey.”- Louis King, President & CEO of Summit Academy OIC