In the news: Grand Circus and Amazon

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Grand Circus Launching New Collaboration With Amazon to Train Next Generation of Coders in Detroit

Upon completion, program graduates will have the opportunity to interview for entry-level technical positions at Amazon and will be prepared for entry-level technical roles at other companies in the area

DETROIT, Jan. 18, 2022 — Grand Circus, a Detroit-based learning institute that offers full stack bootcamps for aspiring programmers, today announced a new collaboration with Amazon to host a fully funded bootcamp targeting diverse applicants in metro Detroit.

Grand Circus will aim to educate learners with in-demand technology skills, using Java as an introductory lens to the theoretical framework of programming. Following the 28-week program focused on Java, all graduates will have the opportunity to interview for entry-level developer roles at Amazon’s Detroit Tech Hub. The first after-hours cohort of up to 20 students begin instruction March 28. Amazon is providing funding for this first cohort of participants. The collaboration with Grand Circus, with its demonstrated track record in building diverse talent pipelines, highlights Amazon’s commitment to providing skills training and education opportunities to more people in the cities it is proud to call home.

“Working with Amazon on this initiative is an exciting opportunity for everyone involved, especially prospective students,” said Damien Rocchi, founder and CEO of Grand Circus. “Our mission since inception has been to bridge the talent gap that exists between Detroiters and the growing technical job opportunities in the city. We are proud to have helped hundreds of people advance their careers and we’re excited to ensure more people in metro Detroit will be able to gain the critical skills they need to succeed in their careers.”

Detroit is currently one of the cities hardest hit by the nation’s “digital divide,” with a recent study showing that more than 24% of households lack any sort of broadband connection. At the same time, Detroit’s tech scene has been growing rapidly in the last decade, with startups taking root and new investments pouring in from the city’s automakers in electric and autonomous vehicle development. With support from Amazon, Grand Circus will be able to extend its technical education further into the city’s population and help ensure more Detroiters can access new Detroit jobs.

Amazon’s Detroit Tech Hub opened in 2012 and has expanded to employ nearly 500 associates, the majority of whom work as software development engineers. This corporate office contributes to the more than 21,000 Amazon associates employed throughout the state of Michigan, where Amazon has invested more than $6 billion since 2010. As part of its $1.2 billion Upskilling 2025 pledge, Amazon is committed to upskilling more than 300,000 of its own U.S. employees by 2025 with access to nine free training programs that lead to well-paying, in-demand roles at Amazon and beyond.

“Technical skills are more important than ever for candidates applying to roles at Amazon and beyond right now,” said Garret Gaw, director, Software Development. “Grand Circus is a results-oriented, trusted organization, and we are proud to be the latest local employer to help them expand their reach to prepare even more interested students for exciting, well-paying, and in-demand technical roles.”

Grand Circus was founded in 2013 to give aspiring coders access to the high-demand technology skills necessary to compete in the digital economy. The institution also teaches students soft skills such as interview preparation and works to connect graduates directly with potential employers in software development roles. Grand Circus Detroit’s employer partner network exceeds 350 organizations in Michigan and the Midwest.

The 100%-virtual program begins March 28 and continues through September 23. Southeastern Michigan residents are encouraged to apply for the free program by visiting A GED or equivalent is required to participate and the deadline for applications is February 20.

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