By Mai Nguyen, Head of Government Relations and Public Policy
The pandemic demonstrated that technology can be used to improve lives, government service delivery and e-commerce, and there’s never been a more important time in history to be thoughtful of our use of technology – how we can enable technology as a force for good, and how it can be used to create better futures?
In my work, I’m constantly considering how to champion what we do at VMware to help others. To consider how our technology and technical expertise can impact the greater public good and improve the lives of all Canadians. Last week, I had the privilege of spending time at the First Nations University (FNUniv) of Canada in Regina, where my colleagues and I announced a new partnership with the University to deliver valuable technical training to Indigenous students.
Through this initial partnership, VMware is investing $1.6M in courses and enrollment for 400 students to participate in the VMware IT Academy Program. Furthering the partnership, VMware and FNUniv have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which will expand this offering to provide additional space for 1000 Indigenous students across Canada, with tech training through the First Nations University of Canada’s Indigenous Continuing Education Centre. Whether for introductory training or upskilling, this training will ensure Indigenous students can participate in the innovation economy and build capacity within their communities.
I am so pleased to have the support of Dr. Jaqueline Ottmann, President of the First Nations University of Canada, Dr. Bob Kayseas, VP Academic and professor, and Dr. Bettina Schneider, Associate Dean and professor – their partnership in making this happen is truly appreciated. It was also a pleasure to meet Chief Michael Star at the announcement, and to have government delegates join us, including: Deputy Minister Donna Johnson from the Ministry of Education; Assistant Deputy Minister Giselle Marcotte from the Ministry of First Nations, Metis and Northern Affairs; MLA Aleana Young, Opposition Deputy House Leader, and member for Regina University; MLA Derek Meyers, member for Regina Walsh Acres and lastly; MLA Mark Docherty, member for Regina Coronation Park, delivering remarks on behalf of the Government of Saskatchewan.
Our goal with this donation is to help build tech talent within Indigenous communities, to help fill the IT skills gap in Canada with diverse talent, and to help create attainable pathways to rewarding careers in the growing IT field. The VMware IT Academy program provides academic institutions with authorized VMware courses, curricula, certifications, and support to educate students and accelerate their careers. This includes entry level courses to facilitate a student’s entry into the IT field, as well as more advanced courses aimed at achieving technical certifications.
Providing resources so Indigenous students can receive the training needed and the skills required to participate in today’s innovation economy will help Indigenous students realize their full potential. It will help them build careers in the tech sector and become part of the next generation of tech leaders in their communities and across Canada.
I’m pleased we’re able to support the First Nations University of Canada. This is just the first step in a meaningful partnership with even more good yet to come. Stay tuned!
For more about VMware IT Academy or how to participate, please reach out to me.
VMware is a leading provider of multi-cloud services for all apps, enabling digital innovation with enterprise control. As a trusted foundation to accelerate innovation, VMware software gives businesses the flexibility and choice they need to build the future. Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, VMware is committed to building a better future through the company’s 2030 Agenda. For more information, please visit www.vmware.com/company.