Infosys starts training effort for software engineers in Detroit area

Posted on March 21, 2012

Infosys, the information-technology services outsourcing giant, officially kicked off a new training program Monday for entry-levelsoftware engineers in Detroit, the first of its kind in the U.S.

The 18-week boot camp at Wayne County Community College’s University Center in Harper Woods is designed to help tackle the nationwide shortage of software engineers by training people who have no IT or engineering skills as well as those whose skills are outdated. The free program started last week with 100 students, who each passed a skills test in order to qualify.

Infosys hopes to replicate the Detroit program in other parts of the country. Ashok Vemuri, head of Infosys’ operations in the U.S. and a director of the company, said the company was attracted to Detroit because of its large supply of skilled workers who had been laid off during the autoindustry downturn.

“So far so good,” said Tjade Souder, a 49-year-old Oak Park resident who used to work as a dealer at the Greektown Casino-Hotel in downtown Detroit until he lost his job a month ago. “I’m learning a lot. I’ve always been interested in technology.”

A job fair will be held at the end of the boot camp. In addition to Infosys, other local employers, including some of the IT giant’s customers, will be looking to hire the students who successfully complete the program, said Vemuri.

Infosys, which is based in Bangalore, India, has 300 open positions nationwide. The company has an office in Southfield and employs 150 workers in Michigan. In the last 12 months, the tech giant has hired 1,200 people in the U.S., the source of 60% of its revenues.

Infosys flew in instructors from different parts of the world to teach the boot camp, which normally lasts 24 weeks in India. The company is providing training for a few of WCCC’s faculty members, so they can teach the course in the near future.

Vemuri said Infosys’ training program stands out from others because it teaches people how to apply engineering skills in a work environment. Infosys has close ties to key players in the tech industry, which helps it anticipate changes in technology.

Katherine Yung, Detroit Free Press