JOHNSON CITY – (July 28, 2021) With increasing E-commerce and rising unemployment across the country, Cloud Wise Academy, an ETSU Innovation Lab affiliate member, is hosting a “WordPress for Beginners Workshop.” The six-week-long course is designed to teach one of the most in-demand website hosting technologies.
The workshop begins Sept. 13 and runs through Oct. 20, with classes on Monday and Wednesday nights from 6-8 p.m. In-person participants meet at the ETSU Innovation Lab, located at 2109 W Market St. in Johnson City. The class may also be taken synchronously online. Registration fees are $350 per participant, and participants may use the code “early 50” through Aug. 15 to save $50.
“Our lives and communities have changed in 2020 and beyond,” said Joe Mckenna, founder of Cloud Wise Academy. “Some businesses didn’t make it through 2020. For those that did, they face an entirely new landscape. Our businesses and workforces are struggling to adapt to the new normal, and it is not just businesses struggling. Employees' work environments also look entirely different. The companies that made it through 2020 and new companies that sprang up will need a new workforce to embrace these changes.”
Classes consist of instructional learning and hands-on practice developing web pages to help students become comfortable with WordPress and learn more about ecommerce, especially as consumer buying habits shift toward online retail.
“To make problems worse for our local businesses, ‘monster’ companies like Amazon moved very quickly to address local customers' demands and gobble up new business,” said Mckenna. “Large companies created an even more significant skill gap between local workforces and the workforces of those ‘monsters.’ That's why we launched Cloud Wise Academy – to train and equip our local workforce with online marketing skills for a chance at a new career and the ability to impact our local business community positively.”
The class will also focus on search engine optimization, which helps improve website traffic from search engines like Google. In 2020, compared to the previous year, there was an increase of more than 8,000% for the search terms “who has” and “in stock,” according to a 2021 report on consumer behavior from Google. Students will learn how to optimize WordPress webpages to display in search engine results for relevant keyword searches.
This course is taught by Jake Hinton, a northern Florida web developer specializing in search engine optimization, search engine marketing and online planning and strategy.
“Seven years ago I was working in the trades,” Hinton said. “My hours and income were limited by forces out of my control. Today there is more demand and opportunity for my skills than I can ever fulfill, and the work I do is important to the local business I work for. I make more money, and I’m more fulfilled than I was before. This industry really is a diamond in the rough, and I love introducing others to it.”
The ETSU Innovation Lab is a high-tech business incubator that assists aspiring entrepreneurs from concept through commercialization. For more information, visit etsu.edu/ilab or contact Dr. Audrey Depelteau, director of the Innovation Lab, at firstname.lastname@example.org.