University Economic Development Association


Inspire Idaho

Award Category: Talent
Project Site: Inspire Idaho
Submitted By: University of Idaho, Coeur d'Alene
Contact: Charles Buck, AVP/CEO, 208.292.1737


The future of work requires that learning extend to a lifelong, discontinuous timeline with flexibility and rapid skills development as hallmark traits of successful individuals. Universities are challenged to provide excellent, relevant and practical training for adults, especially those living in rural areas. Inspire Idaho is a collaborative effort to eliminate barriers to free, future-ready skills development. This University of Idaho program supports new pathways to prosperity for hard-working Idaho adults by facilitating mobile application coding skills development. InspireID utilizes a self-driven curriculum developed by Apple, Inc. Apple experts provide virtual and face-to-face support for InspireID learners and volunteers. A substantial barrier to meaningful app development training with the Apple Swift coding language is consistent access to a capable computer. The InspireID lending library provides learners with a loaned MacBook throughout the approximately 180-hour app development training.

The program engages community volunteer mentors and experts to facilitate learner progression through the curriculum which includes a fully developed app as a tangible deliverable. The robust InspireID network supporting local teams includes university extension educators, CS faculty, libraries, economic development professionals, industry and community advocates.

Learners who complete the program are positioned for industry certification, high paying and remote employment, and entrepreneurial activity around the newly developed app. Remarkably, over 900 Idahoans across the state have registered with their commitment to complete the curriculum. Thus far InspireID has placed 250 learners and 185 loaned laptops in 13 teams across the state.