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Kenzie Academy Selects Arkansas for First National Expansion

northwest arkansas council

Partnership with Northwest Arkansas Council will provide online IT workforce training opportunities

Kenzie Academy and the Northwest Arkansas Council today announced a partnership to expand Kenzie’s accelerated, online tech training programs to Arkansas. The program is designed to respond to the economic impacts of COVID-19 and get impacted individuals back to work.

Kenzie offers project-based programs in Software Engineering, UX Engineering, and UX Design that parallel today’s workplace, providing students with an industry-aligned experience that leads directly to rewarding careers in technology. Kenzie will leverage its online model to deliver high-quality technology training to learners from the safety of their homes and model a local-centric, but scalable, upskilling solution that fuels Arkansas’ tech ecosystem. 

A grant from the Walton Family Foundation will support Kenzie’s initial launch and create traction for a sustained, regional presence. This program will train hundreds of individuals in the latest technology skills and connect them with local jobs – creating a new, diverse talent pipeline and closing the opportunity gap for underserved Arkansans. Eligible participants will have access to laptop computers and a wi-fi access program to participate in Kenzie’s training.

Kenzie will also develop a tech talent pipeline for Arkansas’ startups and larger companies, giving employers a reliable source of diverse talent.

“This is a first of its kind partnership for Kenzie,” said Kenzie Academy CEO and Co-Founder Chok Ooi. “We believe high-quality education should be available to the best and brightest, regardless of where they live, or what their financial circumstances are. We are thrilled to expand Kenzie’s accessible and inclusive tech training offerings to Arkansas and rapidly respond to the state’s efforts to get people back to work.”

“As part of the Council’s Information Technology (IT) Workforce Development Strategy, we prioritized developing the region’s tech talent to help companies throughout the Northwest Arkansas region fill open IT jobs,” said Nelson Peacock, president and CEO of the Northwest Arkansas Council. “This partnership with Kenzie Academy will create valuable workforce training opportunities and provide a robust pipeline of talent for our companies – a critical component for the region’s future economic growth.” 

About Kenzie Academy

Kenzie Academy is a national leader in online, synchronous technology training, bringing high quality offerings that have traditionally only been available to people in major cities to everyone.

Kenzie brings tech opportunities to Americans that have been displaced by automation and the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing learners to participate from the safety of their home and transition to modern technology jobs.

Kenzie’s project-based curriculum in Software Engineering, UX Engineering, and UX Design were created by industry practitioners and designed to parallel today’s workplace, providing students with an industry aligned experience that leads directly to rewarding careers in technology. For more information, please visit the Kenzie Academy website.

About Walton Family Foundation

The Walton Family Foundation is, at its core, a family-led foundation. Three generations of the descendants of our founders, Sam and Helen Walton, and their spouses, work together to lead the foundation and create access to opportunity for people and communities. We work in three areas: improving K-12 education, protecting rivers and oceans and the communities they support, and investing in our home region of Northwest Arkansas and the Arkansas-Mississippi Delta. In 2019, the foundation awarded more than $525 million in grants in support of these initiatives. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About Northwest Arkansas Council

Founded in 1990 by Sam Walton, J.B. Hunt, Don Tyson and several other business leaders, the Northwest ArkansasCouncil serves as a regional convener for economic and community initiatives. The Council excels at identifying challenges and championing solutions to enhance the prosperity of the Northwest Arkansas region. Key initiatives include work to advance quality of life, attract talent, improve the region’s workforce, create job opportunities, upgrade infrastructure and keep up with the region’s impressive growth. For more information, visit

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