ETSU Innovation Lab member to  launch beginner web and coding classes

Published 5:44 pm Monday, March 1, 2021

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  JOHNSON CITY — Cloud Wise Academy, an affiliate member of the East Tennessee State University Innovation Lab, is launching two six-week courses: WordPress for Beginners and Coding for Beginners. Classes begin March 23 and run weeknights from 6-8 p.m.

Both courses will be offered at the ETSU Innovation Lab, located at 2109 W. Market St., and will follow CDC and ETSU health and safety guidelines. Virtual options are also available.

 WordPress for Beginners is designed to help attendees build websites with little to no coding required.

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 “WordPress is the most popular content management system in the world,” said instructor Jake Hinton. “If you understand it, that doesn’t just mean you can make a website. It also means you have a skill that is valuable to employers.”

 “There’s a gap between the skills that employers need and the skills that employees in this area have,” said Cloud Wise Academy CEO Joe Mckenna. “The goal of Cloud Wise Academy is to help close that gap — for the betterment of the entire community. We’ve seen tons of students find new careers because of these classes.”

 Before moving to Tennessee, Cloud Wise Academy was founded in California in 2016 to teach “learn to earn” skills that workers and company owners can use to succeed in today’s e-commerce economy. Much like some of the coding boot camps available, the premise that underpins Cloud Wise Academy is the idea that high-demand technology skills can be learned quickly.

 “We are hopeful that these courses will help to train/retrain those who have been impacted by the global pandemic, either by promoting their existing business or in finding new career opportunities within the information technology field. Success stories from past participants are impressive,” said Dr. Audrey 

, director of the Innovation Lab.

 One example of a success story is Chris Webber, who had to quit his job as a gunsmith after the worsening of a back injury he sustained in the Navy.

 “Things were looking very bleak,” he recalls.

 Webber enrolled in a Cloud Wise Academy class to try to change his career and ended up launching his own local business building websites for companies.

 “Landing on something that I feel I’m good at and that I enjoy was one in a million to me,” he said. “Right now, the future looks awesome. I’m very excited about the future.”

 Registration for the WordPress and coding courses and a complete course listing is available at Participants will need to bring a laptop able to connect to the internet. For more information, contact Joe Mckenna at or at 530-515-9851.

 The ETSU Innovation Lab is a high-tech business incubator that assists aspiring entrepreneurs from concept through commercialization. For more information, visit or contact Dr. Audrey Depelteau, director of the Innovation Lab, at